Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter and The Happiness Project

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend.

I started it off with the Color Me Rad 5k that I ran with my oldest son...we got a little messy as you can see:

On Sunday it was a beautiful day here and was complete with all sorts of happy fun including an Easter Egg hunt:

 It was hard work finding all of those eggs

Speaking of I wanted to share with you a book I just completed:

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I happened upon it when I was visiting one of my local thrift stores, and thought for $2 it might well be worth a try (generally I go for the library first before investing...but I decided to indulge).

The book is a memoir chronicling the year long journey of the author to see if she can make herself a happier person.  Each month she dedicates herself to a resolution(s), while keeping her previous months resolutions (so they snowball on top of each other).

I'm going to go ahead and get my negative comments out of the way first so that I can end the review on a positive note.

I found the author to be very critical and pessimistic throughout the book, and I often wondered how in the world her family stands her with all of her complaining and nagging...but then I thought "Hey maybe she really did need to cultivate some happiness in her life."

I gleaned some useful information, I promise this will not spoil the book for you should you choose to check it out yourself:

1) Give a hug for at least 6 seconds (it maximizes the of release serotonin and oxytocin)
2) Smile, everyone benefits from this as it can help make you feel happier
3) Indulge in things that bring you joy (doesn't have to be a purchase it could be finding time to sit down and read)
4) Remember that the years are short (particularly poignant for those of us with children)

I did enjoy that each month/chapter was devoted to a different means to reach happiness and included more in-depth research for each topic (i.e. "can money buy you happiness?").  Reading about each month's explorations let you take a peak into how much work she did each month and how successful she was in keeping her monthly resolutions.

Overall I wouldn't recommend purchasing the book, but definitely think it is worth stopping by your local library to read.

I have adopted some of her suggestions such as the 6 second hug and I am reading more, because that really does bring me a great amount of pleasure.

So one of my goals this year is to read 52 books, which I am keeping up with on Goodreads, but do you have any suggestions of books you think are worth a gander?  I would love to hear them.


  1. I appreciate your honest thoughts on this one. I hadn't read it, but had it on my to-read list. I may skip it now. I don't like listening to people complain. {That's one reason I avoid FB! Ha!}

    So you've kept up with running, have you? You're a better woman than me! I'm lucky to get 2 miles in during a week. I make excuses for myself now that I walk everywhere instead of driving. :)

  2. I wasn't a huge fan of the book either - but I loved the idea of breaking your life down into 12 areas that bring stress and negativity into your life and learning how to refocus your thought and energy into making them more positive.

  3. I didn't like the book either! And this is the type of book I usually love. Can't remember exactly because it was awhile ago, but it was definitely something about the author's personality and writing style, so privileged and whiny.
    Two favorite books off the top of my head are The Dispossessed and The Handmaid's Tale (both dystopian fiction). Another good non-fiction I just finished was My Prison, My Home, a memoir of an older Iranian American lady who got thrown in prison while visiting home for really no reason. A very interesting perspective from a native Iranian on how screwed up their system is.

  4. I didn't like the book as much as well. Like you, I felt that it was a tad too negative for my taste. HAPPINESS was hiding in the corner in that project. LOL. You have a lovely family, and it's great that you have tons of fun with them. God bless! - Ritter