I recently read a book called the Happiness Project. It contained a suggestion to journal about things you are thankful for. I think the book made a worthwhile point that happiness is something you can work toward if you apply discipline to your practice of seeking happiness.
Discipline and hard work, albeit mental and emotional work, have always been part of my “day of rest.” I am still trying to figure out which spiritual tradition(s) really suit me, but I was raised going to Lutheran church on Sunday. I still go to a really amazing church in Green Bay once in a while. It’s politically progressive and performs gay marriages. People who attend are concerned about poverty, environmental degradation, and they marvel at scientific topics like astrophysics and evolutionary biology. The church library is full of Christian material, but also Buddhist, atheist, and scientific books. After service, people get together to share cookies and fair-trade coffee. It’s my kind of crowd.
So, to tie together these two topics (Happiness Project + Sunday spirituality), I will do my best to dedicate Sundays to giving thanks for things in my life. Here’s a short list for today:
1. I woke up snuggling with my 2 year old son in a cabin up north literally across the street from a national forest.
2. I woke up feeling good, almost not remembering how bad I used to feel on Sunday mornings. (see video)
3. I woke up listening to the sound of blue jays, crows, warblers, vireos, woodpeckers, and loons on the lake.
4. My wife is beautiful and has a cool tattoo.
5. I have two healthy sons and a beautiful, independent wife. I should start plugging her website and Facebook page. She’s a birth doula and her LLC is called Hello Baby. She also has a blog called Compromised, which is mostly about how my plant-eating ways are weird to her:)
6. I have three more days with students, and a fourth with just my colleagues, in my current teaching position. This position, alternative elementary special education, has been the defining job in my career. I’ve loved it, and while I am sad to leave, my departure is for a cool reason.
7. I start working my new job on Friday. We are putting together a new special school for gifted learners in downtown Green Bay. I am excited to be a part of it from the ground floor. I am hoping some of my really unique alternative ed kids get a shot at attending my new site.
8. I have begun connecting with more drug-free dads via Facebook. I think a community, even a virtual one, is a healthy boost for those of us who don’t quite fit the norm.
9. My gay friends can start getting married in Wisconsin. Props to FAIR Wisconsin and everyone else fighting for civil rights.
10. My gay friends who were married in other states now have legal standing here in the Badger State.
11. My oldest boy turned two on Wednesday and celebrated his birthday by pooping and peeing in his potty chair for the first time.