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I couldn t finish it In fact, I couldn t get past page 49, and that really hurt, because I BOUGHT this book in HARDBACK Sigh And I wanted to like it, I swear, but it just wasn t happening for me.I picked this book up because I have an interest in how others achieve happiness, enjoy getting a glimpse into how others conduct their lives on a daily basis I even find grocery selections interesting, and what goes into them , and have gotten a kick out of several stunt journalism projects Rubin s research and methodical attempts at achieving her elusive gold star happiness appealed to me However, the persona Rubin projects on paper didn t appeal to me Perhaps in real life she is a fantastic person to hang out with, but if this book was her resume, I would have to pass on an invitation to grab coffee.I find it interesting that early on in the book she recounts a conversation she had with someone at a party in regards to her happiness project, and this individual pointed out that she probably would not have a wide appeal, stating that her upper East Side apartment, law degree, and seemingly charmed life would alienate her to many readers As I went on with the book, I found myself agreeing and with that nameless individual.While I do not think the book is bad, it just isn t a book that speaks to me. Wow, when did I become so cynical and not even realize it Just like Julia from Julie and Julia 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen I too am in danger of becoming nothing but a secretary on a road to nowhere, drifting toward frosted hair and menthol addiction However, this book helped me get out of my funk and become creative I didn t want to review this book until I tried my own happiness project because to be honest I was very sceptical about the results.So, my personal journey to getting back on track to being happier started in the LGA airport in the Hudson News Bookstore I was traveling back to Chicago after visiting family in Long Island and Conneticut for Easter My plane was delayed and I had finished my other book I had brought with So, being bored and knowing I was going to sit there for a while, I purused the books at Hudson News This is the one that spoke to me and I started reading it in the airport Most of the information isn t anything spectcular and it s all stuff that I already knew, but obviously I needed to hear it again for the millionth time, before it finally sunk in I wasn t happy because I wasn t making time for the one thing that really makes me happywriting every day.So, I decided to start my own project The first thing I did was clear the clutter out of my apartment Not only did this make packing tons easier for my move to my new home, but it also lifted a mental weight that too much stuff can have over you and you ll not even realize it This was a good first step for me The stuff I didn t have use for I gave away or donated in hopes that someone else who does need it can.The second step was making room for creativity every single day I am really good at making time to read since I have an hour commute via train but I wasn t showing up at the page everyday to write and that really soured my mood So, I started a journal where I would write just a sentence every single day, even when I didn t want to, and you know what Because I showed up and made the time for creativity, I started writing than a sentence I was writing paragraphs, and then pages That made me really happy and for the first time in a long time I realized, I can do this The third and final step and the one that s still a work in progress for me is spending money on unnecessary things I became addicted to internet shopping It s really easy to do I would just log on to some of my favorite sites Etsy, Sephora, Groupon, and could order in an instant anything I wanted via my credit card Pretty soon, I was in debt, and I had massive amounts of unnused products, books, and other things I didn t need So, I stopped spending on the internet all together and bought only the things I absolutely needed like food and began to use up the things I had lying around This made me feel happier, however, it s still hard for me to go into a store and say, yes, this is a really good deal, but I don t need it I m slowly getting better at this and practice does make perfect.Like Gretchen, I too just wanted to share my thoughts on this subject, and hopefully inspire others, not to do the same things I ve done, but to find their own passion that will make them happier every day and grateful for the little things that we tend to overlook. Author Gretchen Rubin dives into the stunt genre where the author does something for a year and then writes a clever book about it with a project on living happy for a year Sitting on the bus one day, she realizes her life is zipping along and wonders if she can t make her days happier, and write a book about it and make some money She devises a plan for happiness, reading all sorts of books on happiness, from a wide variety of authors.I would have liked to have been enthusiastic about the book, but it seems we have the same tired themes simplify find joy regurgitated into the tired stunt genre form.In January, she focuses on simplifying and organizing, because hey, we are all a lot happier when we are not throwing a tantrum looking for keys or the remote I will admit that after reading the chapter, I cleaned out my closets The second month, she focuses on her marriage It is in this chapter that I decide I simply can t STAND the author I m really happy I m not married to her NAG NAG NAG NAG NAG Suddenly all those crabby wife jokes make perfect sense She admits that she nags and is often argumentative, so I will grudgingly give her points for honesty But while I was shaking my head at her bitchiness toward her husband, I had an epiphany of sorts While I m not a nagger, I realize