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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Another book I've been reading...

I discovered the book, 'The Happiness Project' written by Gretchen Rubin, while reading someone else's blog. After an incredible amount of research, Gretchen embarked on a year of taking various aspects of the concept of Happiness and strove to become happier. She did this by examining her behaviours and reactions to life events and then trying to change these behaviours to achieve her goal. Gretchen shared her progress via The Happiness Project Blog  and the eventual book would include many comments and anecdotes from this blog's readers.

I found many of the strategies for improving  interpersonal skills that she used to make her home life more harmonious really worthwhile. That I could still learn something, despite having completed a number of social psychology units during my working life, impressed me.
I'm not going to summarise Rubin's book but instead share some of the ideas and 'truths' that I have gleaned. To me personally, contentment and happiness go hand in

'Contentment is not based on what you have; it's based on how you choose to view life'...or this one...

'The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the most of everything they have.'  

Or this one that I read in another source recently... 'Be someone that makes you happy'.    

Gretchen Rubin spent time identifying things that made her happy...not to be outdone, here are some of my personal list items...

* Finally solving a problem with a craft project

* Freshly laundered sheets and pillowcases on the bed

* Knowing that a set of clothes is ironed ready for the next outing

* Knowing that dinner only needs to be reheated not a meal needing to be cooked from scratch because I've previously cooked a double batch. (hence more time for stitching/knitting/crocheting/gardening/blogging)

* coffee/lunch/dinner with friends/family

* having a clean and tidy house

*Knowing that there is a thickish slice of some grainy sourdough bread left for breakfast toast

* Finally working out/getting inspiration for what to make in a swap project and then following the item through to completion. I get the same exhilaration I used to when uni assignments were finished. 

* Sharing an evening meal with DH on our large veranda

* Travelling with DH discovering new places and meeting people from varying walks of life

* Being greeted by Eduardo the cat who runs to meet us when we return home from an outing...'head butts' and smooges from Mr Eduardo also promote happy feelings.

* Receiving comments and emails from the lovely people who read my blog

* Walking around a beautiful garden, park, beach or mountain area

* I love it when the shrubs, trees and bulbs in my garden burst into  flower.

* Watching an English made comedy movie

* Creating something with beautiful fabrics or yarns...

DH and I have no grandchildren yet but I expect that these potential little people in our lives will bring us lots more joy and happiness.                                                                                                                            
Gretchen Rubin wrote another book as a sequel to The Happiness Project... I haven't had a chance to read it yet...maybe soon :-)

I like to think that I've enjoyed all the stages in my life but I really think that I am more content now than at any stage in my life and I'm also more 'comfortable in my own skin'. I bet I could find some more things that make me happy too if I thought some more! :-) Is it really the 'simple things' that make people the happiest?


Susan said...

A lovely and thoughtful post Maria. I enjoyed reading through your list of things that make you happy and contented.
It's those little things that matter and we are definitely the lucky ones who can find happiness in them. There are a lot of miserable millionaires in this world!
Thanks for mentioning Gretchen's books too, I shall follow them up.
Cheerio for now :D)

Ryll Paul said...

So true and well put, it would be great if as an early age we understood this reality :)

Vireya said...

Flowers, smiles, mastering a skill, and puppies make me happy! Not wanting stuff, but being content with "enough" is a recipe for happiness I think.

Jill Butler said...

Just reading this wonderful post made me feel happy. As I read your list of things that make you happy I realised I have a list like that too. I must write it! I'll find out more about Gretchen Rubin too.