Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Happiness

I read a book over the weekend that I thoroughly enjoyed: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  I found the book a quick and easy read.  The book appealed to me for a number of reasons--some of which are likely obvious to anyone who has read my blog for a while--and I ended up enjoying it even more than I thought I would.


The basic premise of the book is that the author realizes one day that she is happy with her life but perhaps not as happy as she should be, given all the good things in it: a job she loves, husband and children, material comforts, friends and family.  She decides to spend a year trying various things to see if they increase her happiness and not wait for a time when she is in crisis to truly see the good in her life.

The author stresses that a happiness project would look different for each person because everyone's tastes, interests and passions are different.  What makes one person happy might not make another happy.  I see her point. 

On her blog, the author talks about how to start your own happiness project if you feel so inspired.  I like the idea of doing things to enhance my happiness--and let me be clear: like Rubin, I am generally very happy with the life I have--but I think I would struggle with one of the earliest parts of the process.  I think I know in a general sense "what brings [me] joy, satisfaction, and engagement, and also what brings [me] guilt, anger, boredom, and remorse" . . . . but I don't know that I know this in enough detail to fully flesh it out into a workable plan. 

One thing she suggests in the book is to think back to when you were 10 years old and remember what you did for fun.  I must admit, beyond reading, watching TV, roller skating and riding my bike, I'm stumped.

Oh, and I'm also kinda busy at the moment with work and getting ready to do our DE IVF cycle.  So there's that, too.  ;-)

I know that many of us who are struggling through infertility can find it very hard to find the joy in our present lives, so I thought this book was worth sharing with my fellow friends in the trenches.

It has prompted me to think about a few things in my life from which I derive great enjoyment: petting my dogs and watching them play; spending time with my sister or friends; exploring a new city; reading a good book; hiking; cuddling with my husband; hearing my nephew's laugh; getting a massage; waking up refreshed without an alarm.  In a perverse way, I enjoy taking on a new challenge or mastering something new.  (I say "in a perverse way" because I sometimes find these things frustrating while I am in the thick of them but ultimately find them satisfying.)

I'd like to find more things that bring me pleasure.  I'm sure there are lots of other things I either haven't tried, or tried in the past and have forgotten, that I'd enjoy.

What about you?  What brings you joy, satisfaction or engagement?

5 comments:

  1. Travel, travel, travel! And more travel!

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  2. I've been meaning to pick up that book. Your description and positive review makes me even more keen to hunt it down. It's great to think about those things that engages our entire being, and try to move towards including those in our days. It's hard with very busy lives and fertility treatments in the mix, but I hope you get to do those things that make you feel alive.

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  3. Great post and certainly food for thought. I have trouble figuring out what makes me happy. Today, I will keep it simple, I am happy that I can run again- even if I am still slow and running short distances.

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  4. Lisa, I agree. I can't do much of it, though, due to lack of time off work and now lack of money.

    cgd, your post made me think: I have started doing yoga in the past couple of months, and I find it very engaging. I have to concentrate so much on holding the poses and on breathing correctly that I don't have time to let my mind wander, which is a good thing for me.

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  5. Just popping in to say good luck with your hsg today (or is it an shg?)

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