Monday, November 19, 2012

Notes on Happier at Home

Roses and rosemary from my garden

I finished reading Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin last night. Here's what I found post-it worthy:

1) "Finally, I'd realized our apartment didn't have to reveal any deep truths. I expressed myself in other ways; it was enough that my apartment was a pleasant, comfortable place to live. Some people get tremendous creative satisfaction from shaping the look of their homes, but I don't; I find it exhausting. In this area, I would be authentically inauthentic."

2) "Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing."  William Butler Yeats

3)"Cultivating my possions, then, wasn't a simple matter of organization, elimination, or accumulation; it was a matter of engagement. When I felt engaged with my possessions, I felt enlivened by them, and when I felt disengaged from them, I felt burdened." Objects are engaged through frequent use or through a pleasing emotional response.

4) The Five Fateful Questions for making difficult choices: What am I waiting for? What would I do if I weren't scared? What steps would make things easier? What would I do if I had all the time and money in the world? If I were looking back at this decision, five years from now, what will I wish I'd done?

5) Suffer for 15 minutes. Do something that really needs to be done, even if it fills me with dread, for 15 minutes. Big tasks can be accomplished in small, regular chunks of time.

6) When someone makes an attempt to connect with a touch, question, gesture, comment, or look, we should answer with a comment, a laugh, or some kind of acknowledgement. Failed bids lead to feeling diminished and frustrated.

7) Celebrate holiday breakfasts!

8) Does my presence make people happier? Do my actions contribute to conditions that will increase other people's happiness? Practice "nonrandom" acts of kindness, ones that will make people happier in my presence on a very small scale.


  1. "Nonrandom acts of kindness"-I like that. When people see me, I don't want them to see my kindness as some random act. I would prefer that kindness is always what they see.

    1. Or if not what they a,ways see, then at least they know that my heart is trying!

  2. I can not agree more. Unless you engage in whatever you are doing, I also think it can become a burden. An old French monk, Brother Lawrence, said in his little booklet, Practice the Presence of God, that he does everything for his love of God and he was such a happy fulfilled man! I think he knew the secret of being engaged with his Pappa God and, therefore with others and everything he did!
    Much love and blessings

    1. I am familiar with this book. I just read yesterday that everything that is truly done with attention is new.