June's Resolution for my Happiness Project is Friendship. I wanted to focus on Friendship during the summer when I have access to most my friends. This month is about spending time with friends, but it's also about organizing my life so staying in touch the rest of the year is easier.
This will include reaching out for big moments (birthdays, graduations, times of excitement and times of mourning) and calling or writing more regularly. To simplify I will be adding friends' birthdays to my online calendar, which will remind me to drop them a line or give them a call. I also plan on saying a "quick hello" any time someone is on my mind. Either with a call or text message or a card in the mail. Whatever feels appropriate. And while I'm in town, I will be making dates to see as many friends as possible in person!
Reading The Happiness Project has taught me so much about happiness and unhappiness. (Obviously!) But one of the most surprising things is that I really am in charge of my own happiness. If my expectations are appropriate and/or made clear, I am less likely to be let down and therefore upset. A large part of happiness is minimizing expectations and accepting things as they come.
INCREASE PERSONAL FLEXIBILITY:
In addition to minimizing expectations, I want to increase my personal flexibility. This mostly means for me being flexible with my schedule. I tend to be what my mom refers to as a "Schedule Nazi", which is sadly quite appropriate. :) But this summer I have decided "happiness trumps timeliness" (think we can stitch that on a pillow?) and if we're having fun, I am going to do my best to ignore the clock and let life happen. It's a little scary, but mostly it's freeing!!!
Practicing grace means giving my friends the benefit of the doubt. Something they said hurt my feelings? What was their intent? Would they hurt me on purpose? No. Let it go! They were late to our date? Do they hate me and not value my friendship? No. Let it go! Practice grace, forgive and move on. After all, there is only love.
Of all the goals for improving my friendships, I believe this will prove most challenging. Accepting help, accepting love, accepting gratitude and accepting compliments are all very difficult for me. I know how much I love helping my friends, but I struggle to let them help me. I know how beautiful my loved ones are, but I struggle to accept when they tell me that I'm beautiful. Accepting compliments, help and love with grace is something I am going to work on, though, because I know how much joy being part of a friendship can bring.
BE PART OF THE COMMUNITY:
This is particularly of value in my friendships in Alaska. We need each other up there unlike I have ever needed a friend. The sense of community we have is so beautiful. Contributing however I can and being helpful is an important part of being a friend, and an important part of life in a rural village. This is something I will work on during the rest of the year, when I am up there.