Tuesday, March 02, 2010

HomeValley's Happy Marriage, and Other Things

I find myself frequently wishing for more hours in the day.

There is just so. Much. To. Do. And Ninja's birthday is looming. LOOMING! If the impact of this child's startling kicks are any indication, he/she is already five pounds. If this baby makes it to 40 weeks (oh my God, or BEYOND), it will be 6'8" at the time of delivery.


I started The Happiness Project this weekend. Have you heard of it? The author, Gretchen Rubin, spent a year trying to make herself happier, with a new focus each month. It's interesting, and often enlightening. On Sunday afternoon I spent some time reading paragraphs about marriage aloud to J.

"Oh, we should be hugging for at least 6 seconds, babe. That 'is the minimum time necessary to promote the flow of oxytocin and seratonin, mood-boosting chemicals that promote bonding.'"

"Who are you talking to?" my husband asks. J lurves hugging. We would hug all day, everyday, if it were up to him. At least now I have a goal: hug husband for at least six seconds for optimum success.

"Well, marriage expert John Gottman calls these behaviors the 'Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:' stonewalling, defensiveness, criticism, and contempt. Hmm. What is stonewalling?"

"Don't know - shutting people out?"

"Do we do that?"



"Well, we are never guilty of contempt," I mutter gratefully.

"Oh no!" I continue. "Apparently marital satisfaction drops substantially after the first child arrives. Ninja!" I look down at my bulbous belly. "Why are you going to ruin EVERYTHING?"

The truth is, I am utterly fascinated by the idea of self-improvement. And so I embark AGAIN on making sure I take each and every resolution seriously this year. J gives me credit; he says I am improving in most facets of domestic life.

But I am an overachiever. So come on, y'all. You know I am going to write more lists. I live for lists. I pull out my yellow legal pad.

  1. List all of my "nagging" tasks (those shitty, thankless jobs that I avoid like the plague). Now DO them. (Yes, my first point on my list is to make another list. I'm awesome.)
  2. Begin reading that blogging book I bought months ago.
  3. 14 nights sans TV at bedtime. In hotels as well! This is an experiment. (Two nights down!)
  4. One-minute rule (courtesy of author Rubin): if it will take under a minute, put it away.
  5. Ten minutes of tidying each night (courtesy of Rubin) before bed. (I mean, if I learned nothing else from Danny Tanner? A clean home is a happy home.)
  6. Unless I am in the middle of a project and have BANNED all interruptions, I cannot screen two consecutive calls.
  7. 14 days of 1 hour of television per day (Two days down!)
  8. Recommit to exercise through remainder of pregnancy (have you seen your cellulite OHMYGOD). At least 20 minutes of walking per day, 6 days per week. (One day down!)
  9. 14 days of journaling, every day. (Two days down!)

I must say, I have felt awfully tired these last few days, but perhaps that is just the third trimester. I am also a little blue about being in Pittsburgh through Thursday, when I really want my own bed, my own cozy home and husband.

But I try to remember that I will not always travel, and when I don't? I'll ache for it.

So what say you, audience? I am the only one compulsively making lists and compiling pages and pages of tasks to get done all inf the name of self-actualization? Or am I - gasp - "nesting?"


Sarah said...

i'd air on the side of "nesting" but i'm a list girl myself so who knows ...:P

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