I am about 2/3 of the way through “The Happiness Project”, a book by Gretchen Rubin. The book stems from her blog: www.happiness-project.com where she chronicled an entire year dedicated to trying out different theories on happiness. Each month she assigned herself new tasks to complete in an effort to improve her own level of happy.
Honestly, so far, it’s a pretty great book. Gretchen writes well and is very relate-able. The best advice she’s given is, “to be Gretchen” (or in my case Nicole), meaning that as trite as it sounds, to be yourself. About halfway through the book she discusses how different people find happiness in different things. Sure, it might be fun for one person to get glammed up and go to a dinner party but for others it’s torture. The important thing is to allow yourself what you need to be happy and not just what you think should make you happy.
What I find telling is that the chapters don’t discuss “eat a bunch of chocolate while watching Real Housewives” or “travel, travel, travel” but instead, “be a more loving wife” and “be a more patient mother.” This shows that at least part of happiness doesn’t come from just listening to our whims and doing fun things, but from actually crafting a life that we can be happy about.
In a way, what I’m doing with this blog is my own “happiness project.” I’m trying to push myself in new directions in an effort to be more content with myself. So far, I’d say it’s working. 🙂