Sunday, November 6, 2011
I like research. My idea of relaxation is reading recent research reports on nutrition, parenting, health, etc. It’s an odd obsession, but I own it.
Recently in Natural Awakenings magazine there was an article titled “Economics of Happiness: The New Economy”. Basically, Americans can no longer find happiness in acquiring things because the economy tanked, so it’s been proposed that we find a new measure of happiness. The inhabitants of Bhutan use a happiness index that encompasses overall wellness and happiness, not just material wealth. They assess happiness through nine domains: physical health, time usage(work-life balance), community vitality and social connections, education, good governance, material well-being, cultural preservation and diversity, environmental sustainability, and psychological well-being.
I find this fascinating not because it’s such a new idea, but because of its ability to help the individual look at each domain and see where they are content and where they are lacking. I want to explore the idea in more depth, so for the next nine weeks I’m going to take one domain a week and look at how our family rates their happiness in each category. I will also make an action list of things to do to be happier in that domain, and by January 1st my resolutions will be complete, categorized and in writing, something that has been proven to make them more effective(the writing down part, I don’t know that categorizing helps, I’m just weird like that). I’m going to use the blog to hold me accountable so I will actually do this.
Regardless of the beatings 2011 has given, I am probably happier than I have ever been. After being a Christian over half my life, I finally realized that I can wake up and be happy everyday if I remember the price that has already been paid, that I have an eternal home, that I’m loved beyond measure and given grace even on my worst days. That doesn’t mean some days on Earth don’t’ stink; it’s just that I can still have a calm that comes from knowing some things are guaranteed. I have learned this year that some things aren’t. I have faced some of my worst fears head on. I have come out realizing I can lose everything, even people I love, though thankfully I did not this year. Coming as close as we’ve come, seeing one attack after another on the people in our homes has reminded me that in this life, I have no guarantees. Oddly, facing that fear and accepting it has allowed me to be happier because it’s released me from living in fear. It’s a weird cycle, but this year has offered a freedom I don’t think I’ve had before. I want to take advantage of finding ways to be even happier every day, take nothing for granted, and live a life with time for reflection so I am self-aware enough to make changes when necessary.
I’m going to start with physical health this week, so stay tuned and feel free to share your thoughts or progress and goals as well.
I’m also going to try to blog about our journey on the GAPS diet and how it has affected Wren’s gut healing. We’re still on the intro diet after seven weeks, but it’s been worth it. I’ll share what we’ve learned, where we failed, and how far we’ve come.
Maybe having specific topics will give me some consistency and stability in blogging. That would probably be good for my overall happiness!