The Happiness Project continued

Earlier I mentioned that I read Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, which inspired me to purge my closet, donate everything I could spare, and attempt to clear a few square inches on my desk downstairs. Encouraged by my success, I took another step forward and completed delayed maintenance projects that have been pending, literally, for years:

I called the fence company to repair the gate that hasn’t worked since the day it was built ten years ago, and now swings back and forth without sticking.

A stone wall in our back yard is studded with colorful tiles I’ve accumulated during various sojourns to Guatemala. In 2011, I bought a tile with my initial “J” woven around a jaguar, but never got around to mixing the cement needed to add it to the group. For two years, that tile has been sitting in a brown paper bag in a drawer in the kitchen. Last week, after a few failed attempts, I affixed it to the stone. Yippee!

I hired someone to repair our “drip” watering system—in our desert state of California, we water our gardens with thimbles full of H2O instead of sprinklers–which has revived the yellow flowers that are visible from our kitchen window, that I look at every time I wash dishes, or load or unload the dishwasher, or toss scraps into the compost, which is often. Yay!

Perhaps motivated by my activity, Tim and Mateo trimmed back our ever-expanding stand of bamboo (the kids use it as a fort), a job bigger than it sounds.

Tim and I took advantage of the “free” pick-up by our sanitation company (we pay for it) and emptied the load of stuff hidden under the deck. This hauling-out-from-under could be accomplished only while the kids were at school because anything they see leaving the house is the thing they suddenly must have.

Followed the advice of one of my Facebook friends, I no longer exit any room in our house without taking with me something to recycle, launder, or trash.

We’ve made great strides on the de-clutter and organizing fronts, which does in fact make me feel more in control and thus happier.

Which leads to my Gratitude List:

I’m grateful that sometimes, when I’m driving the kids around, and we’re listening to the pop music station that they love, a song by Adele suddenly will emanate from the radio. If you follow pop music, you know Adele currently is “out of the rotation,” and thus her songs get little airplay. But occasionally the DJ will take pity on listeners who miss her, and spin “Rolling in the Deep” or “Someone Like You,” and Adele’s throaty, earthy, passionate voice fills the car, and I’m grateful that such a gorgeous sound exists and I’m alive to hear it.

I’m grateful that, when asked to fill out his “All About Me” poster, in the section titled “I Wish,” Mateo wrote: “I wish I could live in the library so I could read books all the time.”

This past weekend, I flew down to San Diego to visit with my parents, who are aging and can no longer travel, and one of my sisters and my brother, who live nearby, came over for lunch. My sister brought pulled pork sandwiches and baked beans, with a homemade chocolate cake for dessert, and we ended the marvelous meal by singing ”Happy birthday” to my brother.  My entire stay with my folks felt like a great and wonderful gift, for which I am very grateful.

Finally, I’m grateful to have a friend to walk with once a week, another adoptive mom who understands me and my family and our joys and challenges. With her, I don’t need to hold back or edit or fear I will be judged. The rest of the week, that one hour of walk and conversation sustains me. Thank you, friend. Thank you. ~




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