a peek inside the fishbowl

09 Feb, 2008

Operation Feelin’ Great

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

operation feeling greatI’ve realized something: if you want to feel great at work, at school, in your marriage etc. –  you have to make a little effort.

If feeling great requires personal effort, how can I increase my odds of having Really Really Great Day?

Maybe all I need to do is try.

So. I have scheduled a GREAT DAY, just like I would schedule a dentist appointment or a lunch with a friend. My Operation Feelin’ Great is scheduled for Valentine’s Day.

My hypothesis is this: if I say I will have a great day and plan it ahead of time, I think I will have a great day.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an unhappy person. Au contraire, I am quite happy. But I have decided I’m going to put in some extra effort into this one day and see how it goes.

Here’s my plan:

  • I will do two major things on the 13th  – tidy the house, and go to bed early.
  • When I wake up on the 14th I am going to remind myself that I’m going to have a great day, and try to remind myself throughout the day.
  • I will start off the day with deep breaths and wakeup/yoga type stretches.
  • I will go to the gym.
  • I will buy a newspaper.
  • I will have a long hot shower and not scrimp on expensive product. (WTH am I saving it for anyway?)
  • I will spend some time in front of my sun lamp.
  • I will “do up” … meaning, I will wear that fancy underwear that’s stuck at the back of my drawer, I will wear makeup, I will dress in my best “I am a hawt momma” clothing, AND take the time to straight iron my hair
  • I will repeat “I am a hawt momma” (to myself) the whole day
  • I will have a healthy breakfast and a great cup of coffee, and enjoy it while I’m reading the paper
  • I will act how I want to feel. I will smile at everyone and no one.
  • I will hug for longer. I will smother my family with time and affection.
  • I will eat a healthy lunch.
  • I will eat Valentine’s chocolate and not feel guilty (Mark and I are not exchanging gifts, but we are having sushi for dinner and our favourite chocolates for dessert…)
  • I will do one good deed (TBD!)
  • I will do something creative (TBD!)
  • I will write one nice email
  • I will crank up the stereo and dance

My keywords here are Mindful, and Energy, and Zing, and Me. 

To be honest, I think I will be utterly exhausted by the end of this. But, if I am able to have a great day by scheduling one in ahead of time, I might be able to have one every day. (What do you think? Very Happiness Project, huh? ;) )

Anyone care to join me? If so, I’d love to hear your own personal plan of attack for Operation Feelin’ Great. What makes you feel great? And more importantly, how can you we sustain that feeling?

5 Responses to "Operation Feelin’ Great"

1 | mel

February 10th, 2008 at 7:36 pm


Interesting project! Can’t wait to hear all about it and whether the effort pays off.

I understand the appeal of sitting down with a newspaper vs. sitting at the computer, but… to help out with the planned great day, you might want to consider spending your “news intake” time on a good news website like goodnewsnetwork.org or gimundo.com. I

t has made a huge difference to my headspace to remember that good things are happening in the world!

2 | Ginger

February 10th, 2008 at 8:02 pm


I read your post this morning and I have been thinking about it all day long. For me, feeling great has a good deal to do with not letting myself get stressed over little things. Sometimes that is REALLY hard to do when you are teaching 8th graders (13-15 year-olds). Now that I am pregnant things seem to be crazy all the time and I feel my stress levels rise which I don’t like for all of the various pregnancy related reasons.

Last spring was a very stressful time at school and one day I had an epiphany. Every day I made the declaration that I was not going to let things bother me. I was not going to get stressed. That I was going to be happy. It worked wonders on my outlook and made my teaching that much better!

Your post reminded me that I hadn’t done this in quite awhile. Sometimes it is easy for life to suck you in. So my game plan is going to be to repeat those things to myself every morning. I am also going to make sure that I have plenty of water and snacks with me to help stave off my “morning sickness” so I can stay in a positive mood.

Andrea, thank you so much for your blog and your wonderful insights on life. Every day I read your blog I am reminded of the good side of life. I hope that I can be half the mother that you are to your girls!

3 | Chantal

February 11th, 2008 at 10:33 am


I think this is a great idea. I think I would like to try and implement it on a smaller scale ever day. Great idea, I feel a post coming on!

4 | Miss Vicky

February 11th, 2008 at 12:15 pm


I’ve actually taken on a year-long project, along with some friends who also turn 40 this year. We have pledged to do something really fun together at least once a month, culminating in a trip to Cuba between Christmas and New Year’s. We are taking on small and large goals – things we have always wanted to do but have never taken the time. Like whitewater rafting. And spelunking. And treating ourselves to a day at the spa. I will be writing more about this on my blog at some point in the near future

5 | Lynn

February 11th, 2008 at 3:34 pm


Miss Vicky, sounds like an awesome project! I’ll be 40 myself in a few years and I’ll be keeping an eye on your year to see if I can hijack the idea.

And Andrea, I love your idea. I’ll be bringing out the “good” undies and putting on makeup on the 14th in your honour.

comment form:


Have a great summer at Saunders Farm!

Mrs Tiggywinkle's - the best toy store in Ottawa

Click me!


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark. We have two daughters: Emma (19) and Sarah (17). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


E-book alert!

Shopping Embargo e-book promo

My right hand is actually a camera

Connect with me at these places too!

Piper is on Instagram

On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter