I'm not sure when I started to feel lost, exactly. Maybe it was when I decided that double majoring in education and animal science wasn't a practical option. (I wasn't, to this day no one from my alma mater has finished a double major in these areas. Perhaps it was when I came home from college and quickly found myself working with some of the most challenging special education students in the area, and realized I knew a lot less than I thought. Possibly it was when I was diagnosed with a rare form of Chronic Pain Syndrome, that while now under control, had turned every aspect of my life upside down.
All I know is that, about a month ago I woke up (not in the middle of the night) to the fact that I wasn't happy. No the depressed kind of not happy. Interestingly, when I was diagnosed with CPS I was placed on an anti-depressant, which helped me manage frustration and anxiety I didn't even realize I had. I just wasn't satisfied. I found myself asking, what's wrong with me? I had no reason to be unhappy, and in reality I wasn't. My husband and I just finished renovating a house and moved back to family farmland, we had both gotten new jobs, plus, I had just finished my Master's and I had gotten a clean bill of health from my doctor on a recent visit. I should have been on air, but I wasn't.
At best, I was neutral. I think in the course of getting my degrees and being just out of college, many of the things that have historically brought me the greatest deal of happiness had either become unpleasant in some way or simply gotten put on the back burner while I worked on finishing my education. What I wanted was to find joy again, but I also wanted to find joy in a way that helped me to grow as a person. I was at the library a few days later, browsing the nonfiction section for books on effective teaching when "The Happiness Project" caught my attention. I finished it in three days, which is the fastest I have finished any pleasure reading since my senior year of high school.
The idea was mesmerizing. Gretchen Rubin had spent a year researching the psychology of happiness and applied the principles to her own life. As a result, she became a better friend, mother, and wife, and achieved much greater things in her career field as well. She kept tabs on her goals, how she was working to accomplish them, and what effects they were having on her personal happiness. Best of all her principles seem easy to follow.
So I'm jumping on this Happiness Project train, in the hopes that it will lead me to a more fulfilling life. Feel free to follow my journey, and to contribute your own ideas as well.