I’m busy re-reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I’d forgotten how much it inspired me the first time and how great a book it is – especially at this time of year when my thoughts turn to re-evaluations (rather than resolutions, perhaps).
A quote from the book that jumped out at me last time and that I’d kept in mind for a while but had slowly forgotten is “The days are long, but the years are short” (I hope I’m quoting directly as I’m too lazy to go and find the book). I identify with this so much. The days feel long long long sometimes, especially when under depression’s influence, but then the years whizz by. I see how much my friends’ children have grown, how much has happened, register another birthday is on the way and think “where did it all go and what did I make of my time?”
I’ve always tried to be mindful – of others, of myself, of the present… but it so quickly gets buried under a lot of things like work, bills, etc. Due to the difficulty of making friends here in Vancouver, I’ve often felt lonely, but also like I’m not having enough fun. According to Rubin, it’s been proven that people’s happiness (or perception of happiness) increases exponentially the more they spend time with other people. So, one of my resolutions (i.e. something I am resolved to do) is try to meet more people and also make more fun in my life. I’ve already started looking into some different upcoming lectures at the Jung Society, I’ve bought tickets to two shows (a comedy show and a Cirque du Soleil) and I’ve even looked in to perhaps joining the Unitarian Church – something that I’m still debating (I do at least want to go and check it out and see if it’s for me).
Also, some of the other little things I’ve done are to buy a hand blender (I’ve been thinking about it for ages to make smoothies etc.), got a drawer insert that is called the “junk drawer organiser”, bought myself new bubble bath, and splurged on my favourite Body Shop shea butter scrub and body butter. Sometimes it is the little things that can make one feel a whole lot better.
As Rubin also discusses, it does seem weird to be determined and focused and serious about having fun, but as she discusses, and as I’ve realised, if you don’t make it happen, you end up slipping into routine. And I tend to find myself feeling a bit restless or down because I’ve stuck myself in front of the TV or computer and done little else. I’ve also made a resolution to try and make more of an effort with people I do know and like, and not be afraid to accept invitations. I had a lovely tea today with a new friend and someone I’ve known but haven’t really got to know one-on-one.
Even just the intention and also the actions I’ve taken have made me feel quite a bit better this last week or two. So here’s to my own happiness project, in whatever little ways I can make it happen. Huzzah!