Friday, April 1, 2011

If You're Happy And You Know It...

Wednesday night I finished Gretchen Rubin's New York Times Bestseller The Happiness Project. I started it in January with the goal of reading one chapter per month...but I quickly realized that I just could not stretch it out that long and stay engaged.

I had planned to use it as a catalyst for meeting my own resolutions/goals for 2011, but it was too hard to think through my own and try to follow hers as well. (I know I didn't have to follow hers, but I am always ready to try something that someone else thinks helps!)

Can you believe it took me three months to get through it? But that has nothing to do with the book. It had everything to do with the fact that I was also enrolled in a Bible Study this spring with a group of ladies at Meagan's church. We did Angela Thomas' Living Your Life As A Beautiful Offering...and it was wonderful! slowed down my extra curricular reading.

So, back to Gretchen's book...though it had been sitting on my nightstand for was perfect timing for me. I needed to be reminded that "The days are long, but the years are short". After all, Will has only two more years in high school after this one. The other four are already grown, two are gone, and I have three grandchildren who are no longer babies! Time is passing quickly and I am not focusing on the here and now to appreciate and enjoy it.

There is so much in Gretchen's book that I wanted to remember. I began reading it with a highlighter in hand...but after the first chapter alone I realized that this is a book that I will probably be returning to again and again. So, I put down the highlighter and just enjoyed the ride.

It is encouraging to see what steps other's take to be the person they want to be and that was certainly true in this book. Gretchen's resolutions each month followed a theme such as parenthood or marriage or money or attitude and I learned a lot about myself just reading her accounts. But I laughed out loud at some of her "Secrets of Adulthood"!

Who hasn't lived the truths of:

  • By doing a little each day, you can get a lot accomplished.

  • Soap and water remove most stains.


  • Turning the computer on and off a few times often fixes a glitch.

But, I couldn't help but snicker at myself when I read:

  • If you can't find something, clean up.


  • You don't have to be good at everything.

And there was a little bit of ouch factor to:

  • What's fun for other people may not be fun for you - and vice versa.

  • It's okay to ask for help.

As I turned the last page and closed the book, I couldn't help but think about the goals I had set at first of this year. I haven't been as diligent in them as I had planned, nor have I set new ones...yet. I am thinking I may be a slow learner and have decided to focus on a new area for a quarter instead of a month. It seems to take me that long to think it through.

And just to make sure I didn't miss it, as I read my nightly Lent devotional from John Piper's Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came To Die:

"The longing of the human heart is to live and to be happy."

(Reason 19: To Give Eternal Life To All Who Believe On Him)

Wishing you and yours much happiness, today and always!

1 comment:

Allen and Rita Smith said...

I apply the do a little each day to fixing up our home. Only instead of a little each day it's do one project each year. My boss's wife, Ms. Carol, told me that years ago. She and Mr. George are gone now but her wisdom lives on.

I love the line the days are long, but the years are short. Boy, do I know that one. I will be 50 in a few years. I don't feel 50. I feel 25 but I don't want to go back to 25. I love the person I am now.

If you can't find something, clean up....OH MY GOODNESS, I think she may know me. ha ha. I'm always putting things up and then when I need it I can't find it.

I think the longing of the human heart is to love and be loved.