sleeping and smiling. my life, in a nutshell: 2012

10 02 2012

i can’t believe i let this lapse! oy ve. last we chatted, it was june. and what’s changed? oh, a lot and a little and nothing at all. still the same ol’ silly jamesly. still in love with life and having a blast.

i’ve read some really great books lately, among them being The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. i didn’t know what this book would do for my quote-unquote *happiness* but it seemed an interesting premise… this woman devoted a year to resolutions that would increase her happiness, even though she considered herself a fairly happy individual already… like myself. but, there’s always room for self-improvement, yes?

after reading this book, there two major areas i wanted to work on, and i have: get enough rest, and smile at people more. they’ve both been life-changing SIMPLE acts that i hope choose to stick around in my lovely little life.

i’ve gotten used to sleeping, on average, 6 hours a night for as long as i can remember. it was bound to catch up with me at some point, and i believe in the past year it did. i decided, starting in january, that i would attempt to actually get 8 hours of sleep a night (since studies say 8 is most beneficial, even if you want to stay in bed for 12… tempting…) and see what it could do for me. it’s actually been almost 5 weeks now that i’ve gotten close to this beloved magical 8 hours a night, and let me tell you it has changed my life. i am not a morning person at all, and extra sleep hasn’t changed that – but it has changed the way i view mornings. i am much more awake when i get to work at 7am and can actually withstand small talk and conversation before noon. i only need my one cup of coffee in the morning. i rarely feel exhausted anymore – i thought that was normal, i guess – and i actually know i have a “bedtime” and pay attention to it. amazing! it’s been nice so far because i haven’t had much going on in the evenings since the holidays (my hibernation months, winter), but i can see it getting to a problem when concert season ramps up, and when summer comes along. ah well – f0r now, it’s working wonders 🙂

the smiling thing happened because of the simple truth that, in order to be happy, you should make others happy. when others are happy, you are happy. seems so simple when put that way, yes? i used to look down when i passed people in the hall because most people don’t respond to friendly hellos, even if this is the south, and let’s face it, i don’t hand out my friendly hellos like candy. but *what if* i did… right? i don’t know if it was this book or just the seed of thought in my head, but because i love people so much (i really really do), i laugh a lot on the inside. i decided to push that energy outside of me and smile at everyone i pass. very outside of my comfort zone, but since i started it, it’s become addictive. i’m now that girl that smiles and gives a friendly hello even if you don’t know her. but i also see how people react. some people react like i used to – looking down and smiling shyly. some people do what i’m doing right back at me – and it inspires me. and some people look on in amazement, like – is she talking to me? and that’s what makes me happy. these little smiles, possibly making a difference in people’s lives. i like to think so, anyway. i’ve spent my whole life trying to make other people happy, one because it’s in my nature, and two because i really enjoy it. so why stop?

happy friday, anyone who reads this. have a fabulous weekend. i need to write more often 🙂