Friday, 17 June 2011

The Happiness Project

Whilst I was away on holiday in Ireland, I read "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin.  I had seen it mentioned on a few blogs and was intrigued by the title.  The book is an account of Gretchen Rubin's year long journey to discover happiness.  She firstly tries to identify what it is that brings her joy to her life and what doesn't.  Then she makes resolutions which she hopes will boost her happiness.  Then each month she focus's on a number of her resolutions and charts her progress.    She is clear to point out that the book is about her happiness project and what worked for her - each persons project will be different.   She also is clear from that the start that her search for happiness was not promoted by any deep unhappiness or any life changing event - simply that there were areas of her life she wanted to change, where she wanted to be more happy!

I found the book extremely readable, finishing it over three days.  Her style is light and witty - she does not preach but simply describes what worked for her.  I have taken a lot from the book and am trying to put some of her ideas into action.

One of the sentences from her book that I have carried with me is 'The days are long but the years are short'.  At first it seemed to make little sense to me but as I carried on reading I really started to appreciate what she meant.  Sometimes we are so busy in our lives, that perhaps we do not appreciate and focus on what really matters and before we know it the years are gone.  In July this year my oldest daughter finishes junior school.  Since September 2004 I have been walking her to school.  Every school day - very few missed as she is rarely ill.  Soon this will be gone and she will walk herself to school.  A new routine I will no longer be part of.  Indeed 'the days are long but the years are short'  and I need to take time to appreciate the now but also preserve the memories, write the stories down.

If you have the time watch Gretchens video here - I think it is beautiful.  She also has a blog which gives more detail about her book and 'happiness project


Sian said...

I read this one recently too.

That change in school routine is a strange one isn't it! I have gone from waiting outside the school gate at two different times every day, through stages until now they both like to make their own way home

humel said...

I've heard so much about this book, I really must read it for myself! :)

I'm about to go through a change in that school routine - The Boy will get himself to and from secondary school most days so that's a big change from September. Yes, the years are short....


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