I’m reading a slightly silly book from Gretchen Rubin called The Happiness Project. It has some good stuff too, but I’d have to admit it’s a bit shallow. Anyways, I’ve gotten one really good piece of advice from it: If it’s something you can do in one minute – just do it! Meaning if you have something on your hand and you don’t feel like putting it back in its place but feel like leaving it on the counter or where ever. If it takes a minute, just put it where it belongs. I’m a master of creating chaos. Just because I leave everything unfinished, hanging around the house. But fortunately I’m also the queen of taming chaos. But this new “rule” has really helped me a lot. And it doen’t feel like something I couldn’t follow for a long time, maybe even the rest of my life :).
Anyway, the point to this post is happiness. What it is? Where does it come from? And how to keep it? In the book Gretchen says there are three kind of fun (and fun brings in happiness, right?): Challenging fun, accommodating fun, and relaxing fun. Challenging fun is the most rewarding (I can still remember the “high” after super amazing and challenging jumping (horseback riding class), but it’s also the one that requires the most. The second is accommodating fun, something you kind of like do for others. Like taking the kids to amusement park, it’s not something you’d do just for yourself, but you do it for others and that makes you happy. And the last one, relaxing fun, is the most common of these three. It’s a bag of chips and no-brainer movie. It’s fun, but it won’t last long (unfortunately this chips last long on your butt/hips). And it’s the last one we most likely go after. Why are we so into easy, but not so into rewarding fun? I guess because we are lazy. Whatever we want we want it now, as easily as possible. When the happiness is still in the things we need to achieve.
Like my kids — they need to save money for our trip to the States this summer. I’m not paying for their tickets. (Though I guess I would if I could afford it.) The poor things have to save months and months to get enough money for that. But in the end there will be the reward, and I’m sure it tastes sweeter than anything they could’ve gotten for free. This will make them appreciate and cherish the trip so much more!
Even though I’m this smart (like I know all these things) I still go for the fast satisfaction. Why???!!!
There’s one more thing, that’s really hard to swallow. You can’t keep/own happiness. It comes and goes. It’s not your to keep. That sucks. I don’t even like sakura/hanami that much, because it’s just temporary. I want things to stay!! I know that’s the beauty of it. I know I should learn (I’m trying!) to like things like that. I mean I do like things like that, I love rainbows and birds and squirrels, and they are something you’ll see for a moment, and then they are gone. But if I could I’d take the rainbow and put it in my pocket and take it out when ever I needed to look at it… Same thing with the squirrels in our yard. I wish they were my friends and would come inside and drink tea with me and then we’d cuddle all day long.
Oh! There’s a magpie nest on our hedge! We had one last year, too. They made a little baby magpie, but she/he died :(. Heartbreaking. This year it’ll be different. The little baby will grow into a beautiful grown-up magpie 🙂
What makes You happy?