--William Morris, The Aims of Art
I recently picked up Gretchen Rubin's new book, Happier at Home and started reading her second happiness project - all about making her home a happier place. Kind of fun, right?
I already think of my home as a happy place - the place I can't wait to be everyday... But what if there's ways to make it even happier?! Oh my... Challenge taken!
Here's one of my favorite quotes about happiness, in the "Preparation" chapter:
"Research shows that happiness is the cause AND effect of many desirable circumstances, such as a strong marriage, more friends, better health, success at work (including making more money), more energy, better self control (there's that idea again!), and even longer life. Although people sometimes assume that the happy are self-absorbed and complacent, just the opposite is true. In general, happiness doesn't make people want to sip daiquiris on the beach; it makes them want to help rural villagers gain better access to clean water..."
Gretchen's first focus for the project is on "Possessions." Not because she feels controlled by things, but because they have a tendency to weigh us down. Unless we "cultivate" them! She says, "Cultivating my possessions, 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."
So the first "challenge" was to "create a shrine." Take the time to highlight and care for the things that engage us. It's an arrangement of things that call attention to something particular, engages us in a particular reaction or mood, and celebrates something that is important to us.
The more I read, the more I realized I already arrange my house with certain "shrines!"
Family and Friends.
Books - the Joy of Reading!
Fun! (Games, Wii, dvd player, a scrapbook of concert tickets, and a marriage anniversary book to record our life every year!)
My Grandpa. A wood-carver and outdoor enthusiast!
My Grandma, Baba. Rainbows, angels, and sea shells.
Little reminders of fun moments.
What kind of "shrines" do you have around your house? I'd love to hear!
Things I am thankful for today:
1. Pumpkin granola.
4. Planning events with friends.
5. A day to work from home.
7. Funny note from friends.
9. A week with no evening meetings! Woohoo!
10. Kayla won a Cities Sampler this year - no standing in line in the cold! Woohoo!