Happiness Project Update 16: Pantene Moments During Crunch Time

8 Nov

“Who is she to talk about happiness when everything in her life is fine?”

She asked the question and I thought about it. And yeah … when I started this whole Happiness Project it did cross my mind. I thought yeah … Gretchen Rubin should be happy. She’s got everything she wanted … everything I wanted, what’s up with her? She doesn’t need any more happiness. She’s got surplus. I could use some. I’ve got deficit … in the trillions.

Yeah it did cross my mind. But as I continued reading and got to the end of  the “Be Serious About Play,” Chapter she brought up a good point:

“Are you more likely to think about happiness — and take action to try to build happiness — when everything in your life is going well, or when you’re facing a catastrophe?”

Dude. Everyone could use happiness, when you’re at the bottomless pit of crappiness you need it. When you’re happy you need to realize that you have it and you should do everything you can to maintain it.

Everybody’s answer is different.

After reading all the responses at the end of that chapter, I realized that for me, it’s a combination of both. I think about happiness during my mid-life malaise and when I have my Holy-Crap moments. On most days I have small moments of happiness … I hear a great song, I dance in the living room, I post on my blog, I eat a great piece of chocolate, I sit in the quiet of the night, or I watch an awesome episode of Sons of Anarchy, Mad Men, or Breaking Bad. They’re not ever-lasting moments, but I enjoy them while they last.

Image via Happiness-Project.com

Then on some days, like when I accomplish triathlons and Warrior Dashes, when I get seven hours of uninterrupted sleep, when I have pizza-making night with my kids, a girls-night out with my friends, or Halloween-athons with the family, these moments last a lot longer. Sometimes the entire day or the whole night and even though I’m tired, weary, or exhausted, I’m so grateful for the day-long happiness — for the Guat smile, for the Guat laughter.

Most of this gratefulness stems from surviving all the crappiness that’s come my way. And since I haven’t had many happiness marathon moments, I tend to really appreciate and savor them when they come.

I recognize them when they happen. It’s like having a bad hair day six days in a row and then on the seventh day, you look like a Pantene model, with soft-silky hair. You remember when this happens.

You try to bank these days.

“It’s like saving money, you can’t save for when you get laid off, or after you get laid off; rather you have to save while you have a job and the money is still coming in. Life is like that, you have to DO while you are able to think of what you want, what you like, what needs it will fill, how it will enhance your life, how it will help you to maintain you, so that you have some reserves when crunch time comes.”

Crunch time. It’s all about trying to have your Pantene moment, or remembering a Pantene moment, when Crunch Time happens. That’s one of the lessons I learned from this chapter. You think about getting happiness when you’re going through a catastrophe, and you’re grateful for happiness when it comes. Or at least that’s the goal.

But I’m also learning what specific things make me happy. In this chapter finding out what “fun” meant for me was a nice holy-crap moment. I mean I already knew what I thought was fun, I was just reminded that other people’s idea of “fun” was different from mine and that was O.K. Even though I may find ideas exciting and great, they might not be fun for me, and I’m all right with that because during Crunch Time all that matters are the little Pantene moments that contribute to the “good hair” days in my life, those little Pantene moments that I can deposit or withdrawal from the bank at any time, during  Holy-Crap moments or catastrophes.



18 Responses to “Happiness Project Update 16: Pantene Moments During Crunch Time”

  1. bgddyjim November 9, 2012 at 1:54 AM #

    I’ll have to think about this some, it sure was a great post… I’ve just never looked at happiness as a commodity that could be stored. I don’t know if I even want to have too much happiness in reserve when it’s crunch time – I don’t want to be distracted from the task at hand, cleaning up the mess… I don’t know, bit it’s going to be all kinds of interesting kicking the tires on this… Thank you.

    • The Guat November 12, 2012 at 7:31 PM #

      Yeah … everyone’s a little different with that, but I’m all for enjoying it when it happens to me, because it’s rare, and saving it for crunch time as well. You always need some reserve for those holy-crap moments … you know just in case you’re short on chocolate. 🙂

  2. TBM November 9, 2012 at 2:38 AM #

    I know I started my blog when I was going through a negative period in my life and I decided if I didn’t start focusing on the good things in my life, I might end up unhappy all of the time without a way out. I don’t live perpetually in a happiness state, but now when I enter the zone I appreciate it more and I remember it more. I don’t want to remember just the bad. I want to smile and say, “Hey remember that day–what a great day.”

