Monday, July 4, 2011

happiness project: day 1.

it seems almost redundant to say that it has been a rough, horrible week. i've cried, i've screamed, i've broken down in public. so it's time to pull myself together. after a stressful, anxious sunday, some inner catastrophe and finally a reassuring epiphany, i decided it was best to take myself offline for a while to help ease some insecurities and to instead focus on things that make me happy, that make me feel productive and accomplished, that will help complete my extensive summer goals list part 1 and part 2, that will allow for creativity, and that will have me falling more and more in love with God. so i deactivated facebook last night and even though i miss it already (ahhh, can you say facebook addict?!) i know it's the best thing for my mental state and emotional well-being.

i feel like a totally new person today. i have felt completely in the hands of God for this whole month but i'm feeling released of all the hurt i was inflicting mainly on myself by thinking so much about things. at times like these, i wish i was a guy and capable of thinking about nothing! (how do they do that!?)

not going to lie, i'm really stoked to see what i will achieve through the giving up of facebook. as disconnected as i feel, i have already spent more time with my family than i would normally, i have read more pages of my book than i would usually allow time for, and my mood and attitude at work has changed significantly because i have decided to make positive changes in my life.

here are some things i hope to improve, increase, include, and involve in my life as part of my own personal happiness project (idea stolen from this book, also here in blog form):

- finish a few novels - this is always a goal, but one that pretty much always gets neglected. not anymore. that summer reading list is about to get cut up with completion!
- read magazines - i gave up buying magazines a year ago, but i really do enjoy the idea of them, even though they are so temporary and expensive. i have three or more issues of teen vogue (yes, i subscribe to a teen magazine) and relevant that have yet to be read, and newly purchased nylon and self magazine to help inspire ideas and teach me new things
- listen to happy music - while i have made some super solid heartbreak playlists (hit me up for recommendations), i think it's time to put those away and put my "incredible worship" playlist on shuffle/repeat instead
- walk minnie with greater quantity and quality - that dog is often neglected. as cute as she is, she doesn't always get first priority. during this time i want to ensure that she gets walked more often and for longer. not only will that benefit her, but also me #winwinsituation
- learn something new - not sure what this will be yet, but i do plan on indulging more in cooking, or current event knowledge, or something of a creative subject.
- keep up to date with the news - this is what i will probably fail most at, but i think i will change my home page from google to a news site and hope that it sparks some interest to read and be educated every time i open firefox.
- take more pictures - a picture a day keeps the doctor away? not the line, but it would be kind of neat to every day make a point of shooting something of interest and posting it on here just to show what i have been thinking about, working on, or doing.
- work and make money - shouldn't be hard considering i am currently working pretty much every day.. twice..
- spend time in the Word - my plan of attack for this one is not just my own personal devotion time but i want to use the time i am cleaning the dealerships to listen to podcasts of great spiritual leaders. so far i have downloaded judah smith, andy stanley, rich wilkerson jr, elijah waters, chad veach, francis chan, lisa and john bevere, christine caine, and mark driscoll. pheww. what an extensive list! (if you have any more recommendations for me, tweet me @alliespence or comment below!)
- get some sun - i have a nice glow going but i think i'm the only one that notices it. i want to make sure to take time to be outside, appreciating the few wonderful days we get in a central-ontario summer!
- go on adventures to new places - with upcoming plans to go to the african lion safari, the grotto, bala, toronto zoo and a friend's cottage, the adventures will not a problem. i need to create memories new places with different people.
- date my parents - and if not "date" then at least hang out with. phil is included in this too.
- eat more fruit - cut up apples and baby carrots are quickly becoming my go-to snack buddies. nom nom nom!
- become a prayer warrior - i feel like i pray a lot, but i think if i prayed even more or more intentionally a lot of little things would bother me less, and it would definitely help me with the next two points...
- work for the glory of God - i need to improve my attitude at work. this has been an ongoing battle for a year now. i'm at a point where i wouldn't blame my coworkers if they didn't always enjoy working with me, sometimes i allow people's lack of common sense to make me really grumpy. i want to focus on the importance of and the call to do all things for the glory of God. if i spend more time in prayer and set my understanding on glorifying God even as i make solo grande five pump soy extra hot no water light foam tazo chais, then no doubt He will use my attitude to improve the lives, days, and experiences of those around me.
- fall head-over-heels in love with Jesus - if i have learned anything from this break-up, it's that i want to fall madly in love with Jesus before i fall "madly" in love with a man. i will never be able to find a man who can satisfy all my wants, needs, and desires if i don't know of the love that Jesus has already shown me. i wish i could accurately explain all the beauty, care, affection, longing, and love that God has revealed to me through my dating relationship between Him and i. unfortunately, i couldn't do it justice, but it has been the most wonderful, intimate spiritual experience in the midst of a heartbreaking, hurtful earthly experience. especially going into my final year of undergrad and dreaming big huge things for my life, not knowing at all where God is going to put me, i can only hope, pray, and continue investing in the relationship i have with my Saviour.

not being on facebook is a huge release and relief. yesterday i let go of the pain, blame, dissatisfaction, frustration, anxiety, and things i want to say and so now is the perfect opportunity to work on things that really matter or that will bring me joy, peace, comfort, and ultimately forgiveness.

there were so many good things in this relationship - like, my interests, ambitions and career-goals have broadened, changed and been influenced by conversations and encouragement that i'm sure will prove to be life-altering; i have learned so much from him that has strengthened my faith and increased my once-small expectations of a big God; i haven't laughed that much or that hard or that often with anyone else in my life - but then there are other things that i could not justify or be ok with for a lifetime (which is the goal). and further, God was so intentional and obvious that to deny His signs would have been straight-up disobedience, which then would have contradicted the whole motive of a dating relationship for me.

it's been a blast, and from here on out, i'm going to focus on all the positives. through this healing process, i'm going to make solid efforts to use this experience as motivation to improve what i do with my life and my time in hopes that they will not only affect me but also the lives of those around me.

if you're willing, i'd love your prayers: prayers for my present - healing, trust, guidance, forgiveness, strength - and for my future - direction, motivation, support, comfort, and faith. thank you!

did the above spark ideas for you?! if you'd like to add, encourage, or recommend something to me, tweet me @alliespence or comment below!

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