Photo Source (also a great book review!)
So to start my new year off I picked up a copy of the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (yay for reading for pleasure!) I had seen it in Chapters while doing my Christmas shopping and stopped to take a glance. I was tempted to buy the book for myself but in remembering my goals - making smart consumer choices and sticking to the budget - I opted to try the library. This was a serious achievement for me since when I want something, I usually don't want to wait for it. I have found that waiting to see whether I still want something after a week or a month is a good test for me. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait long since apparently others seem to be enjoying this book as much as I have and aren't keeping it for the allowed 3 weeks.
A little over halfway through, I am thoroughly enjoying this read and learning a lot about happiness. Gretchen comes at happiness from the point of someone who although isn't unhappy or facing a life crisis, feels that she is taking many things for granted in everyday life, so she focuses for a year on trying to live a happier life. Monthly topics she tackles are: Vitality, Marriage, Work, Parenthood, Leisure, Friendship, Money, Eternity, Passion, Mindfulness, Attitude, and finally Happiness (a culmination of her learnings from all topics).
At one point in the book Gretchen starts a one line journal and a gratitude log. She ultimately gives up the gratitude journal as it starts to become more of a chore for her than a source of happiness. In my goals for 2012 I decided I wanted to be more thankful for the little things in life and therefore decided I would write them down. I also decided that I would keep track of the things I do daily for myself. I have started jotting things down daily in my Moleskine pocket notebook - however, it has been more of a 50 word max highlights of my day journal entry than specifically gratuitous points or things I have done solely for myself. Although when I look back, I can often see one or two things I have done each day for myself (reading for pleasure; actually taking the time to wipe down my kitchen cupboards and baseboards) and things that made me truly happy (N's giggles; teaching B how to skate) and for all those - and yes they happen to be little for the most part, I am grateful.
I'd love to hear others thoughts on this book!