Happier.

I don’t know if it was an accident that January’s book dovetails so nicely with the season’s tendency to create resolutions and vow to begin anew but it was certainly an apropos read as I head into 2014 with a vow to begin some serious introspection. I’ve always admired my friend Caitlin’s ability to observe and analyze her behaviors as they relate to her husband and children, and I strive for that same level of inwardness this year, in the name of strengthening my relationship with my husband and creating a stronger family unit. I’ve started working on my Amazing Life 2014 workbook (more on that soon!), which pairs quite nicely with the ideas I’ve garnered from Happier at Home, by Gretchen Rubin.

The changes of season are the true markers in the year where we bow to the inclination to refresh our habits, our places, ourselves. September, a new school year, when nights get cooler and the days begin to shorten. November, when true winter starts to set in, engulfing us in darkness earlier and earlier.  March, when it is still cool but the wind is warmer, and green starts to show up again. June, when summer seems to stretch endlessly ahead of us and we live our life outdoors, sun up to sundown.  At these points in the year,  I will revisit my happiness goals.

So, 2014 is the new page upon which I write. This year, I aim for no lofty resolutions but a journey inward. In this, my 35th year, I hope to learn more about myself, to become more aware of what makes me tick, what makes me happy and to strive for general self-acceptance.
Inspired by Happier at Home, I wrote down some things that come to mind when I think about my own happiness. Ready? (Maybe you will make your list. If you do, comment here with a link back to your post! I’ll come read it, promise.)

This post was inspired by Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin, in which she embarks on a 9 month pursuit of happiness. Join From Left to Write on January 6 as we discuss Happier at Home. You can also chat live with Gretchen Rubin on January 7 on Facebook! As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

24 thoughts on “Happier.

  1. Tamara Camera says:

    I love your descriptions of the seasons changing. I don't know of this book, (well I didn't before this) but it does touch upon little changes I'm trying to make at home. And I think we're very similar in what we want/are working on this winter.

  2. NJ @ A Cookie Before Dinner says:

    I think this season of having a house full of littles is a really hard one! There are so many days when I feel like I've got nothing left to give to anyone, including myself. But I've also realized that I am a much more sane mother if I get up an hour or so before the kids to enjoy a quiet house and a hot cup of coffee. That is the ONLY hour of the day that is truly about me and my needs.

    This book sounds interesting. I'm going to put it on my to do list!

  3. Bay says:

    I also have to work harder on not being annoyed by "kid antics" … I find that after they're in bed I feel wistful and laugh about the antics, but at the time I can't find any humor in them 😉

  4. Janine Huldie says:

    Like I said on your comment on my blog today, I guess I started doing a bit more of this at the end of last year myself and truly never actually read this book, but do think the premise of it sounds great and glad it isn't just me trying to do a bit more to make myself happy this upcoming year!! 🙂

  5. Nancy Cavillones says:

    I used to think having low expectations was the same thing as managing expectations but I came to realize it's so self-defeating to think that way, and it's really not the same thing!

  6. marthab30 says:

    I love your ideas! Especially in the expectation department. I definitely get upset over things that I could easy brush off or "delight in" – thanks for sharing!

  7. Cupcake Kelly says:

    YES! I think sometimes we talk to our kids in an adultlike manner and get frustrated when they don't get it, but it's because they are kids! Thank you for bringing this to my attention!

  8. Savvy WorkingGal says:

    Such a beautiful post. Sometimes we need to spend time traveling within to learn what will make us happier. My word for 2014 is heal. It is the only word that feels right for me this year – to finally take the steps I need to heal from my troubled upbringing.

  9. northsidefour says:

    Absolutely thrilled to see that a hot shower leads the list. It may not be the most important thing in the world but it certainly starts my day off in a good way. I like the idea of creating a list, not of resolutions, but things to keep me on track. Managing expectations, especially with regard to my children, might land at number 2, behind that shower.

  10. janaki says:

    I'm with northsidefour – a hot shower helps so many stressful days become less so. I remember reading somewhere, or being told by a wise someone, that the baby wouldn't die from crying for a few minutes while I took a nice (if brief) recuperative shower, and how wise that advice was!!

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