Don't Worry, Be Happy

Every so often over the course of my life, I've pondered my happiness. Sometimes (during most of graduate school), I was decidedly NOT happy. Other times (say, when I'm hanging out at my favorite place at the beach reading or crafting), I feel quite peachy. Gretchen Rubin asked herself whether she was happy and came up with something like "Yes, but I could be happier." That question (and answer) began a year long quest to create more happiness in her life. It's not the totally self-indulgent project that it initially seems to be; she realized that if she were happier, the people around her (like her husband and kids) would also be happier. She designed a project for each month of the year starting with decluttering her apartment in January. Other endeavors included eating less "fake food", writing a novel in one month, and tackling nagging tasks. To find out if she did, indeed, get happy, read The Happiness Project.

Unlike Gretchen, who made a conscious choice to be happier, Dominique Browning's shift toward happiness was forced upon her when House & Garden, the magazine for which she was the editor, folded. Fortunately she had resources, unlike so many Americans who have lost their jobs and are up Unemployment Creek without a paddle. Dominique basically slowed life down - sold her big house in New York and moved to a smaller one in Rhode Island where she lived in her pajamas, gardened, swam and, apparently, finally got over her decade-long, on-again, off-again relationship with a man whom she dubbed Stroller. She was going to call him Walker, "as that's what he did best: walked away", but apparently he objected. She relates her year in Slow Love.

Now don't you wish you had a whole year of freedom (with financial resources) to get all happy and content?