The Happiness Project 

Last week, when I stayed overnight in Sydney for training, I went to Dymocks Books Store and bought a couple of books. One of them, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, kept jumping at me from the different sections of the store so I followed my intuition and bought it. 

As a side note, I then spoke to a friend about it who said that she had been meaning to get a copy, and so she did. It was meant to be. 

I returned to my hotel after my purchases, ate dinner, and decided to have a bath to start reading this book. I don’t like baths. Baths are definitely not a thing I think I should ever do ( the whole sitting in your own filth thing). But, to start this book’s journey, I needed to have a bath, soaking and reading, and I loved the experience. 

The book though. Weird choice. I consider myself a reasonably happy and grateful person. I did not understand why a book about happiness had jumped out at me; I am happy. And in the introduction, Rubin says the same thing about her project. She is happy, why does she feel the compulsion to engage in this project. And I was hooked. 

And I still am. Ten days later I am savouring each chapter, reflecting on it and how I engage with that aspect of my life. It is a refreshing process. 

Rubin’s first idea is that clutter in our physical space gives permission for mental and emotional clutter to thrive. True. So, her first step was to attack and reorganize the physical clutter. I haven’t spring cleaned since I moved in fifteen months ago. As a result, my spare room and garage have become dumping grounds, and as a result of that, my life hasn’t felt free to do other things. 

Today, I tackle those two rooms. 

Interestingly, I made an event in my calendar to show that I was busy to ensure that it got done. But I felt guilt saying no to two other things I had been invited to. However, I made this appointment with myself prior to the other invitations and needed to maintain the appointment. I had to give myself permission to do this. I’m still feeling a little bit bad but I will feel significantly worse if these two spaces remain cluttered for another three months. 

It’s been an interesting week. I am living more consciously. I make plans and I see them through. I have structured in solitary down time, and made appointments with myself to put my needs first at times. I feel more in control, happier. I am meeting my needs as much as I am meeting the needs of others, and the balance feels good. 

Onward. I will keep you posted. A significant challenge arises when I return to work next week.