Wednesday, April 3, 2013

currently reading | the happiness project.


One of my favorite parts of traveling (there are many) is the reading time. To have no other option but to sit immersed in a good book, can you think of anything better? Completely unprepared for the goodness that was Where'd You Go, Bernadette?, I didn't pack a book for my trip home. I stopped into Hudson News at Louis Armstrong International and came face-to-face with the books I feared most: every harlequin romance novel ever written, 50 Shades of Gray, and Dr. Phil. Amongst a lot of screaming children and spring break groups, I was left feeling scared and alone and desperate (though, not desperate enough to pick up any of aforementioned books). As I was about to leave the store, a small shelf of books caught my eye and left was just one copy of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Sold.

I think it's important to interject here with a brief note about my general disposition: I hate anything cheesy or mushy or gooey or anything of the like. I am frequently told that I am impossible to read and appear to be void of all emotions, or any capability of feeling excited-- about anything. Above all, I despise self-help. (I will save you the pain of craning your neck to see and hear me from my soapbox on this topic.)

Back to the point. I have seen Gretchen Rubin's best-seller in numerous searches and lists of book recommendations. I have taken note, filed it away, and usually opted for something else. Rubin's summary of her year long journey to find more happiness in her everyday life, is not groundbreaking, it is not earth shattering--and she certainly doesn't tell you anything you don't already know (which she will tell you up front). But it is interesting and, I found, reassuring. Sometimes the best thing you can hear is not, "you need to do things this way, trust me I'm an expert" (because usually they are not and because what works for one, does not work for all); but, rather, the best resource is someone to say, "here is my story." I took copious notes, mostly my own thoughts and ideas for things I can work on in my everyday life, merely sparked by Rubin's journey. Reading The Happiness Project was more like sitting down over tea with a dear old friend and walking away with a little more perspective, than reading a self-help guide to happiness. Which my (alleged) cold-black heart appreciated.

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