I recently read, and re-read (and then re-read once more) a book called ‘The Happiness Project‘ by Gretchen Rubin. I’m not sure exactly what it was about it that made me appreciate it so, but I really enjoyed it (and her blog by the same name).
Perhaps it’s because I felt I could personally relate to Gretchen on a number of random things – she doesn’t like taking showers, or listening to music, she loves re-reading books, and always has to bring a cardigan because she’s always cold.
I can confess to all of those quirks, even if I forget the cardigan thing and have to be reminded by Will to bring something warm. To an outdoor picnic. In the middle of a sunny day.
Or perhaps it’s because I love the premise of Rubin’s whole project, that she could change her life without changing her life. Rubin wanted to see if she could increase her happiness and contentment through small, everyday actions, rather than taking drastic measures like moving to the middle of nowhere, or taking a round-the-world trip, or a massive career change.
After finishing the book (for a third time), I knew I wanted a Happiness Project of my own. I live a very happy life, but through Rubin’s experience, I could see there were more opportunities for me to be mindful of my happiness, to enlarge my happiness, to be grateful for it and treasure it.
I’ve been thinking about what my Happiness Project could look like. I could do a year of resolutions, like Rubin did. I could repeat my 365 Grateful project. I could even take up meditation.
Then I remembered something fun I’d done before, a few times actually. Something simple, something that indulged my love for a good list, something that could incorporate a bunch of things that make me happy.
The birthday list!
Yes, my 23 by 24 list got caught up in the whirlwind of moving halfway around the world and I never did get around to #10, #14 and #19, amongst others. But each year is a new one, so I’m starting a 24 Things To Do Before 25 List shaped around the idea of happiness. Stay tuned!