I can be a pouter and that I don t do nearly enough to ensure my husband is happy Really happy I take it for granted that he s there, and I shouldn t Making him happier will make me happier I can work with that.One month focuses on friendships She encourages us to make time for friends and to be there All those events you don t like Tupperware sales party Suck it up and BE THERE It means a lot Another thing Rubin suggests is to reach out and make three new friends I have to admit that s a tough one for me, I can t keep up with the good pals I have now Plus, as I get older and social anxiety creeps up like a cheap pair of underwear, the friend making thing takes much effort.Another month is about leisure and play In this chapter she talks about starting a collection People really do get some pleasure out of searching for treasures and seeing them accumulate anyone remember Stimpy and his magic nose goblins And this is a part of happiness that I can t work with I like simplicity The one thing I struggle with collecting books I love to have them, but on the other hand, I don t want to be tied to all sorts of stuff Rest assured, Goodreaders, you will NEVER see me on an episode of Hoarders.There were a few things that I did like about the book, things I thought she got just right In one chapter, she suggested keeping a gratitude journal This I dig Far too often we take stuff for granted Especially here in a developed country When you were thirsty today did you have to walk 4 miles for clean water to drink Can you wipe your own ass being able to do this is highly underrated Be thankful October s chapter was PAY ATTENTION Be in the moment November Keep a contented heart Here she mentions laughing, using good manners and giving positive reviews Sorry I m not taking your advice on that one right now, Gretchen The question that remains is, what is happy What makes you happy Are you happy How do you define it Is happy being in a constant state of bliss or exuberance Or is happiness found in contentment Or is happy simply not wanting to eat a gun today Where does this pressing NEED for happiness come from In 2008, than 164 million prescriptions were written for anti depressants here in the United States What the hell are we so unhappy about What exactly are we seeking Why can we not seem to find it There are thousands of books on finding happiness I m not convinced this is the best one A drunk is driving through the city and his car is weaving violently all over the road A cop pulls him over and asks, Where have you been I ve been to the pub, slurs the drunk Well, says the cop, it looks like you ve had quite a few The drunk grins Did you know, says the cop, standing straight and folding his arms, that a few intersections back, your wife fell out of your car Oh, thank heavens sighs the drunk For a minute there, I thought I d gone deaf. Let me preface this review by saying, I really tried to like this book I found it at Sam s Club for 7 when I was on my monthly TP run The cover looked fun The concept up lifting I went into reading it with high hopes I didn t look at any previous review I should have So, here goes This book should be re titled The Year I Spent Trying To Be Less of an Entitled B tch And Failed The author is a rich white lady living in the upper east side of manhattan with her two healthy little girls and her as she described gorgeous rich husband He s rich, like, stupid rich Research his family Your jaw will drop that she had enough time between swimming through piles of money to write this self indulgent crap Her project includes all the things you would expect appreciate family , be happy with the here and now, etc These simple steps could be very enlightening if done by someone anyone but an upper east side yuppie could relate to Side note the author does reference several great books and quotes of OTHER people that would be much interesting to check out, IMO.I got through the cleaning out closets chapter fine It s when the author had to start interacting with other people that it went quickly downhill One particular story had me gobsmacked It was her mother in law s birthday party The point of the exercise was that she was supposed to do proofs of love If you ve read The Five Languages of Love she s talking about Acts of Service So, she starts planning this shindig, whilst farming out tasks to everyone else so don t think this was a monumental accomplishment The entire time she s describing all the emails she had to send for this great act of love, she s passive aggressively telling the reader about how normally she d be so resentful about having to do all of this Can you feel the love Fast forward to the day of the party Everything is going swimmingly MIL looooves her party She loves the food cooked by her son who is a private chef Loved her presents Love, love, love So, the night went well Love was proven, right Not so fast The author was feeling like her efforts weren t being recognized enough Even though her MIL had a fantastic night no one stopped the party to golf clap her organizational skills That is until her well trained husband, in the middle of gift opening, pulls out a gift for the author AT.HER.MILs.BIRTHDAY.PARTY Suddenly, all is well The author stops pouting because finally it s back to being about her Order is restored How her MIL didn t side eye her and mouth WTF is a testament to how classy MIL is.So, all in all I just can t with this book I ll take Eat, Pray, Love or a Year Living Biblically if I need my year doing stuff fix But this one is getting tossed. I found it the epitomy of self absorbtion I ve read many happiness books, often looking to use excerpts in my hospice speaches and volunteer training, but I felt this was so dumbed down If you don t mind the constant references to her clerking for Supreme Court Justice O Connor and her monied life and the mundane attempts at her happiness project