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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Happiness Inspired?

Oasis Lifestyle:

Who needs inspiration? Me!!

I inspired myself this week by planting a little kitchen garden of sweet peppers, grape tomatoes, basil, cilantro, recao, golden marigold, and purple inpatients. It was a quick project because I planted it in a large pot and set it on the patio wall which overlooks the central mountains of Puerto Rico.
After reading a few pages from The Happiness Project a new memoir by Gretchen Ruben, I joined the website so that I receive inspiration on a regular basis. (!) I have also joined a time management site so that I can cut down my stress level.
~Are you feeling overwhelmed?~

Lately, I have been overwhelmed with tasks and stress, which has made me solution-oriented. I want to write a little about this problem. Just to keep it manageable, I have identified three common areas where we can be overwhelmed; work, finance and family. In my case- all three overlap.


What makes us happy at work? I found this John Ruskin quote at "The Happiness Project" website:

In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it. They must not do too much of it. And they must have a sense of success in it.--John Ruskin (Ruskin is mentioned in Enchanted April- a must-read about love and reconciliation!)

[photo credit/painting by Sir John Everett Millais]

Makes sense?! What gives you a feeling of success at work? Is it recognition? trust? validation?

Does that affirming sensation have to come from the outside or can we give it to ourselves? I'm not going to answer these questions because I think Ruskin's wise comment is enough for now. However, I'm sending out a gentle suggestion that we learn to validate ourselves-to notice the good that we often do for others. We are all connected in some way. Our work extends our connection and can be employed to uplift others.

@Finance and family (I'm giving this problem breathing room. No solutions offered!)

It is not how much one makes but to what purpose one spends. --John Ruskin

Recently, I bought a pocket size black Cash Book. I thought I would like to record expenditures there. It's not going well. I just haven't been able to record what I spend. One day passes and then another, and I still forget to record purchases. I tell myself, "I will have to start again on payday." I refuse to admit that I just don't care enough about money. I like to say "yes" when the children ask, "Could you pay me back for... I had to spend my own money for a book, a ticket, a ..."; and "Could you give me a little money for...lunch, going out, just in case...". I think they are reasonable in their requests. I don't like to say no.
My poor little Cash Book is neglected, yet again.

I'm seriously flooded with memories of that powerful money management book, Your Money or Your Life. (Vicki Robin, et al.) Have you read it? It teaches you to recognize your own spending patterns and identify the feeling of enough. It's been updated but I'm thinking of the first version. I have a strong memory of the authors celebrating the fact that they were able to wear a pair of shoes for a few years!

Weakness? I buy shoes... often. (I'm feeling a bit of guilt. I'm still looking for that perfect pair.) My parents were frugal. Yes, frugal. As a child, I could not bring myself to ask for anything because I dreaded the inevitable, "No." Concerning my own money management-or lack of-my working theory is that I am now overcompensating with "yes" but it's under control. (If only I could verify my expenditures...poor little Cash Book-we need another reconciliation.)
~My New Sandals~

I love these stress relieving shoes. I recently purchase another pair at the local health food store. If you want to relax and increase your energy, you might try these sandals. Still, I must caution you that they cause some soreness while you become accustomed to the pressure. (A bit like a bed of nails?- no, just rubber nails!-ouch!)

reflexology health shoes -Mine cost about $20 but the link here has a pair for under $4 See how I'm trying to lessen my guilt by inviting you to spend money? Shame on me! :-) ...sigh...I should have waited to buy my shoes. What is my weakness? I don't comparison shop and I seek immediate gratification. (Note: these are insights for my little neglected Cash Book.)


There is a delightful scene in Enchanted April-the movie-where Lottie is suppose to record every cent in her own little cash book. I remember her husband, Mr Wilkins, asking her, "You are recording every cent you spend in that little book I gave you?" She replies, "Even the flowers." (He considers flowers a waste of money because they die.) Lottie does a much better job of record-keeping than me- even if she does waste money on charity and flowers! (Mr. Oasis is not involved in my money management project.)

As I'm on Lottie's side, I want to leave you with a pot full of tiny purple lantana flowers. (I think they are a lantana variety.)

Have a lovely week!

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