I've mentioned before that I was reading and really enjoying The Happiness Project. Really super fantastic book (categorized as "self-help" and "memoir," I think), and I had never read anything like it before but discovered it at the perfect time, since this year has been packed full of activities and goals and to-dos and I've been having a hard time staying calm and upbeat. (I've been trying not to use "the 's' word," but things have been a little high stress sometimes, and I'm getting tired of it! Time to relax, right? So hard for me.)
|From our January weekend trip, lots of reading...|
So, I really appreciated the academic and logical look the author took at examining happiness (why is it a good goal? What does it mean? Is it an end goal at all? What are the principles and foundation of attaining it?), and I love accepting and engaging with the idea that I can take control of my mood and practice happiness, the same way I approach my goals. I think it's part of the common challenges of our busy lives and having so many interests and so many options these days, it's easy to not think about what we need to live a happy life.
Anyway, I'm really excited to be reading the second by Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubin, Happier at Home, which I first thought was home decorating advice for happiness... turns out it's a second "happiness project," this time focused on home and family. More great pearls of wisdom I can't wait to put sticky flags all over. ;)
These books have also inspired me to put up visual reminders of my goals and principles, or at least of quotes that I really like and want to remember. It's been on my to-do list to make up some pretty posters that I can frame, to look at every day and enjoy. So I finally got to it. And I'm happy to share them with you!
My fave happiness quotes
This one is in both of the Happiness Project books, and I'm still chewing on it, but I like it. One of the Happiness Project goals was changing your life without changing your life, and that sounds good to me--I'm satisfied with so many things about my life, but want to capture a mood that is sometimes hard to remember. But maybe it's with me all the time, and I just need to learn to pay attention!
And here's great one from the second book, Happier at Home. I love this because I do think about possessions and physical things as being really important, and it's nice to remember that there are important reasons for that--it's not just shallow materialism, but a real connection to things I've made and arranged and curated. Obviously as a creative and artistically-minded person, this is important to me, and as a "nester" with my natural urges to create a comfortable, beautiful home, this really rings true. (But also, as she says in the book, possessions can be important for happiness for completely non-materialistic reasons if we engage with them--either by use or by response, like how you feel when you walk past a photo of family. "When I felt engaged with my possessions, I felt enlivened by them, and when I felt disengaged from them, I felt burdened." (page 28) Another underlined, starred, sticky flagged passage for me. I want to surround myself with important, beautiful things and get rid of the rest, the messy stuff I don't need or love.
And, because I am such a huge fangirl of the Happiness Project, one of the core "splendid truths" by author Gretchen Rubin, featured in both books...
Those were the simple ones that I thought would be cute in circles. Wish I had more graphic design skillz ;) so I could come up with something besides a circle. But, hey. The colors and words and font are important, and I've got that part down.
A fave love quote
Another one to remember, not strictly part of the happiness collection... outside of the circle theme, this one I'm still working on (text, layout, photo...), but I want to find a photo I really love from one of our relaxing/romantic trips away and frame it. And add a nice quote and message reminding me to do kind, loving things every day--give proofs of love. Here's where my lack of graphic design skill gets me a little stunted. But the idea is there...
I dream of my gratitude poster!
I also still want to make myself a "gratitude poster," as I've been calling it on my to-do list. A pretty image I can frame and put somewhere I look at every day, to remind myself of all the wonderful things in my life I have to be grateful for... but that one may be a bigger project. Want it to be really pretty and really big! So I don't miss it when I walk by. I love the gratitude exercise idea, thinking of things you're grateful for every day, and think it would make me happier to see that list like a mantra.
How do you handle stress and balance your life to practice happiness?