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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Warning: I bailed on the "fun graphs." Here is the Geek Report on the Everyday Bliss Game

HIATUS - a break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc

OK. This post is taking FOREVER because I keep hoping for some kind of Eureka Moment. After nine months of keeping my weekly scores, I thought some sort of epiphany was awaiting me. Truth is I wanted some sort of proof that my experiment was working.  What ever that really means! 

Each week I give myself a "gut check" of sorts and then give myself a grade on my 10 point scale. I've been doing this since I started my game and have secretly been convinced that this vaguely scientific approach would prove a dramatic increase in Bliss.  If I tally the numbers from each cycle through the virtues I do get an increase in the overall number but each and every Virtue is behaving in unique ways.

My romance score has decreased even as I am able to call on more romantic ideas then ever before. Moxie is the only virtue that has followed a consistant upward trend but seeing that makes me a bit worried for the week upcoming! After scoring an 8 how much further can I go? It seems inevitable that I won't be able to keep the momentum indefinitely.

(Formatting be damned! I'm posting this chart in a GIANT size so you can actually read the numbers if you are interested. I hope it isn't too annoying!)
The Score Sheet

I'm starting to see the value in Ben Franklin's single point system. When he evaluated all his virtues, on a daily and not just weekly basis, he gave himself a "mark" if he caught himself not following the virtue. His game was to arrive at a point in time when he would be "mark free" entirely and therefore arrive at "virtuous living."  Not that he ever attained or really expected to do so... in time however he had fewer blemishes on his daily record so he could feel he was making progress in his pursuit.

My system is inherently flawed. "Gut Checks" have no scientific basis. They are at the effect of my changing mood and can vary widely just based on how well I ate prior to making the determination. (When I'm NOT hungry I tend to be more generous towards myself!) Ben's system is really a lot more scientific because one could determine if gratitude was there or not -- in fact an astute observer could make the determination -- but making a evaluation of "how much" gratitude requires measurement tools just not available to human beings at this time.

Bottom line, what I have been doing has been entertaining, for me at least, but really doesn't measure what participating in my Everyday Bliss project has done for me. I  do plan to finish out the year doing my gut check evaluations at the conclusion of each week but instead of believing it is any way a scientific tally I will use them as the amusing side note they are... for even if my scores ARE quite arbitrary I am still curious to see if I can ever feel good enough about my weekly participation to award a perfect 10!!

I think I'll also start a Ben Franklin style daily review.  But I'll save that discussion for another time!

SO did my quasi-statistical ramblings bore you to tears? I promise I'll be back to regular style posts tomorrow!! Thanks for sticking with me! 

Next Post: Musings on Faith

My 13 bliss virtues are 
joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, 
romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, and surprise.

This week it is Hiatus week and after that
 the series begins again with Joy.

"Show and Tell" - three year old style!

HIATUS - a break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.

Hey there all!! I am trying to put together some fun graphs to show you my "progress" during this Everyday Bliss project but it is taking far longer then I expected so I've decided to share my girl's drawings & "show and tell" to pass the time! Enjoy... I'll be back with those numbers soon.

Take it away Sweets:


"This is a picture of you and me mommy.
 I am singing and you are very so happy"


"This is Lillian. Lillian is my best friend. 
She makes me laugh."


"This is Tinkerbell flying. I will fly when I am a fairy. 
I'm going to be a fairy when I grow up. I will be little."

I interviewed Sweets over on the Everyday Mommy blog today if you care to hear more from her. Here is a sample:

What do you want to be when you grow up?
An alligator. An alligator sounds like fun to me.

Is there anything I should tell the people who are going to read this?
You are really going to love it!

Do you have anything you would like to Show and Tell today?
Next Post: The Ultimate Bliss Tally!

My 13 bliss virtues are 
joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, 
romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, and surprise.

This week it is Hiatus week and after that
 the series begins again with Joy.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Balancing without practice

HIATUS - a break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.

I very deliberately chose NOT to blog yesterday. Since starting this Everyday Game and this blog, Mondays are the day that I frame my entire week. Sometimes I give enormous consideration prior to the week starting and sometimes I end up just sort of winging it but starting every week  with a focus has been what I have done. Yesterday I wanted to see what would unfold without this practice and I am here to report it was a crazy ride!

First of all, during the morning hours prior to my daughter's waking, when I usually compose my post, I had coffee and sat with my Sweetie. He seemed to sense he was more welcome then usual when I am eager to "get at it" because he was definitely much slower getting to his usual routine. It was lovely. I didn't tell him what I was doing so I found it particularly interesting that who I was being in the moment  must have landed as much more inviting then I usually am.  Note to self: try to be more available even when you are eager to get to work. The real people in your life will enjoy that!

After hubby heard the voice of his work calling and I was left alone with my coffee I decided to hop around and read some blogs and other things for which I don't always have time. It really is daunting how much really great stuff is out there and also how much nonsense is also lurking. Given my penchant for inquiry, I can easily spend  hours or any spare minute surfing and finding things that interest me. Problem is I really don't have much more bandwidth to add anything more. If I find another great blog this means I have to give up one I am already reading. Sadly, flip offs do not induce the earth to give me more hours in my day. I assume there will always be a waxing and waning of interest in things but  balancing it is a conundrum. 

It is about balance. From Cara's blog.

Later when Sweets and I were ready to leave for our favorite weekly playdate at the park, the car would not start. I thought  perhaps the girl had flicked a light on and we were experiencing another bout of battery Car-ma. I would later learn that the starter had died and no amount of "jumping" (figurative, mechanical, or physical) was going to bring the car back to life. Hot off my week of Surprise I remembered one of my Bliss Initiatives: Use "bad" surprises as a prompt for creativity. Look for the silver lining in the things that you don't like and be surprised by your ability to adapt!

Well there was one question answered. I could still call on the tools of my virtues even when I wasn't expressly studying them! The Bliss was available but could I actually summon the power?

I realize it is kind of the luck of the draw which virtue I am exploring at any given moment. If I had been fresh off order or possibly moxie what initiatives might have helped me through my situation? Surprise was close but as I think about it, if I hadn't just finished that week I don't know if I would have thought of looking for the silver lining in our car annoyance. Any of my virtues could offer the needed solace and initiative but  I require ongoing reminders to access their power. If I were to be on hiatus for a month or more I don't believe I would have such ready access.

To be honest I felt a bit lost the entire day. The girl and I made it a "home day" (which she asks for pretty regularly) and we played games and did crafts together but something was missing for me. Some people read a passage from the Bible or other inspirational book, others meditate or exercise to get their grounding for the day. I concentrate on one of my virtues and today, without doing so I was adrift. I'm still curious to see what happens as the week continues but I feel pretty certain I'll be relieved to get to Joy week!

Do you start your morning with a practice or habit that grounds your day?

Next post: Some numbers I've wanted to share

My 13 bliss virtues are 
joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, 
romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, and surprise.

This week it is Hiatus week and after that
 the series begins again with Joy.

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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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