Thursday, January 19, 2012
One of the books I'm upset that I am almost done with is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. When I first heard of this book about a year ago I dismissed it as a fluff-kind-of- book-that-people-gush-over-but-when-I-finally-read-it-I-am disgusted-with-how-basic-and-condescending-it-is (I won't name names, because I may offend you, but this has happened to me more than once).
A blog I read mentioned that in her project Rubin gave each month a theme and focused on those things during that month. I love a theme and I need focus (so many projects!) so that was enough for me to check it out from the library.
I totally fell in love with this book. Rubin's story and approach was not what I expected at all. In fact I could totally relate to her. She admits her life is good, but felt like she could be doing life better and that was what the book is about. She did a huge amount of research on happiness and the reader gets to benefit from that when she throws in study statistics and quotes from other books on happiness.
For the month of January (do you know I need to look up that word every time I write it? Luckily there is a calendar near) Rubin focused on creating energy and had a plan for doing it with steps like go to bed earlier, clear out clutter and keep a food diary.
I chose to do the same thing for January and have focused mostly on space clearing. All month my day's focus has been on getting rid of stuff. Since I am currently unemployed I have the chance to really work on this full time right now. I have cleaned out clothes, books, cds, records, and ephemera (which was them listed for sale on The Cedar Chest. I have donated and listed things on Amazon and Ebay. I have gone through some drawers and tackled some things on my to do list.
I am however feeling antsy that the end of January is coming and I still have lots and lots of stuff that has not been gone through. Obviously a lifetimes worth of stuff can not all be gone through in one month and I need to remember I'm being unreasonable to imagine it could. Things are definitely more cleared out and will continue to be.
I really recommend this book, especially if you are the list making kind of nerd, which is totally her approach. Even if you don't do the project yourself, the book on it's own is valuable and can open your eyes to some things. She has a very full website, too, that can give you lots of ideas.
Another book I am putting off finishing is Wildwood.
Wildwood is a classic fantasy adventure book in the tradition of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and similar books like that. Wildwood, however, is set in Portland and the magical woods that it takes place in are based on Forest Park. Wildwood is written by Colin Meloy of the band The Decemberists and is illustrated by his wife Carson Ellis. It's a very enjoyable read on a rainy winter night.
What are you reading?