With encouragement from my wife, I am very slowly reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I have enjoyed reading about Rubin’s year-long journey to a happier life.
The book includes a nice mix of practical and philosophical advice for a happier life. In the last chapter I read, Rubin spent a fair amount of time writing about what makes her happy. She kept asking herself, am I happy doing this? She asked her readers, what makes you happy? In response, Rubin and her blog readers concluded that what truly makes them happy is not always what they wish made them happy. For example, Rubin might be happiest being at home reading a book without interruption, but in her mind she is tormented by the thought that she might be happier on a hike even though she knows perfectly well that is not going to make her as happy.
Since reading the chapter I have been thinking about what sort of activities make me happy. At this point in my life, being able to do something without interruption makes me happiest. It does not really matter what that something is. If I can sit down and watch a movie without interruption, I am thrilled. Read a chapter of a book without being interrupted? So refreshing and invigorating. Refinishing an end table for our living room without an interruption? This actually give me a strong sense of accomplishment, which combined with the effort it takes to refinish furniture, gives me a lasting happiness that helps me through the menial tasks of SAHD duty: diaper changes, bottle service, dishes, laundry, house-cleaning, etc.
So, today, I set out to do a few things without interruption. One, go to Novo Coffee and read a couple of articles in Vanity Fair without interruption (done). Two, write a blog without interruption (currently in progress). Three, go home and eat lunch while watching an hour of television without interruption (coming soon). Four, work on refinishing an end table without the worry of being interrupted (also, coming soon).
Time for number three.