Friday, January 27, 2012

Money, Eternity, and Books

Gretchen Rubin's book The Happiness Project has really gotten me thinking about what activities and actions add to my happiness.

July - We have gone through money: Indulge in a modest splurge; buy needful things; spend out; and, give something up.

August - We have contemplated the heavens: Read memoirs of catastrophe; keep a gratitude journal; and, imitate a spiritual master/teacher.

September - Today we pursued a passion: Write a novel; make time; forget about results; and, master a new technology.

I am with her on the money. I do occasionally splurge - I bought myself an espresso maker for Christmas; I try to keep supplies of what I always use - toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo -- on hand; I took a friend to lunch today; I gave up buying stationery...well, mostly.

As to the heavens, I do not read misery lit or memoirs of devastating disease or death; I keep a gratitude journal in my heart; and, my spiritual teachers are writers on nature - the turning of the seasons, the beauty of the landscape, the joys of gardens, forests, and oceans.

Rubin's passion has to do with books and writing. Mine too. No argument there, but I don't have a desire to write a novel in 30 days as she did. I do, however, like the idea of commiting to some activity every day for a month. Sketching, reading poetry, or taking a walk outside. The feeling of accomplishment brings happiness.

I do make time to do something every day that I enjoy. I have a bit of trouble though in letting go of results. Like this blog. Even though I don't promote it, yet, I still hope to see a comment by someone who has stumbled on Belle, Book, and Candle. And it seems as if every day there is a new technological puzzle to solve.

I find it inspiring to read what steps Rubin has taken to enhance her happiness, to see if they have worked, and to see how many activities we have in common. I doubt if I would get as much satisfaction from someone who has, let's say, more active activities - mountain climbing, scuba diving, marathoning. Although those narratives can be inspirational, I am just not someone who is going to look to such recreations to bring me happiness.

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