I remember the exact moment my friend Katey looked me in the eye and said "Kris, it's okay to feel sad and overwhelmed. It's not okay to ignore the fact you're sad and overwhelmed."
And to be fair, I don't think I was even sad. Overwhelmed, yes. Oh my God yes. I was back at work in one of the most stressful jobs there is (seriously, even Forbes agrees) after having my first child. I was still adjusting to life with my husband's three dogs after moving in the year before. THEY ALL SHED...and I have pretty terrible OCD. I was struggling to feel like myself again after giving birth. Every time I got into a rhythm at the gym, going 3-4 days a week, my daughter would get sick from all the gym germs and we'd be housebound again. It felt like a never-ending spiral of vacuuming, freaking out about the house, hating the image in the mirror and guilt that I wasn't as "on" at work as I used to be (after sleeping only 5 hours a night, go figure.)
My daughter with our police K9 Bear, one of our three (very sheddy!) dogs. Is sheddy a word?...sure.
You see, I'm a "nightsider" at my TV job. I work 2-11 and I've always loved my wonky schedule because when I was childless, it meant sleeping in until 8:30, going to the gym, making my lunch and dinner and a full hour to shower and get TV ready before getting to work early to get a jump on stories.
Now, I get to bed around midnight or one a.m. and wake up with the baby since my husband works overnights as a police officer. I'm lucky she's a good sleeper most of the time, but I'm also lucky if I get 6-7 hours of sleep tops.
All that to say, I WAS LOST. New life. New baby. New hormones. Ugh.
So that day I found myself venting on a couch with a fellow news friend, I knew I needed help. I'm aware of how amazing professional therapists are, but I've always hesitated to spend the time or money finding one I like. Instead, I asked my friend if she had any other suggestions to dig myself out of this slump I was in.
"The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin," Katey said immediately. "Read it. Download it to listen to in the car. Whatever it takes, just do it." I immediately went home and figured out how to download audible books (I'm like the world's worst technology person, btw) and BOUGHT THE DAMN BOOK.
Guys. Freaking life-changing. Not in a "find a new religion" or "meet your spouse" kind of way. I already got that stuff covered. No, totally life-changing in that the book focuses on making DAY TO DAY changes. The little things you can change in your habits and your thinking to just MAKE LIFE BETTER. I'm working on my goals now...first off, tackle a nagging task.
So for my own version of the happiness project, I'm starting with my house. The house is both a place I love and value, and a place that brings me insane amounts of stress. First things first, I knew I needed to redecorate. Everything I owned was from my old house, an old marriage (my ex had picked out a lot of the stuff, I didn't even particularly like it) and my "old" self. That is, me in my 20s lol.
So for my own, Kris Betts' Happiness Project, I'm starting from the ground up. New furniture, new paint, new knickknacks. (I'm loving greys, golds and blues.) I'll post the photos when we're done. Right now, I'm at work on my dinner break between newscasts while my poor husband and teenage nephews labor away with paintbrushes at home. I so owe them pizza.
I'll continue to post my Happiness Project lessons, goals and challenges on here as they evolve. I've got some good stuff in the pipeline and I hope it can encourage you to find even more happiness in your own life. Sharing is caring, right? :)
The "before" of my living room. I had this pool table &furniture from my old house and painted our new house with a gold/tan color. I HATE IT. I sold the pool table, took down the KCCO sign and got rid of all the rugs/pillows. It's SO NICE to start fresh! Pics to come!