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I lied.

So, I haven’t updated in two weeks.  I was attempting to have weekly posts, I said I would have weekly posts, but I lied; I just haven’t had anything to say.

I devote a lot of my worth to moving forward, so standing still is hard. And admitting I am standing still is equally unpleasant.

I am in the process of re-reading Flourish, and The How of Happiness.  I really actually need to get further into a book I purchased called, “The Happiness Trap.”  Hopefully reading will give me the needed momentum. 

Things to work on:

Laughing

Flow/ Meditation

Learning/ self betterment

I hope to have some more input in a week.  Right now, I have no wisdom, no secrets, just a head of dirty hair that needs a wash before bed. 

Grit

This week I experienced some set-backs; well, disappointments is a better phrase.  All is okay.  These disappointments were in others and not myself.  Spending time feeling negative and dwelling on the actions or inactions of others will not enhance my life.  Appreciating the people in my life and taking actions that build my esteem…pride are a better route. 

Onward and upward.

"Grit is perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Our research suggests that grittier individuals accomplish very difficult challenges."- Authentichappiness.com

I took the Grit survey:scored a 3 on a 1-5 scale.

raison d’etre

"There is one thing which gives radiance to everything.  It is the idea of something around the corner." -G.K. Chesterton

"What do you want to be?"
This is a question children get asked on a daily basis.

Most would say this inquiry demands a response detailing career aspirations, and most of the time that is the response given. But, another way this question can be viewed is, “Who do you want to become?”  

It is a standard expectation for young people to have goals and plans on moving towards their future aspirations, but when was the last time you thought about your mother’s, father’s, grandmother’s aspirations?

Does it make sense to assume that adults have no hopes or plans for their future?

Recently I achieved a long-term goal; I got my Master’s degree and became a Physicians Assistant.  One would think I was excited to have finally achieved a major goal, but I was actually deflated; “What next? There has to be more to my life than being a P.A….?”  I couldn’t further my career as a P.A. once I had become a P.A.; school and working towards a career had always been my goals, so what was I supposed to do now?

Goals.  I needed a new set of goals.  My goals are always evolving, but the important thing is the direction and purpose that working towards these goals gives me.

As it turns out, I was engaging in a “happiness exercise” all along, goal setting.

Committing to goals adds life purpose, structure, sense of self, and self esteem.

Now for the scary part…where I publicly commit myself to my goals…

Short-term

Blog and continue these happiness and well being exercises.  Continue to further my self education in Positive Psychology.

Become Fluent in French.  Save and Travel to Paris in May 2013.

Lose 7-10lbs by October.  (this sounds easier than it is)

Work on becoming an advice columnist.  This will involve in building a website.  The website will be built within the next 4-6 months. (this is a deadline I am setting for myself.)

Have unique experiences.

Find a satisfying relationship.

Long Term:

(pending)

Early June doom.

I fell out of routine and sorts in the past week.  Work and convenience were distractions from blogging. So, here I am back to putting pen to paper and fingers to keyboard. 

  There is no rosy-hued tone for tonight, only resolutions.   Some activities and exercises to be accomplished this week: I plan to make long-term goals, short term goals, and do two things each day to work towards said aspirations. Progress towards new purposes provides a sense of deeper meaning which makes a big impact on my well-being. 

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Actions I took today to improve my overall level of happiness:

1) Planned events to look forward to. (A small party entertaining friends, and bought tickets to see Two Door Cinema Club tomorrow with a friend.)

2) Reminded myself of purpose. (Duh, this blog…see above.)

3) Exercised and kept with my dietary and workout routine despite my fatigue and poor mood.

The wake she’ll never wake-up from.

This week my grandmother died.  She was better known to my sister and I as “Grandmere”.  She wasn’t a typical grandmother. Hugs were slim, praise was scarce, most of my life I wasn’t sure if I was the granddaughter she wanted.  She was still my Grandmere and the only mother my father had ever known.  She died after a 16 month battle with lung cancer.  May 23rd, my father’s 66th birthday.  At first it’s easy to be angry at death.  ”Why did she have to be taken?”, or “Why could she not be that prototypical touchy feel-y grandmother?” But, I find peace with optimism. This is one of the happiness exercises, seeing good in what can be taken as bad…the half-full glass. 

  It is unfortunate she passed, but at least we knew…which is a lot more than most others are granted; time to spend with her, time to be there for her, time for her to show us that we did indeed matter to her.  

 I met my parents at her house on Mother’s day; apparently this was a good day for her.  She wasn’t in a haze from the pain medication.  She knew who we were and even managed to get out of bed for 20 minutes to eat lunch with us.  That day I sat with her as she lay in her bed and hugged her; she held on to me for sometime…at least 5 minutes.  I told her I loved her and for the first first and last time she said, “I love you Brooke.”

 While death is a horrible event, at least I had that time with her and she with us.  She did not suffer greatly, and she got to chose how she left this world…her way. 

R.I.P. JoyAnn Brooks DuLong.

P.S. Yes, I am named after her maiden name. Brooks…Brooke. 

Questionaire

I took the VIA Survey of Character Strengths.  

What does knowing ones character strengths do?  Knowing strengths and ones own uniqueness does help guide with decision making and sense of purpose.  

Here is a link to the survey:

http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/Tests/SameAnswers_t.aspx?id=310

These were my test results.


Your Top Strength

Humor and playfulness
You like to laugh and tease. Bringing smiles to other people is important to you. You try to see the light side of all situations.

Your Second Strength

Capacity to love and be loved
You value close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated. The people to whom you feel most close are the same people who feel most close to you.

Your Third Strength

Creativity, ingenuity, and originality
Thinking of new ways to do things is a crucial part of who you are. You are never content with doing something the conventional way if a better way is possible.

Your Fourth Strength

Social intelligence
You are aware of the motives and feelings of other people. You know what to do to fit in to different social situations, and you know what to do to put others at ease.

Your Fifth Strength

Hope, optimism, and future-mindedness
You expect the best in the future, and you work to achieve it. You believe that the future is something that you can control.

At least I have toilet paper.

Morning, 5:21am to be exact.  I wake with the rumblings of a headache in the works.  I argue with the snooze button and force myself begrudgingly out of bed.

It’s gloomy outside.  I’m gloomy inside.

I don’t need to be fully awake to realize I am in bad mood.

This is the perfect time for me to practice distraction through gratitude.

I don’t want to work today; I’d rather sleep and watch re-runs of Law and Order.  I point out to myself I am lucky to have a job…better than that, I have a career and one I love. Reminding myself of this provides enough energy to get ready and out the door for my 40 minute commute to work.

I turn out of my neighborhood and cue up at the traffic light.  Still ruminating on minor things from the previous day, I look to my right where there is a crowded bus stop of people getting off to work. I stop myself from furthering the self pity cycle and count my fortune to have a good, reliable car and the ability to afford convenient transportation.

Twenty minutes into my commute I drive over a major bridge in Tampa Bay; I make sure to appreciate the sereneness and beauty of the wide expanse water that I get to enjoy during my daily drives; after all, not everyone gets to live near the water in a state known for sunshine.

I arrive at work and manage to start my work day in a better mood.

Blessings and fortune are abundant in my life, but even if they weren’t there are still a 1,000 things taken for granted on a daily basis.  I know that if circumstances were to change, on a bad day I could still be grateful…grateful for toilet paper.

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