Welcome back to my library!
It’s with great surprise to myself (but sincere thankfulness) that I finally return to share a new selection from Ms. Lu’s Library, where on any given Tuesday I spotlight a treasured book from my collection or share with you thoughts on a recent find. Now, as you know from my last “book share” (in March), I used to write about current reads through “Book of the Month” posts. But yeah… it looks like I’m not getting around to reading books on a monthly basis as planned any time soon, so it’s on to the seasons I go!
With that said, I have challenged myself to make time this summer to read an actual book. Now that I’ve recovered from what was a super busy work schedule the past two months – where most of my pleasure reading consisted of skimming online news articles or daily headlines, I’m ready for a good leisurely thumb through the pages of a bound book. So, after a brief inner debate between whether to read a book I already owned – like Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver (one I have started reading at least twice before but never long enough to finish) – or buy one on my “to read” wish list like Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes, I settled on the more practical choice of a book I already purchased but have yet to read.
Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon Self-Control, and My Other Experiments in Everyday Life by Gretchen Rubin is a book I bought two or three years ago on an impulse stemming from my desire at that time to create more happiness in my life. Full of self-doubts about my job, my home life, my sense (career-wise) of what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go next, I found myself lingering over a stack of paperbacks in a bookstore and hoping Rubin’s book title confirmed this particular one held within the answers to my questions.
Following my gut, I bought it – which is most often the case with me and books.
Of course, just because you see a book/film/menu item or whatever that appeals to you at that moment doesn’t mean you’re ready to tackle, watch, or consume it at that moment. For me, I longed for resolution to those feelings of self-doubt but couldn’t quite bring myself around to reading something I hoped held the answer. Maybe I felt it wasn’t the right time…or the right vehicle to carry me where I thought I wanted to go. Or maybe, I just needed time to work out the answer for myself.
“A ‘happiness project’ is an approach to the practice of everyday life.
First is the preparation stage, when you identify what brings you joy, satisfaction, and engagement, and also what brings you guilt, anger, boredom, and remorse. Second is the making of resolutions, when you identify the concrete actions that will boost your happiness. Then comes the interesting part: keeping your resolutions.”
Oddly, now that I’m in what is basically my own “year of” project – to live life with more vision, intention, and purpose – I am finally ready for the message of this book and any shared experiences, insights, and tips or take-aways Rubin may have that I can apply to my “experiment” as well. Though only one chapter in, I believe there are little “nuggets of wisdom” to be gleaned from this book… as well as many of the other “year of” books I seem so drawn to reading.
Now that I reflect on it, time is all I needed from the start – to find my own way to this point, and then take a second look at an impulse book buy to be reminded of the distance I’ve traveled in life from my “state of self-doubt” then to my “state of contentment” now.
As always…listen to your heart.
Happy summer reading, y’all!