Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Finding More Happiness in My Own Kitchen

Lately, I found that I have been "led" by some unseen force to ponder more on happiness and most of the books I read or bought recently dealt with this subject. And the best part about acquiring those books is that my purchases were sponsored by the Malaysian Government through the 1Malaysia book vouchers. So, I didn't have to pay for them but only topped up a few Ringgits to bring those books home. A week or so earlier, I bought 50 Ways to Feel Great. Yesterday, I brought home Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. Rubin's book is a gem.

Yesterday, I was hanging out with the "Meow" brothers and Borders was, naturally, one of the stops. Before Borders, we zoomed around the mall from Material to Sakae Sushi for lunch, then Switch to ogle at some Apples, then Borders, and finally Daiso the RM5 store before dinner.

What I found to be fascinating is how everything ties up together. I was thinking about reorganizing my digital photos and perhaps showcasing them in printed forms, especially in a photobook format. At Switch, I floated from one station to the other and ended up at the one with brochures and samples of photobooks in various formats of binding. "Ty, this is what I'm thinking of doing! Isn't this nice?" I said to Ty. I was super excited.

Next stop: Borders. Thinking really hard on what to buy, I checked out every shelf and landed in front of the one with a book that has a happy blue cover with bright yellow fonts for its title. The Happiness Project. Very nice. It has all the elements that will make me take a second look: the word "project", the color blue and well, it's a book!

I got started immediately and found that the first few pages of the book is already resonating with me. For example, at the end of the chapter "Getting Started" on page 15, Rubin says:
The time to start exercising, stop nagging, and organize our digital photos was when everything was going smoothly. I didn't want to wait for a crisis to remake my life.
At this point (and several points before this), I was already thinking, this is so for me! I am already exercising (way to go!), I have nobody to nag at for now (so that is not an issue) and the "organizing our digital photos" bit did it for me. The author and I are on to something. We're aligned because we are thinking the same thoughts. Right now I'm happy and could be happier.

At the bookstore, Miao the funny guy who is also Ty's older brother said to me, "You love your job. You don't need this book." Coincidentally, the author faced the same question, too, with her own husband. This is what he said on page 12:
"I don't really get it," Jamie said as he lay on the floor to do his daily back and knee exercises. "You're already pretty happy, aren't you? If you're really unhappy, this would make more sense, but you're not."
I'll be taking my own sweet time reading and pondering, taking notes, making charts, lists and all the same time updating the blog as I journey along this one-year project of making me a happier person. Working on my happiness wouldn't just make me happier, it would boost the happiness of the people around me. This is going to be fun!

Do check out the Happiness Project Toolbox website.

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