Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin

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As I finished reading Happier at Home this morning, I found myself relishing the time spent with my daughter as she reads while I write, savoring a Sunday morning breakfast of waffles and bacon with my husband and children, and cherishing my son as I watch him prepare a talk (about his 450-mile bike ride this summer) to deliver in church today.  Because I read Rubin's book — I am “experiencing the experience” of being at home with my family. I am happier.  In other words, her book delivers on the promise.

Here's what Gretchen wrote in the prologue:   “A ‘happiness project' is an approach to the practice of everyday life.  First is the preparation stage, when you identify what brings you joy, satisfaction, and engagement, and also what brings you guilt anger and remorse, second, is the making of resolutions… Then comes the interesting part:  keeping your resolutions.  Happier at Home is the story of my second happiness project.”

Because quotes and tweeting, and facebooking make me happier, here is some of what I find myself savoring:


How breathtaking, how fleeting, how precious is an ordinary day. – @gretchenrubin

The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life. – William Morris v @gretchenrubin

I can build a happy life only on the foundation of my own nature.  – @gretchenrubin

“It is impossible to win the great prizes of life without running risks, and the greatest of all prizes are those connected with the home.” – T. Roosevelt v @gretchenrubin

“Working is one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination.” – @gretchenrubin

“Experience the experience.” – @gretchenrubin

“What I do almost every day matters more than what I do once in awhile.” – @gretchenrubin

“Behind our unremarkable front door waits the little world of our making — our home.” – @gretchenrubin

“How happy I am, how grateful I am, to be home.” – @gretchenrubin

“Give warm greetings and farewells.” — @gretchenrubin

“Guard your children's free time — from you.” — @gretchenrubin

“One of the most important lessons of childhood is discovering what you like to do.” — @gretchenrubin

“See the child you have, not the child you wish you had.” — Anon v @gretchenrubin

Happiness is neither having less, nor more; happiness is wanting (and engaging with) what I have. — @gretchenrubin

“Pay close attention to any flame of enthusiasm.” – @gretchenrubin


For those of you who read my piece Throw Your Life a Curve, you may appreciate these quotes:

“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth.  We are happy when we are growing.” – William Butler Yeats v @gretchenrubin

“Live as long as you may, the first twenty years are the longest half of your life.” – Robert Southey v @gretchenrubin


Here are a few of my resolutions after reading her book include:

1)  De-clutter our family room.  Rubin's chapter on possessions provided an important learning.   Before being able to have an organized home, I need to decide which of my possessions actually matter to me.  Once I've cleared the clutter of what doesn't, organizing will be much easier.

2)  Do better at “fond farewells and greetings.”

3)  Schedule an outing with each of my children, in turn — within the next month.

4)  Pay attention to my “moments of obligation”:  the moments when I think— hey, someone should really try to improve or teach, or whatever.  It probably means — I'm the one who should do something.”

5) Remember — “It is hard, so terribly hard, to please yourself.  Far from being the easy thing it sounds like, it is almost the hardest thing in the world, because we are not always comfortable with that true self that lies deep within us.” — @Christopher Alexander


P.S.  I wrote about her book The Happiness Project here and here.

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