I celebrated my 42nd birthday last weekend. And despite all the popular culture and conventional wisdom informing me that I shouldn't admit to that—42—I just did. Because I am not ashamed of the woman I have become, and that woman has been 42 years in the making....
How it Went: Month 1 of the Happiness Project
One of the things that led me to back to blogging was engaging in a new happiness project. The first month (January, and yes, I'm behind on things) was about self-knowledge, and I found it so rewarding to spend some time sitting with and thinking about myself. Now, four months later, I'm still gaining from the insight of the work I did back then, and honestly, even if I ended the project now, it would have been worth it for the experience of that first month.
The month fit in well with a resolution I made for my 41st birthday the previous September (ever celebrated a birthday in quarantine during a pandemic while wildfires raged not far from your home? There wasn't much celebrating). In the quiet of the days surrounding my birthday—apocalyptic hellscape that it was—I vowed to connect with myself over the next year. I know, I know, the least interesting thing a middle-aged, middle-class white woman can vow to do. But after years mothering young children and a year of rebellion from it, it was time to settle into something...else. Something closer to me....
Do You Have Any Family Sayings?
Several months ago, I was scrolling the Instagram very late at night—as one does—and came across a post by a dear friend that stopped me in my tracks, stopped me in my scrolling, stopped my breathing, maybe even made my heart stop for a beat or two....
Happiness Project: January: Self-knowledge resolutions
Starting a happiness project is all the easier when someone does the legwork for you. Freed from having to think too much about it, it was easy to get started on January's theme of self-knowledge by picking up a handful of suggestions from Gretchen and throwing in a couple resolutions of my own.
The idea behind starting the year-long project with the theme of self-knowledge was to get closer to identifying the things that make *me*, Jodi Elliott, happy. The more insight I have into myself, the better I can arrange a year's worth of resolutions that are actually meaningful to me—not stock platitudes or goals that meet some outer "should", but concrete actions that will help me to manifest my me into the world, whatever that looks like at 41 with three kids (!!!) and a husband and a life in the Pacific Northwest.
So what are the actions that I thought would bring the most insight into myself for this journey of happiness?...
Happiness Project Redux
In my previous post, I mentioned that I'm endeavoring a Happiness Project again. I've written a lot of background about happiness projects, and why I find the idea meaningful—as opposed to mere frivolity––so I won't go into that again now. This time, though, due to some Black Friday margarita drinking*, I'm actually doing the official course led by Gretchen Rubin.
It's been wonderful—I dare say life-changing—so far....
A Soft Restart
Here we go again.
A confluence of minor life events—a card we sent out, a drunken email I wrote to a popular website, the launching of a new happiness project—led to the unbearable, inevitable sentiment that I have to start doing this again. I want to start doing this again....
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What Have You Been Thinking About Lately?
Dear readers—I wonder, what have you been thinking about lately? What is on your mind, what are the questions you keep coming back to? What are the situations you can’t solve? Who are the people you’re loving? Do you find yourself pondering different questions in the darkness of winter?
Missing My Dad, Three Years Later
My dad passed away three years ago today. We were still living in Sweden; I was five months pregnant with Zoë. It was late evening when my mother called, the sea and sky outside our windows dark. I felt helpless, and so far away from everything that mattered.
A Life-Changing Way to Create Community
Years ago, when I was in the midst of an impromptu solo road trip around the West Coast, I was Couchsurfing (that's a real thing!) in Vancouver, B.C. at the home of a wonderful man called Simon. Simon is a life coach and a magnificent person, and he had this knack for flipping my world...
The Surprising Uses of Melancholy: Watercolor Painting and Reading Poetry
I may have mentioned that I went through a spate of melancholy recently. 😉 The good news it that I'm through it; the better news is that I got a lot out of it.