March’s Happiness Project theme is having a tidier house. Those of you that have been here, know. ‘Nuff said!
I’ve also been feeling a lot of guilt over the past couple weeks. I’ve tried to talk myself out of it, tried to read myself out of it and listened to the advice of others to get me out of it.
This made me think today about GUILT. This made me think about my Happiness Project theme. Why did I choose this theme? How is it related to my feelings of guilt?
I have found such happiness so far here in my Happiness Project. I absolutely love the feeling I get when I workout. I especially love to ride my bike. I love the energy I now have because I’m in better shape. It has made me so happy to be taking care of myself. I am having FUN with my friends as we encourage each other and support each other in our fitness. I am happier because I have openly shown my love for those around me. I have brought them joy and found such love all around me. I have realized just how blessed I am.
So, this month, this “house” thing. Why?
I don’t think I’m doing this for the right reason! I am doing this because I feel guilty!
The guilt I’ve been having is that I’ve been feeling guilty about finding this happiness. Yes, that’s right – feeling guilty about being happy. Why?
- I feel guilty about the amount of time I’ve spent exercising. How I will choose going for a bike ride over vacuuming the house ANY day.
- I feel guilty about missing my kids’ bedtimes sometimes because I am at a workout. Their dad is there, but I am not.
- I feel guilty about making my kids eat healthier food that they don’t like. That’s ridiculous, I know!
- I feel guilty about the hours I am spending creating our new business – I am obsessed with the happiness I find there.
- I feel guilty that I’m no longer passionate about my day job, that I’m just putting in time until I can escape to do what I truly love – our business and writing. I have never been like that before.
- I feel guilty that I do not allow myself to be surrounded by negative, hurtful people. That I avoid them like the plague. I’m supposed to try to make everyone like me, aren’t I?
- I feel guilty that I am happy and others are not. Why should I be so lucky?
- I feel guilty that because I’m focusing on things that make ME happy, I’m neglecting making others happy. I feel like I’m neglecting them, even though they insist I am not.
- I feel guilty that I am not the perfect homemaker. That I don’t keep the perfect house that my mom and sisters and friends do. I am not good at it, and I want to be good at everything.
There you have it, in that last one. I want to keep a tidier house because if my house is tidier, it will show that I’m not selfish, that I’m making others happy, that I’m not neglecting anyone, that I will be closer to the picture of perfection.
Is that going to make me happy?
If the meaning of happiness is not feeling guilty, maybe.
But if in doing that, I am resentful; then I certainly can’t be happy and resentful at the same time.
And that is where the House of Cards falls down. The truth behind this month’s theme. I am not really believing in it because it is not really me. It is my guilt that is making me do it, nothing more.
I don’t really put a high happiness value on having a perfect house. Yes, I like to be able to find things. Yes, it does make me feel less guilty. But at what cost? My Happiness? My true Happiness that I’m finding?
So, let’s rethink this theme then shall we?
Maybe it should be less about a tidy house and more about finding Peace.
How can having a tidier house contribute to finding Peace?
- Being able to find things – a lot less stress for everyone
- Being able to have someone over without being embarrassed – well, seeing friends means a lot to me
- Having a peaceful, tidy, comfy home just feels good – it’s warm and inviting to curl up with a book
- Being less overwhelmed – having the huge mess seems so hard to face every day
- Having a clean kitchen – that I actually do really love. It just makes my day to come out in the morning and be able to make my coffee without having to fight with dirty dishes in the sink
- Taking care of my family and teaching them the importance of working together toward a common goal – now that is worthwhile!
So, perhaps now that the House of Cards has fallen and I’ve looked at the truth; now I can really focus on this. I can be passionate about this theme instead of being only half “in it”.
I have realized that it is not selfish of me to want to be happy. In fact, I truly believe that my increased happiness has affected those around me in a good way, not a bad way. I have not neglected anyone. They are happier because I am happy. They are inspired by my quest and I in turn am more inspired as well. I have realized that I cannot take care of anyone without taking care of myself. There is no harm in that.
I will shuffle those cards and build again.