you might be ok Anyone who ever had any religious, marital of psych type of background, ie Golden Rule , would be able to do this and probably already is I didn t realize through the library s description it would carry you through one month at a time of her life Hey, be kind, take your husband s clothes to the cleaners before he asks you Plan a super party for an inlaw, by gosh, just jump in and plan it and take control Don t snipe at your spouse over stupid things for one whole month and you will feel happier.I realize she comes from a monied background and that doesn t influence my take at all The book was shallow and just another version of I m unhappy, it hit me one day, so I called my hubby outside his office and told him to look down at me while I waved because it made me happy type blog Maybe the intentions were good to get folks to start their own plan, maybe I m too harsh because I strive to make others and myself happy knowing full well each day is a gift and it s not about money, position, bragging or power, it s about being the best you an be at that moment every day, 24 7, and yes, that means helping your fellow mankind never mind your own spouse without resentment This book was very 80 s without the good advice. I have no idea how to properly convey how I feel about this book I felt so much for it and because of it and it s kind of crazy I saw so much of myself in the author and some of the examples she explained, half the time I was sitting there dumbstruck She breaks down her resolutions in such a way it s very easy to follow along and she is so specific in how they work out you really can t ask for much.Rubin writes in a way that it was very easy for me to relate to and understand It s a real achievement how much research she did and how many information she is easily able to get across to the reader Just her Happiness Project in general was a large undertaking but it seemed like so much fun as well I actually feel happier just having read it and also trying out and noticing little things here and there about myself This is a book that I think will stay with me forever and one that s definitely worth a yearly read, I can not stop talking about it I would consider it a must read for just about anyone I found myself only reading a bit a day so I could draw it out longer, I didn t want it to end.It s funny that I ve reacted to The Happiness Project so strongly too because originally it just sounded like a cute and fun memoir which is something I love to read, but it was so so much than that You might think with it being a bit of a self help book that it could get preachy or be filled with boring clinical talk or charts and graphs but it s nothing at all like that It s someone sharing their wonderful experience with great insight that is very easy to transfer to your own life.The Happiness Project is an achievement by the author and I would strongly suggest this book to everyone. |Download ♓ The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun ☸ Gretchen Rubin Had An Epiphany One Rainy Afternoon In The Unlikeliest Of Places A City Bus The Days Are Long, But The Years Are Short, She Realized Time Is Passing, And I M Not Focusing Enough On The Things That Really Matter In That Moment, She Decided To Dedicate A Year To Her Happiness ProjectIn This Lively And Compelling Account, Rubin Chronicles Her Adventures During The Twelve Months She Spent Test Driving The Wisdom Of The Ages, Current Scientific Research, And Lessons From Popular Culture About How To Be Happier Among Other Things, She Found That Novelty And Challenge Are Powerful Sources Of Happiness That Money Can Help Buy Happiness, When Spent Wisely That Outer Order Contributes To Inner Calm And That The Very Smallest Of Changes Can Make The Biggest Difference The most useful part of this book was when the author suggests not continuing to read a book you re not enjoying I stopped there Great advice. The author is right that everyone s happiness project will be different, but I question how much value her book actually brings when the demographic seems to be narrowed to wealthy white women It feels less like a practical self help book and like the journal of a bored mommy blogger who decided to do some cute little experiments to spice up her life It s worth noting that she is neurotypical, and that she and her family are very wealthy and live in the upper east side of Manhattan I don t fault her for these things, but they become quite evident by how surface level her methodologies are I see the merit in trying out these things, but many tactics are common sense and her story is nothing remarkable nor does it provide anything new to the table I was also turned off by the author s self indulgence whenever she patted herself on the back for not feeling resentful of friends and family who don t show appreciation to her unsolicited acts of kindness I m glad she s trying to improve her passive aggressive tendencies but the book should ve been marketed accurately as a journey that isn t so much about becoming happier as it is about becoming less entitled. This is not great literature This is not earth shattering or mind blowing in any way Yet somehow, underneath the veneer of light hearted entertainment, this sneaky little book is filled with profound truths.It is also filled with extremely interesting bits of psychology and sociology research that are sprinkled throughout its pages, mixed with her personal journey and constantly evolving considerations A study in self empowerment if I ve ever seen one.A witty, self examined life which bristles with good ideas and a contagious desire for self realization that actually ends up radiating a stubborn, beautiful light.Often funny and self deprecating, Gretchen Rubin made me think about many areas in my life which could use a little boost of intention , and mindfulness.And just for that, I ll willingly give her 5 stars.