While waiting in the San Francisco airport, for 4 hours, on the 10th of January, on the way home from an adult version of a family holiday (although it felt like nothing had changed in regards to family dynamic since the last time we were just us 4, as a unit, 10 or 15 years ago) contemplating life, all the change, all the misadventure, the learning, growing, shifting, the QUESTION, "What now?" that so often slides into the center stage of my mind theater... I picked up the book The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin. Mostly the cover design, colours and font attracted me. Then I flipped it over a few times in my hands and read the front, back, front... and decided to take it with me (...as in I bought it...I had been thinking about some sort of celebrity gossip magazine, I am not going to lie.) Turns out it was the right choice....
Gretchen Rubin is was lawyer turned author / Wife and mother. She is witty and real and has an organized and systematic way of confronting a topic that we all ponder, HAPPINESS. This book is an account of her one year project on Happiness. She researches happiness, writes about it, talks about it, devises a format for recording her success in the pursuit of happiness. What I liked about it most, is the whole "becoming happier" mission wasn't born from some sort of major life altering what-have-you, and isn't pursued by quitting her life and moving to India. She is a person who has a good life, like so many of us, who just knew she could be living it in a happier state. Gretchen makes small changes to her life, resolutions which she tracks and adds to, that are concrete and measurable, and in a year of experimenting she finds that the same life she was living before, brings her more joy, not because her life had changed, but because she changed the way she viewed and responded to it.
A while ago, my Island Posse attempted to start a book club. We read one book, we all hated it. With the uninspiring selection of book club books available to us from the library, ( Our mandate, NO rape, NO war, and NO Canada .... not sure if that last one is on par....) book club fell by the way side, and tends to not be made mention of. The point of a book club, was really only a guise for us all getting together, being united by something we could all talk about, and then deteriorate into our usual banter. We can do this anyways with dinners and dog walks, but Gretchen's book inspired me. A lot of my friends struggle through winter. We have all gone through a lot of trials and tribulations this year. I got to thinking that we could all use our own Happiness Projects to work on. Maybe this idea could replace Book club. So I put it out there, and generally I think my people like it.
I feel as if I have gone back in time to school, and have been putting together a book report. I have been meaning to lend my copy of the book to others so they too can read it, but I keep going back to things, and using it as inspiration. I've put together packages, with Resolution charts and Happiness Manifestos. Its become quite the hobby. I even wrote an email to Gretchen, ( Which she replied to, and made my day.) and Monday will be our first meeting. I am writing about this to you, here, because in the process of putting together this group to talk about happiness, I have become happier and feel like I have ( even if only a little..) a sense of purpose. In an effort to keep it up, I am making a resolution to do just that, KEEP IT UP, and update the progress here and there.
SO here we go. The Happiness Project..