My book for September was Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life, a follow up to Gretchen Rubin’s earlier book, The Happiness Project (review), which I read earlier this year. I’d started following her blog & receiving her daily emails “Moments of Happiness”, and she promoted the heck out of this book.
Her first book was mostly about setting 12 goals for herself, one each month, that she’d focus on making small changes and re-framing her thoughts to improve her overall happiness. This second book was about actually applying many of theses principles to her home life, including her husband and kids. For the 9 months of the school year, she again adopted a new theme each month & selected several small ways she’s work towards her goal of being happier in that area.
In general, I found most of her ideas and suggestions very practical and easily to implement. I was quite satisfied with myself when I recognized I was already doing many of the things she’d suggested, and was gently reminded how putting forth a little effort to complete tasks or get more organized would reduce emotional stress and bring me great joy (um, hello yearly albums that I’m behind on & my office and closet that have been out of control messy for the last few months). I enjoyed her stories as she worked to make small tweaks in her life, this book read more like a memoir than a “how to” book.
Overall, I think this is a great book & a lovely follow up to her first book. Probably because I read 9 months worth of transformation & struggles in a few weeks, it seemed like a very over-whelming task. Gretchen tries heard to break it down into small manageable shifts in her daily life, but the amount of constant mental reminders and mantas and lessons and truths she kept repeating to herself were over-whelming to me. I’m sure if I’d spent a month on each item, living it daily, it would have been easier to digest all of her new thoughts & mental mojo. This is a great book for anybody who is very Type-A with a structured approach to life that would enjoy the very methodical and deliberate approach to cultivating a happier life.
GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Another day headed to New York, so hopefully a few hours on the plane to get things accomplished.