I recently finished the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. In it, the author chronicles her efforts at boosting her own happiness through small, simple changes after realizing on the bus one day that even though she has every reason to be happy (lovely husband, healthy kids, job she loves in a city she loves). She chooses to focus on a specific area for a month over a year (energy, marriage, kids, work etc) and makes concrete resolutions each month to kind of track her progress (she even has a chart for a more visual representation).
I first came across the book sometime last year when I wasn’t working. I remember walking away from the book at the time, telling myself that while I probably needed to read that book given my current state of affairs, I couldn’t justify the hardcover price while I wasn’t earning any money. But I kind of think that this was one of those times where the Universe intervened, knowing that I wasn’t in the right mindset for that kind of book. Had I read The Happiness Project just after I had been let go from a job that I hated, I would have dismissed it. I would have scoffed at the idea of being in control of your own happiness and I would have slagged it off to anyone who would have listened.
I guarantee I would have run out of listeners in a hurry because it’s exhausting listening to people whine about how shitty their lives are. And I’ve finally realized that. So
Even though I don’t think that I’m going to embark on my own official Happiness Project, although I do really think that what Gretchen Rubin did was very valid, I do catch myself thinking about things in a different way since I’ve finished it. When The Boyfriend and I argue about stupid things, instead of stewing about them like I may have done in the past, I really do try and just let it go. If I catch myself whining about things at work, I try and just stop and focus on something better. For those of you that have been around here for a while, that will be the most surprising. Right now, I’m not where I want to be professionally. I’m still trying to change that. But in the meantime, I have a paycheque coming in regularly, a lovely boyfriend who is hilarious and good looking, smart and supportive, a puppy that provides endless entertainment and some lovely friends who are all brilliant and fun in their own right.
It’s not an overnight change in mindset, but it’s definitely something I’m working on. It feels a lot better.
Anyway, if you’re interested in finding some more, you should pick up the book. Or you could just click here too. Simpler, and yet? Not as satisfying as holding a proper book is it?