Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What makes me unhappy?

Totally stole this post idea from Sarah, who is using it to help define her happiness project goals. I agree that its a good exercise...figure out what really sucks the joy out of your life and try to minimize those things. My list probably has a lot of overlap with hers, given the universal nature of some of these items (is there anyone that LIKES wasting money?)

I'm going to expand my list to also include things that make me anxious or irritable, since I tend to feel those more than I feel "unhappy". Basically a "what makes me feel bad?" list.
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Clutter
  • Conflict
  • Feeling that I'm not meeting another's expectation (marriage, work, mothering, extended family)
  • Feeling frumpy
  • Losing things 
  • Having things hanging over my head
  • Loneliness 
  • Feeling left out
  • Missing out on (fun) things because of childcare issues
  • Being rushed
  • Being late
  • When others complicate plans
  • Impromptu changes in plans 
  • B's howling/hitting/screaming meltdowns
  • Sickness in immediate family
  • Inability of focus
  • Wasting time (specifically on the internet)
  • Wasting money 
  • Disorganization (myself or others)
  • Too much noise
  • Not exercising
  • Unhealthy eating (for more than one or two meals)
  • Yelling (myself or others)
  • Lack of any plans on weekends
  • Not leaving the house all day
Hmmm. Looking over this, it seems that many of these issues arise as the result of poor planning. Calendars and to-do lists to the rescue!!


  1. OMG, that is so my list. I think I will not look at it anymore. LALALALALAA. Going to my peaceful happy place.

  2. scanning this, i think a regular babysitter (perhaps 2-3 hours every weekend?) would help you with a bunch of these!

    and, as i've written, totally with you re: internet time wasting. i'm gradually paring my reader down, down, down and am contemplating ways to regulate my use more -- picking one time of day to read my faves, implementing a tech-free day (saturday??), etc.

    1. The regular babysitter is life-changing IMO. (Or if you can swing it, a day when the kids go to daycare and you take the day off - I think you were doing this, or thinking about it?)

      I've been doing this for a few months now, thanks to Laura Vanderkam, just 3 hours every other week, Friday afternoon, and it helps, both in getting *stuff* done, but also just in general happiness - I have a "me time" or "date time" to look forward to. (Sometimes hubby ditches work early and we grab a late lunch/early bird special dinner, etc.)

      Something about it being a standing date makes it so much easier than specifically finding a babysitter for a certain time.

  3. Lol... I would borrow this idea for a post, but I would just have to cut and paste the entire list! With one big addition- my job. Almost all aspects of my work make me unhappy. Unfortunately, the job market in my field is pretty much saturated, so I'm stuck where I am for now... but I'm certainly trying to find ways to make the best of it. And that's how we have to deal with unpleasantness in our lives, isn't it? Control what we can. Love this- it's made me think...

  4. Well, that's a depressing list! I would have to agree with almost all of them. But it's so long, it is hard to think about how to cut down on it all. You're right about calendars & to-do lists, but sometimes it's hard to stay on top of those.

  5. Ah yes, planning! It really does help!

  6. Gosh, that's exactly the same as my list of things I TOTALLY LOVE!

    I love the different scales--some things are totally impossible to fix (like feeling frumpy. There's just no way in the world to never feel frumpy again, am I right?), others are more manageable.

    I think it would be brilliant if mere planning could fix all of them. I guess that's not what you're claiming, but you're brilliant at time management, so if you can't achieve a perfect life via planning, there's certainly no hope for me.

    1.'re kidding right? About A) Loving these things and B) "brilliant at time management"? Totally kidding, right? I am still awaiting with bated breath your post on how you manage to be so productive on your 32 hours a week at work. Though I'm sure it involves not spending lunch commenting on your own blog....