Thursday, January 17, 2013

2/30: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More FunThe Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Read from January 10 to 16, 2013
Format: Paperback

Reading this book as a memoir rather than a "how-to" is highly suggested. I only say this because it's not a self-help book. It is an account of Rubin's year. I had sort of expected a how-to, which is why I mention this tip. After the first chapter, I shifted my perspective.

I really enjoyed reading about Rubin's year focusing on Happiness. I read the majority of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin while on vacation. Most people would read something light or a typical "beach read" rather than a non-fiction self-help memoir type book. I had intentions of reading a new YA book, but never got around to it.

Reading this particular book when the only thing I had to worry about was whether I remembered my sunscreen and what drink I was getting next made it the perfect read. I had time to really think about her project and how it could apply to my own life. There are definitely things in her project that wouldn't be in mine, which is a given since each person is unique and has their own interests and life. It was more the idea of it that struck me as useful. She may have done this project for a year, but the effects and habits that can be formed will make a last impression on yourself and those around you.

Each chapter had something that different. The book has dog-eared pages throughout for things I want to come back to and think about in more depth. I consider myself a happy person these days. I have a wonderful life and there isn't much I want for. Don't take this as me saying my life is perfect. It's not. But it's the only one I've got and I want to make the most of it. Being completely disconnected from the internet for a week was SO refreshing. I got back to reality and realized that there are things in this every day life that don't make it richer or more fulfilling. I know I was on the beach and in that paradise mode, but why do I have to leave the country to get that feeling? Shouldn't it be felt in the here and now? Not every day is unicorns and rainbows, that wouldn't make for an interesting life, but I do think we can maximize the good days and the good moments.

When I got back from vacation and turned on my phone, I had 68 emails. I deleted, without reading them, 45. Why do I get so much email in a week that is completely useless to me? Then I got to thinking about what else in my life is like that. What information am I feeding myself on a daily basis that is really unimportant? I think I was supposed to read this particular book at the beginning of the year, while I was on vacation. I feel rejuvenated and ready to take a good look at everything I do, the things I have and those I don't. It's time to look at making happiness more prevalent in every moment.

My sister called me when I got back and since she has also read the book, we are going to start in February doing our own Happiness Projects. I'm excited to get started but I also need to remind myself, one month at a time.

Favourite quote: "The days are long, but the years are short" So true!

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