i’ve been reading gretchen rubin’s the happiness project, and it’s been getting me thinking about my own happiness.
for those of you who haven’t read this memoir, it’s about a woman who, although faced with no overwhelming crises, makes the decision to spend a year trying to improve the happiness of herself and others.
it’s been very thought-provoking.
for instance, i didn’t realize that earlier this summer i made a similar decision. i read a series of ill-written books soon after i got out of school, mostly because they were available and because i had the time to read whatever i wanted.
the problem with this is that reading books that aren’t well-written make me cranky, so i spend the entire time wishing i was doing anything but reading said material, and then spend far more time than necessary ranting on about the shortcomings thereof. so i decided, i think in early july, that i was done reading literary garbage. i was going to choose my reading material deliberately and carefully, that which was well-written, contained stimulating material, and recommended by people whose literary opinions i respect.
subsequently, i read the millennium trilogy by stieg larsson, the lovely bones by alice sebold, and the help by kathryn stockett.
i realized at the end of july, too, though, that my habit of going to the library and expecting to chance upon these literary gems was going to result in few successes. i needed a comprehensive list of books i wanted to read, along with their authors’ names, and it needed to be easily accessible. so i wrote it in my planner, which i carry in my purse, went online, put books on hold, called the library, and what do you know? – i’ve read one book i’d had on my list for months, am in the middle of the happiness project, and have four more books sitting blithely on my dresser, awaiting their turn in my hands.
and seriously, i don’t think i’ve been more happy all summer.