“Yet again, I saw the effect of the resolution to ‘Act the way I want to feel.’ By acting in a thoughtful, loving way, I boosted my feelings of tenderness toward my family. And that contributed more to the happiness of our home than anything else I could do.”
I’ve been reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project blog for about 6 months now and I am always struck by how practical and normal and simple and approachable it all is. So I was DELIGHTED when I saw that her second happiness-related book was out of NetGalley.
In Happier At Home, Rubin undertakes another project – a project to make her home happier (having focussed on herself and her general life in The Happiness Project). It’s still quite general and focusses on truths that Rubin learned during her first project. She tackles various themes (possessions, parenthood, marriage, neighbourhood) on a month-by-month basis and while not everything works out how she had planned, she discovers a number of great changes in her life.
“In my mind, the entire globe revolves around a single spot, where a bridge red ‘You Are Here’ arrow hovers undetected above our roof.”
The writing does seem a little relentlessly optimistic, and I’m a touch suspicious of the alleged perfect relationships with all family members; but it does come across as authentic and real. I found the chapter on marriage particularly touching – Rubin is not always successful in making the more generous choice, but it is very interesting to see someone with Rubin’s talent for articulating feelings examine intra-familial conflict.
“When my days were following their ordinary course, it was hard to remember what was truly important, and my happiness project helped charge my life with more gratitude and contentment.”
I did sit and read this straight through over a number of days (that is, I was reading it as a book rather than a reference text), but I’m very tempted to buy the book in hard copy as a reference text – something to dip into now and again for ideas and inspiration and consolation.