Book #17 - The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin
Resolution and “Year of _______” books are so in right now, but I just had to read The Happiness Project because I have recently been thinking a lot about my own happiness. I must have been in the right mood and time in my life to read this, because I really, truly enjoyed it.
Rubin spends a fairly organized year focusing on the many aspects of life that contribute to and create happiness. For instance, she focuses on her marriage in February and spends May rediscovering play. She mixes a good amount of personal anecdote with research, which is something I admire in a writer.
In particular, I think I liked this book because she touched on some of her own characteristics that detracted from happiness, such as being argumentative, judgmental, and belligerent. At one point she asks herself, “Why do I feel the need to come up with a counterpoint to anything anyone says?” I ask myself that too. It’s as if I’m afraid of coming off as less intelligent or interesting. Instead of contributing positively to a conversation, I often find myself trying to one-up what was said last. And I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why. Personality defect? Inferiority complex? Preference towards debate? Who knows.
While I’m not jumping immediately on the happiness project bandwagon, Rubin certainly provided some food for thought. I’d like to be more conscious of how good I have it, despite the fact that it’s easier to focus on the shitty aspects of life. When it comes down to it, there really are many things to be thankful and happy about, and besides, people would prefer to hang out with an upbeat Shana more than a broody one.