Project Happiness Day 29 – Family vs stress!


Status (Yesterday)

  • Meditate for 2 Minutes – No 😦
  • Write about something positive for 20 minutes – No 😦
  • 5 random acts of kindness per week  – 1/5
  • Take 3 x 30 minute walks per week – 0/3
  • Unnecessary items bought today – 0
  • Total car miles saved – 60

Project happiness has taken a bit of a back seat the last couple of days, as I have struggled with a massive load of work related stress.  Writing for 20 minutes about being happy went out of the window on Monday as all I could think about was work, and trying to fit in some extra over the bank holiday, and not let it impact my day out with my daughter.  Yesterday, I had some frank conversations with Mr EN about how I was feeling, and fortunately he is my best friend as well as husband, knows me inside out, lent me an ear, gave me the advice (and gentle verbal slap) that I needed, and just generally did all the right things. ♥  When I got home he fed me comfort food, gave me cuddles on the sofa whilst I dozed over one TV show, and then bundled me off to bed at 9pm!  I slept like a log until 4:30am, and then dozed until half 5, so a little late up even.  I think a repeat performance tonight and things will be looking much better.  Plus, he had obviously spoken to the kids who came and gave me cuddles as soon as I got in, and generally tip toed around me for the evening. 🙂

The stress is still there, but my head is clearer, and I am able (despite having just lost an hours worth of work prior to writing this) to remember how important it is to get my priorities straight, and keep myself healthy first and foremost.  No one is going to die if this software goes out with a bug.

So, I think detailing the positives for a while is doubly important right now, plus this morning I was heartened to see a ping back with someone else trying the Project Happiness!  It really perked me up to think of someone else trying the same sort of thing, and I can’t wait to see how she gets on 🙂

So here we go, my positives over the last couple of days….

Prom Dresses and vegan coffee houses

Monday was a wonderful day.  I took middle EN sprog to Birmingham to shop for her prom dress.  As her usual attire is fairly typical of teenagers around the world, and as she is very tall and not particularly graceful in general, I had trouble imaging what was going to suit her, but I needn’t have worried.  She was completely set on having a long dress, and when she started to try them on it was clear why; she looked stunning in nearly all of them 😀  The first shop we went into we saw a fabulous one which definitely had the wow factor, long, midnight blue, with a slit up the front of one leg and delicate sparkly bits over the shoulders.  However, we’d come for the day so we decided to try some more.  A silver one which she’d rejected fully but I’d persuaded her to try on with a lovely scoop neck came very close to beating the blue one, and I managed to get her fully stuck in another one with it wrapped round her face whilst I cried with laughter on the floor.  I just go weak when I laugh like that and can’t do anything, but fortunately she has a good sense of humour too 🙂

We went back and bought the original midnight blue dress, and then went for lunch at a vegan cafe I’d found online – 3 Threes Coffee Lounge.  What a find that was too!  They have only been open 2 months, and they are simply wonderful.  The staff are uber friendly, the atmosphere is great and the food is sublime.  We both had a toasted panini with sweet chlli falafel, hummus and mozarella style cheese which they made fresh for us and tasted great, and followed it with some vegan chocolate ice cream which was rich, decadent and completely indistinguishable from some of the best Italian gelato I’ve tasted :O  I meant to take a photo but had scoffed it all before I remembered.  I was so excited by all of this that I decided to have a bit of a sugar fest and bought one of their chocolate orange brownies too.  I figured it was more along the lines of research, to see if I could recreate sugar free (ahem).  The chocolate orange brownie was, in a word, divine.  Rich and gooey and makes me salivate just thinking about it!  Nom nom 🙂

I’ve made sure to leave a review, which I think counts as a random act of kindness too 🙂

Next up was shopping for shoes and necklace.  Both we found amazingly quickly, some proper Cinderella silver sparkly shoes, and a pretty necklace too.  Mission accomplished, and one very happy daughter 🙂



On another note, my meditation has come on a gear.  I have been trying to do 2 minutes of mindful breathing, counting each in and out breath up to 10, then starting from 1 again.  Each breath in and out I try to do slowly and to the max, often doing a few little extra ‘push’ exhales after I feel I have fully breathed all the way out.  This has been going very well (other than I have been getting a bit light headed during it recently), but recently I have found myself picturing a scene whilst doing it.  The scene is a landscape.  Near me is a field of golden corn, and to the rear of this is a vast lake.  The sun is always shining, although it is low in the sky, as though evening is here.  As I breath in, I can see ripples forming on the water of the lake, and heading towards me, as though my breath is the wind pulling them forwards.  As they reach the shore, the corn starts to rustle, in my mind I can hear it, and bend towards me, as my breath whispers along the top of it.  I hold my breath at the top, and it all quietens and stills, then as I exhale the scene reverses, with the corn bending away from me towards the lake, and the ripple of my breath carrying across the field, and then along the water.  I find this incredibly relaxing, and it takes all my concentration to full immerse myself in my little world, and not let anything else intrude.  I’m interested to know what others do, as I’m a relative newcomer to this.

I say relative, because as a teenager, when I went to bed I used to relax my mind and ‘look inwards’.  I don’t know how else to describe it.  My mind would then retreat inside itself and find it’s innermost corner, which was very dark, and very quiet, and very still.  It was like I’d imagine a ‘nothing’ to be.  I liked being there, but I can’t find it any more, and I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing! 🙂  Does that sound like a form of meditation?  I’m not sure?

Right, it would seem happiness wins the day.  Whilst typing this I remembered that the place where I was writing my Test Report has an autosave feature.  I’ve found where it stores drafts, and recovered 99% of what I’d done.  Whoo hoo!  Now that *is* good news 🙂

Plant (ish) based diet (yesterday) :

  • Breakfast – Crumpets with vegan marg.
  • Snack – Pitta crisps
  • Lunch – Left over home made curry with purple sweet potato! 🙂
  • Snack – The brownie I bought from the 3Threes.  Vegan but full of sugar, but totally lush.
  • Dinner – Vegan sausages, mash (hubby put *normal* butter in but I wasn’t in a fit state to argue or do anything other than say thank you) and green beans.
  • Pudding – Left over brownie that mini EN made but without the cream.

Back to work now.



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