Don’t worry – this is not about Harry Potter. No, I just finished reading a book called “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin.
Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.
In this lively and compelling account, Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. Among other things, she found that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that money can help buy happiness, when spent wisely; that outer order contributes to inner calm; and that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference.
It is a very well written book that shares a year of her life in a very honest and real way. It’s an easy read but it will definitely challenge you and make you take stock of your own life because like her, I am a really happy person. I have amazing family and friends, I’m happy with my job, I have a ton of wonderful memories and a ton more to make. But am I as happy as I could be? Sure we all take some things for granted, but there’s no way I could be taking things for granted any more than the average person. I do focus on what really matters…right?
I couldn’t help but think of “Eat, Pray, Love” when I first picked up this book. Gretchen even references it in the beginning. I admit I was a little disappointed because I guess I was expecting something just as grand as the journey of EPL. But instead, it was about a year of her every day life and how you didn’t need the grandiosity to learn how to shed a new light on what you already have. That made me realize my 1st epiphany – that I need to slow down and really appreciate much of my life that I do take for granted.
And just as I started feeling guilty, I had my 2nd epiphany – that I’m not the only one. She’s not the first person to realize that we are not self-entitled to all these great things in our life but need to appreciate and value them, and I’m not going to be the last. So even though the book didn’t turn out exactly as I thought it would, it was definitely worth the read. And it did inspire me to turn my second attempt at journaling into my own Happiness Project and track my happiest moment of each day, every day. So I guess I got something out of the book after all.
So check it out next time you’re looking for a book to pick up. She also has a blog about her Happiness Project which I haven’t had the time to look at, but maybe one day :)
Well that’s one of my new projects. I always have
a project projects going on. I like staying busy, I like checking things off my to do lists, and I like the sense of accomplishment. So what are my other ones right now?
[[ Song of the day:: "Pontoon"by Little Big Town :: sooooo summmmmmery! ]]