One of the books I read this year was The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. This bestseller has been around since 2009, so you may be way ahead of me.
Although I’d read her column in a woman’s magazine, I’d never felt the need to delve into the book–that is, until someone I love confided he was working on being happier.
As sometimes happens, shortly after that conversation, I saw Gretchen’s book, thought of him, and bought it. Not wanting to send him something I hadn’t read, I plunged in.
And guess what?
I saw myself.
Like the author, I have a good life: a fine husband, children, grandchildren, and friends. I have enough disposable income to buy a pair of shoes that strike my fancy or to splurge on a surprise for someone else.
However, as I read, I realized that in spite of this, I wasn’t as happy and content as I wanted to be.
So I slowed down and pondered the research Gretchen had done and the way she applied it to her life.
And I tried some of it myself.
Consequently, I’m more aware of what brings joy to my life, and I’m happier when I take time to savor little surprise such as:
- Finch eggs nestled in the center of a fern
- A fragrance-filled breeze leading me to new gardenia blooms at the end of my porch
- the warmth and whir of a relaxed kitty snoozing in my lap.
I’m more content when I recognize and acknowledge other peoples’ kindnesses like:
- The friend who called me every day when I was going through a rough stretch
- Text messages and calls from my children and grandchildren
- Terry’s willingness to eat out without a fuss when I’ve had a busy day or just don’t want to cook
- Other writers who share their knowledge, read my blog, and encourage me
I feel more fulfilled when I
- Make time to write
- Check on that person who’s struggling with a problem
- Exchange a daily list of things for which I’m grateful with my gratitude partner
- Interact with readers like you.
I could go on, but you get the drift.
I’m happier because I’ve been taking the time to notice and acknowledge the blessings in my life.
There will be more to come. And I’ll probably share them here.
What makes you happiest?
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
Lamentations 2:22-23 NLB