The Happiness Project

I’ve spent the past week thinking a LOT about happiness: what makes me happy, what doesn’t, how I express my happiness, and how I can be more mindful about my actions. I’ve spent the past week listening to Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project on my commute to and from work and as I fell asleep at night, and I can’t tell you if I’m more happy but I’m definitely thinking about happiness more.

I don’t think that I’m going to undertake a complete happiness project myself, but I did enjoy listening to Rubin recount hers. She lives a very different life than mine: she was in her 30s or 40s (who am I to say), married, had two kids, and was working as a full-tie writer. I, on the other hand, am 22, just graduated college, have zero children or pets currently, live in an apartment, have no boyfriend, et cetera. But I still enjoyed hearing about Gretchen’s resolutions ¬†related to marriage, energy, family traditions, mindfulness, spirituality, and more. Rubin’s a good narrator and poses some good questions, though as an audiobook I was often throw off by the inclusion of reader emails since they weren’t separated clearly.

I came up with a lot of ideas in the ten hours I spent listening to this audiobook and did a lot of self-reflection. One of my favorite continual affirmations throughout the book was “Be Gretchen.” That was the number one rule she based all of her resolutions around. She couldn’t change herself, she could just try to understand herself better. This applied in a couple different ways, like accepting what she liked was what she liked and she couldn’t suddenly change her taste in movies. I am going to try and keep that in mind going forward “Be Aryssa.” I can work on being a better person, but I can’t be a different person.

Overall, I thought this book was interesting. There’s a reason it is a #1 NYT best-seller, but I also don’t have the time or energy to put together an entire happiness project of my own. Instead, I’ll be keeping what I learned in mind and being more intentional about what I do that brings me joy and how I can be a happier person around others.

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