Update: Registration for this Happiness Project is now closed. Thanks for your interest!
In military life, we know that happiness is not a destination. You don’t arrive there, unload the kids and set up camp.
Nor is happiness a Stuart Smiley kind of glassy-eyed, simpering positivity. That doesn’t work around here, either.
Instead, happiness in military life is like a grocery basket -- no matter how much you have (or don’t have) you can always fit a little more into your cart.
That’s why I was so pleased when blogger Rebecca Sanderlin hooked us up with New York Times best selling author Gretchen Rubin.
In her new book, Happier At Home, Rubin points out the conundrum of modern happiness as demonstrated by the current research. “Happy people make other people happy BUT you can’t make someone else be happy AND no one else can make you happy.”
No one else can make you happy. I think that is one of the most important lessons of military life. No program, no friend, no purchase, no child, no home, no job can make you happy. Even the most perfect servicemember in the world can’t make you happy.
Happiness is something you add to your cart yourself. But how? And how can we at SpouseBuzz help you with that?
When I called Gretchen Rubin to talk it over, she was already a fan of military spouses. Her first idea was to send a copy of her new book to all of our participants at our Spouse Experience event in Virginia Beach. Our audience loved that.
But what else could we do? How about a happiness project?
What is a happiness project?A happiness project works a little like a book club but you don’t have to read any books (unless you want to). Instead, the group gets together to set resolutions to do more of the things that truly add happiness to their own lives and the lives of our families.
Why a group instead of setting goals and going solo? Rubin says there are real advantages to getting together with others for this. She lists:
Structure and accountability. Having an appointment to focus on something makes it more likely you’ll do it, and it won’t slip to the bottom of the pile. Also, once you’ve told someone else your resolution, you’ll have someone asking whether you’re keeping it!
New perspectives and ideas. When we think by ourselves for too long, our thoughts become stale. A group reveals new insight into old issues by providing opinions, asking good questions, and listening and repeating back what they hear.
Support. People often feel isolated. Just hearing that other people may experience the same difficulties can be very reassuring. Also, while it’s helpful to receive support, providing support to others is also a powerful source of happiness.
Something fun and different. It’s fun to do something new and to meet new people -- and it’s especially rewarding when you’re talking about a topic as important and intimate as happiness.
Sounds like something new, fun and interesting, doesn't it?
Join a SpouseBuzz happiness project!Suggesting you take on a happiness project is one thing, helping you do it is another. We want to be happier people, too. So here at SpouseBuzz we are going to organize our own virtual happiness projects, and we want you to join us.
Here are the details:
For three months -- from September to November -- we will meet every-other-week in live, virtual project groups of 10 or so via Google Hangouts. You'll get to meet new friends, share your happiness goals and get inspired to make some happiness happen in your life. Meetings will be about an hour long.
Don't worry if you don't know how to use Google Hangouts -- we'll be sending out instructions that will make it easy for everyone. If you've ever done Skype you're already poised to be Google Hangout expert.
Groups will be made up of no more than 10 spouses from all walks of life. We won't be splitting the groups into service, age or anything else. This is your chance to get inspired by military spouses from all corners of the country.
This is your chance to happy-up your military life and inspire other people to do the same.
Interested? Fill out our Happiness Project form below. We'll be in touch not later than the first week of September with all the details about your group and how to use Google Hangouts (if you're a Google Hangout virgin like me).
See you there!