Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happier at Home

Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin is the latest book I read on my Nook. I conveniently downloaded it from the library. I recently read Ms. Rubin's The Happiness Project (here) and wanted to see what resolutions for happiness she was embracing. 

(Oh dear, I see that I read THP in January. Does that count as 'recently'?)

In this newest book, Ms. Rubin spends the nine months of the school year trying out resolutions to make life about the house - or in her case a Manhattan apartment - happier. Three chapters had to do with marriage, family, and parenthood and I didn't really read those. But her resolutions for September/Possessions, January/Time, and February/Body interested me.

In September, two of her resolutions were Cultivate a Shrine and Go Shelf by Shelf. Her idea of a shrine in not a religious one but a gathering of items that enshrined her passions, interests, and values.  In her case that meant having photographs framed and displayed in a prominent position and objects gathered that reminded her of beloved family members. She made her office a Shrine to Work by de-cluttering papers and office supplies and adding painted wisteria vines to her office's bare walls.

Also in September, by going shelf by shelf, drawer by drawer, then closet by closet she considered her possessions, found the things that were in the wrong place and moved them to the right place, and worked her way through her clothes closet.

I love reading about someone's efforts made to simplify and organize and get rid of clutter.

In January she strove to Cram the Day with What I Love (I so try to do this!), and in February one of her resolutions was Embrace Good Smells. 

To me, one of the many benefits of getting a facial every other month is experiencing the wonderful scents of the products that the clinician uses. Ahhhh. After my last visit, I brought home a small bottle of lavender scented oil and one of peppermint. I inhale the lavender scent before bed each night as it fosters relaxation. The peppermint energizes and I enjoy that scent in the mornings. Sometimes I even go a bit crazy and mix the two in the palms of my hands and just breathe.

Ms. Rubin mentions an on-line store, Demeter Fragrance, which sells scents such as Hay, Laundromat, Frozen Pond, and Bamboo. I can barely wait to see what it has to offer. 

As always, Ms. Rubin writes in an accessible style and I appreciate her honesty when some of her resolutions don't prove to work out. And her efforts make me aware of ways I already am Happier at Home. Or should I say Happiest at Home.

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