… to my Happiness Project. By Dec. 31, 2019 I plan to be a happier person.
Although you may know me pretty well, you might not know that depression has been my life-long companion. ‘Melancholia’ I call her, an old-fashioned name for the low, dark, dim mood that weighs upon me most of the time. I’ve always done my best to keep the toxic creature well-hidden, which is why you might not know that I’m feeling low. There’s no need to spew her ugliness around in public. At home and in private, it’s a different story. Melancholia has long been the one in charge of my private life, the dictator of my mind and my mood, and no doubt of my health as well.
There’s reason enough to jettison the creature, and choose instead to be Happy.
I used to think that this chronic depression was just a symptom of my female hormonal cycle. “Bring on menopause!” I used to say, fully expecting that Melancholia would fade away along with my menses. I was wrong, darn it.
The low, dark moods remain, regardless of my aging body. What a disappointment! They are not as intense, perhaps, without the hormonal impetus, and the physical pain, but all that was actually left behind, along with the inconvenience, was the lovely relief of that other week, the week of monthly hormonal highs. More than a decade later, Melancholia still goes to bed with me, wakes me in the midst of the night, and greets me - not with a smile - in the morning. Coffee helps, I’m glad to say, but not enough.
This year, I will do my very best to unfriend the wretched habit of depression, choosing instead a new habit of being Happy.
“Oh right,” you might be saying. “Another New Year’s Resolution! Good luck with that, Elaine.”
Most of us know how well resolutions work, right? Wouldn’t it be great if we could just snap our fingers, and change our prevailing ways-of-being to something better?
Instead of struggling, we’d SNAP! Into lives where we’d reign triumphant in all our endeavors. Instead of suffering lack and limitations, we’d SNAP! into lives of prosperity and abundance. Instead of …
Well, you get the picture. Even though SNAP! doesn’t work and New Year’s Resolutions are if-y at best, I choose to believe that we do have the power to change our lives, not through resolution but through incremental shifts that accrue over time. So I’m not resolving to be happier. Instead, I’m starting a Project, the “Get Happier” experiment.
The THESIS: That small, incremental improvements over the coming months will accumulate to make me happier, until by December of 2019 I’ll be able to truly say, “I’m happier nowadays than I used to be - oh JOY!” As a scientist, I will keep in mind that this experiment may prove my Thesis to be wrong, while still expecting to be proven right. That’s what makes the experiment itself compelling and exciting!
The METHOD: One day at a time, and as often as I can, I’ll remind myself that I intend to be happier. One week at a time, or more frequently, I’ll record progress in this blog-journal.
The RECORD: Weekly, or more frequent, progress reports will be posted here, covering progress and/or setbacks in the experimental process.
NOTE: Melancholia, curse her, is trying to tell me that this won’t work, I should give it up NOW, I’m going to make a fool of myself in public by blogging about the process … and she may be right, but I intend to go forward with this anyway.
Wish me luck! Elaine
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