Below are pictures from the storm and one of me shopping in the local IKEA. I was so excited to see it listed by google as a home goods shop. What you see is the entire store.
I am curious if anyone has read “The Happiness Project“ by Gretchen Rubin? If so I would love to hear your comments.
I somehow found this book at the King County Library website and I have just checked it out for the second time. It is one of those reads I want to take slowly and savor every chapter. I am only on March and the book chronicles an entire year of one woman’s journey to become truly happy.
I know I have been offered wonderful opportunity and I don’t want this time to go to waste. I don’t want to live my life with regrets. Such as, why didn’t I take opportunities, or spend more time with kids, or laugh with my parents, travel with my sisters. Why don’t I enjoy every day instead of trying so hard to fit everything into my schedule. For years I haven’t been able to find the time to do things I need and want to do.
Now I have time. I can read a book (and I am reading several – and not just fiction this time). I can look up all those movies we have missed over the years and download them. I can finally watch Call the Midwife and I can take long walks. I have time to think and to plan.
Before I left the states I spent several weeks with a life coach and now I get weekly emails which somehow always seem to answer the question I am asking myself that week. The last newsletter she wrote about taking September as a time to relax or ‘Dolce far niente’ which is Italian for ‘sweet doing nothing.’ The deliciousness of doing nothing and saying yes to life! It sounds so simple, right? With a life of living running on high speed it is so hard to slow down. I am hard wired (as are my sisters, although they much more then I am, especially now) to work hard, all the time. We don’t know how to just sit. If we have spare time we go for hike, or plant a garden, or cook.
Having so much time on my hands is interesting. I find I have been here almost two months now and haven’t even tried to find a job, although it is always on my mind. I want to find something that I can continue to use when we return because we are a part of the growing number of boomers that will always need an income to help supplement their retirement. Which is ok because I am happiest when I am working, especially if it is something I am passionate about, I just don’t want to work too hard anymore.
Of course all that time on my hands makes me dread the big D. When I find myself lacking, and by lacking I mean not trying hard to help others; I tend to start sliding into depression and wondering if I have value, or something worthwhile to offer.
To keep myself busy I am going to take the month of September to plan my year of finding happiness. What one change can I make each month that will help me become a happier person? I only need to come up with 12 things to work on, it won’t be too hard I hope.
You can find Etka’s blog at this link: http://www.i-dci.com/blog/. If you think #18 on Dolce far niente is good be sure to check out #17.
What is happening in Hai Phong this month? Typhoon Kalmaegi landed and besides keeping us locked in the house for a couple of days we were OK. There were some trees down and power outages but Hai Phong was OK. Other area’s, not so much. We are settling in, gaining back the weight we lost while I was struggling with cooking. I am getting more comfortable with the lack of everything we take for granted in the US. We have found some OK wine and a place where we feel comfortable buying meat. We are settling in and becoming more comfortable in our surroundings. I am volunteering to help teach two English classes, one a group of women expats and another is a business college. It sounds like I might get to plan a couple of fund raisers, one for a blind school and one for a music class at an orphanage. But really, most of time I am learning how to have peace with dolce far niente.Read More