My Own 365 Project

A year ago a coworker and friend sent me a message with a link to his 365 project and suggested that I start one too. (If you don’t know, the 365 Project is basically a year in the life, documented through a photo a day.) I like taking pictures so I thought this would be fun. I faithfully took a photo a day for about six weeks. From there, it was a pretty steady decline as I remembered to take the photo, or saw something interesting, less and less. Then in June, my world turned upside down, and I took the saddest picture I’ve ever seen. I kept the photo but it’s really hard for me to look at it. That was the end of my attempt at the 365 Project. Then yesterday, I read an article about new ways to embark on the 365 Project and make it into whatever you feel is important and it got me thinking.

Everyone who knows me knows I’ve had a tough and very sad year but my story isn’t unique. Many people have lost loved ones, jobs, homes and more. I do have a lot to be thankful for, mainly in the form of those people I choose to surround myself with. As I’ve worked my way through the year that is (finally) coming to a close, I have coped with the trials and sadness by reading similar stories, talking with others experiencing sad and hard things and mostly by writing. I have shared a few things here on my blog but I have filled journals and notebooks with the thoughts that have kept me up at night and memories I want to forget in hopes that putting them on paper will remove them from my conscience. It doesn’t really work, but I do believe it’s therapeutic. I’ve been consumed with so much of that stuff, that I haven’t spent too much time writing the positive but I have promised myself that the coming year will be better. I’m determined to make it a good year and leave the sadness and negativity where it belongs, in the past.

Which brings me back to the 365 Project… A few weeks back, as I was reading yet another article about dealing with grief, I ran across a different sort of article. Men’s Health magazine did a story about the saddest places to live in America. I was shocked to see that Florida’s five largest cities ALL made the list! I thought it must have been a mistake. I mean, yes, the housing crisis and unemployment hit our state hard but it’s Florida. We have fabulous weather pretty much year round, no state income tax, and you can be sitting on one of the most beautiful shorelines anywhere in just a few hours from most places. How many cities were on this list? Had to be hundreds, right? Nope… twenty! Five of the twenty saddest cities are in sunny FL? Unbelievable.

So I started asking around and while I did find a few people who had some sad times (again due to lack of job, etc…) I could not find one person who thinks of Florida as a sad place. I realize I may be slightly biased, Florida is my home state after all. But I lived in Atlanta for almost six years and in my mind, there is no comparison. Smog, traffic for days, nearly six months of cold weather and then sweltering hot summers, tornadoes… we even had an earthquake while I lived there. My relatives in Michigan are buried beneath piles of snow and live under perpetual gray skies for months.

This gave me the idea for my own 365 project. I’m calling in My Happiness Project: 2012 edition. Here’s how it works: Each day, beginning on January 1st, I will talk to someone and write about something positive happening around me, from the perspective of those around me in the beautiful, sunny state I call home. I might include pictures or personal stories… whatever I find that’s making someone smile or warming a heart, and I’m sure many times, the heart that is going to benefit the most will be mine. I’m really excited about this little project and I hope to gain some readers along the way and prove those Men’s Health Magazine writers oh so wrong. I would love contributions too, so please pass along anything you think you’d like me to write about.

See you in the New Year!

2 Responses to “My Own 365 Project”
  1. I love this Jenn! I can’t wait to see what’s next…love you, Renee

  2. sounds awesome. Can’t wait.

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