Wednesday, 9 September 2009

it's all in the detail

i sometimes have a quick squizz at "The Happiness Project" where Gretchen Rubin is spending the year writing about how to be happy.

her ruminations and research cover all kinds of ideas and she asks for her readers' input. in the last week or so she has mentioned a couple of rules people have given her as personal steps to happiness:

one was put your shoes on
sounds odd, doesn't it? but having read it i understand. putting shoes on, even for working at/from home, gives a sense of readiness. i always wear shoes at home for just that reason, i can move inside and out and back again without having to hassle around about shoes. i never thought about shoe wearing being a step to happiness but if it saves some frustration it is!

another was make the bed
this is again, about feeling that things are under control, about the link between visual and mental clutter

Ms Rubin doesn't say that we all should wear shoes all the time or that we all should make the bed all the time. her point is that we should identify things that we can do (or not do) in order to contribute to our individual sense of well being

i've been thinking about the things i do for the sake of my enjoyment of life
  • turn off the noise. i have probably said so here before but i'll say it again. i really get tired of unneccessary noise. auditory clutter drives me bananas. the radio goes off. the tv goes off and sometimes the kids are sent to their rooms
  • make the effort to cook and eat veggies. i know this would seem to be a no brainer but sometimes life is so busy that i find it hard to keep fresh vegetables in the house. if i just find the time and energy to get myself organised not only do we eat better but i feel like a better mum. and that is the point for me, avoiding the nagging sense of defeat that comes from serving meal that is low in vegetables. in support of this cause i have developed a love affair with
  • pre-prepared salads. they have a range of different leaves in them and i dont have to cut and wash and store 5 different lettuces. i just get out the bag, add balsamic and olive oil and we have salad. it's too easy.

what sort of things do you do to up the happiness quotient?


  1. The shoe thing reminded me of an old "Peanuts" cartoon, where Charlie Brown couldn't decide which shoe to put on, first!

    And I do as much as I can to help out round the flat. That helps in the happy department.

  2. Any kind of art does it for me. All the beautiful paintings and pictures we have around the house, good books, good music. I would die in any environment devoid of artistic expression of any kind.

  3. Private little my absinthe.

    I'm always trying to come up with new adventures for myself.

  4. Since the quotient is the result of an arithmetic division I suppose turning off the TV or radio is a quotient of zero. This is in itself the answer to avoiding the masters of mediocrity. It is apposite to observe that 1 is on and 0 is off in logic circuit design and it in turn is using binary number system.
    All the hints in making sure the bed's made, wearing shoes is sanity saving advice. Turning off electrical appliance standby mode is an energy saver and a plus. Polishing leather shoes the day before wearing helps.
    Reading Kylie's blog helps to crystalize ones thoughts because of comments by others and is a good excuse to do "nothing."

  5. Barefoot with plenty of clogs at the door. Works for me! : D

    Love those veggies and a daily-made bed!

    I'm all caught up after a brief absence . . . you're in my prayers with that muscle pain. YOUCH! Take care (and let somebody else keep the bed tidy). : D

  6. Just say no AND don't look back meaning to other people. The moment you say no you start to feel guilty. I say don't. Move on as you are already forgotten and the next person is being asked...

    Another is don't over spilled milk. When something is already done, it is done...move on.

    I guess in the past two or three years I have really been working on these. It is definitely an outlook changer and puts lots of positive energy in my life. I don't have time to muddle...move and have fun doing it.

  7. subby
    if helping out makes you happy you are a fortunate man, theres always help needed :)

  8. nick,
    the arts are good for the soul, no doubt

  9. leah,
    "private little adventures" the mind boggles. enjoy them all

  10. dad,
    time wasted happily doing "nothing" is not time wasted at all

  11. debbie,
    tidiness is not my forte so the bed is not a worry :)
    the muscles are slowly getting to be happier. your prayers are much appreciated

  12. molly,
    if you can do those things you are doing better than i am and you are right, they would cut a lot of agony out of life

  13. Just say "No." I find that when my plate gets full, I tend to spin out. The people in our lives will load us up with requests and things to do. Very few things are so urgent that the "stuff" can either wait or be disregrded all together. Take time for fun.

  14. Ha! NOT wearing shoes indoors is one of my happy things. I'd rather not wear shoes, ever. Once I get home, off they come!

  15. whatever floats your boat, megs!


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