    Great post. You cheered me up on a morning when I’m drowning in work.

    • The Guat November 12, 2012 at 7:33 PM #

      Duuuuuuuuuuuuuude. You took the words right out of my mouth. You know you were one of the inspirations to get my butt in gear and get on this project and I’m so thankful for it. I ended up doing a lot of little extra projects that help me out during crunch time. And I am like you too, I don’t live in a “perpetually” happy state, but when I’m in the zone…IT’S ON, and I’m totally grateful for every minute.

      • TBM November 12, 2012 at 10:38 PM #

        I miss people saying dude in so many different ways. I’m glad I was able to help out. We can help each other in the inspiration department over the years since sometimes it’s best to have a buddy than go it alone.

        • The Guat November 12, 2012 at 10:47 PM #

          Sometimes I say it too much, but it just comes out. Part of my vocabulary. I guess it’s the California in me 🙂 But seriously … being inspiration buddies rock. I like that idea. Where should I sign up?

      • TBM November 12, 2012 at 10:54 PM #

        You just did! One of the best surprises about blogging was how supportive other bloggers have been. It’s amazing.

        • The Guat November 12, 2012 at 11:04 PM #

          Sweeeeeet! You know…that really surprised me too. I had no idea what I was getting into when I signed up for this and then I found a bunch of people who joined The Guat bandwagon “got me” and that was such a great source of support. I think other bloggers can relate too. The fact that some of these bloggers are not even in the U.S. is even more amazing. Like now…you…I can’t believe someone across the Atlantic likes my posts and believes in them as much as I believe in their entire blog premise and the awesome pictures that go with it. …Dude we should have shirts made 🙂

      • TBM November 12, 2012 at 11:15 PM #

        I do like T shirts–my collection is growing. Actually they took over my bedroom and are now conquering the front room.

  3. adinparadise November 9, 2012 at 12:53 PM #

    A few Pantene moments would come in very handy most days, TG. 🙂 I agree with you that it’s great to have those happiness memories to cushion you during the crunch times.

    • The Guat November 12, 2012 at 10:50 PM #

      Most definitely. I need all the cushion I can get, because just when you think things are fine and that you’re catching up, life throws you a wrench…and then a jack hammer. Holding on to the Pantene moments is what keeps me going and having pictures of those moments or at least your reactions to those moments is always great. Proof that Pantene was in the works!

  4. island traveler November 12, 2012 at 3:09 AM #

    “Everyone could use happiness, when you’re at the bottomless pit of crappiness you need it. When you’re happy you need to realize that you have it and you should do everything you can to maintain it.” Searching for happiness, no matter how brief and transient is one of my life goals. We deserve it , the people we love deserves it. It help us go through life’s toughest times and helps us feel motivated that better things are possible. A toast to the little joys in life, yet priceless ones! Thanks.

    • The Guat November 12, 2012 at 10:54 PM #

      I agree with you. Searching for it no matter how brief, and in some cases it is very brief, is definitely a life goal. We do deserve it. We’re good people and you’re right, when you’re going through tough times sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps you motivated. I’ll raise my glass to that toast. Most definitely!

  5. Andrea Kelly November 12, 2012 at 4:14 AM #

    I’ve been trying to build up the happiness reserves as well. It sounds like your happiness project has been pretty successful lately, love hearing about all your fun adventures 🙂 Hopefully they’re helping in those Crunch Times, too!

    • The Guat November 12, 2012 at 10:59 PM #

      Lately it’s here and there. I’m not all crazy Mary Poppins all day, but I have my moments during the days and I try to hang on to those no matter how small. They get me through the day … and then there are days when I’m looking for my reserve late at night and I end up like John Cusack in that movie American Sweethearts…when he’s in the limo on the way to the press event and he so doesn’t want to go and he’s grasping for whatever can flip his switch…”I’m grateful for the sun, I’m grateful for the moon..etc…” It’s hilarious. Yeah…that’s me sometimes. But a lot less since I’ve started this project.

      • Andrea Kelly November 15, 2012 at 11:54 PM #

        Oh man, I love that scene! I’ve been known to do similar from time to time 😛

        I’m glad the project is helping you hold on to those “good hair” moments a little longer!


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