40Gal Bucket List

A list of life's 'to-do's' before turning 50 … our journey of gettin' stuff done

Happiness at Home

One of the reasons I decided to do my very own Happiness Project was because the author, Gretchen Rubin was coming to Austin to talk about her new book Happiness at Home. So last night, I finally got to see the brains behind the mission at Book People here in Austin, TX.

I had never been to one of those bookstore events before, probably because I am not much of a reader. I wish I was, I want to be, but I’m not, and after “reading” aka listening to The Happiness Project on my iphone while commuting to and from work when I was in NYC, I embraced one of Gretchen’s Secrets of Adulthood: What’s fun for other people may not be fun for you–and vice versa (and I will add) and that is OK. I just don’t like to read; it’s not fun for me. I like to skim through books, I like to own books, especially pretty ones, and to be clear I have read many books, I just don’t like it. I like to write, I like to watch, I like to talk, but reading, well, it puts me to sleep, and I like to sleep. So, knowing that famous author or picking up that NYT bestseller is just not me; therefore, neither has been listening to authors speak at bookstores, until now.


Book People was packed with happiness hopefuls.  We got there only minutes before Gretchen Rubin came out.  She finally appeared and started chatting up.  She spoke an hour on happiness and gave some interesting tidbits on what she has learned through her studies, many of which are in her book.  She then answered questions ranging from personal (“Do your daughters read as much as you?”) to happiness specific (“How do I get my significant other’s buy-in to my Happiness Project?”) from the audience. What was clear is that everyone there was seeking the secret to happiness from the author.  Even I was curious and hopeful that she would have some magic words that would up my happiness meter.  And maybe she did, or maybe just the act of showing up, meeting friends, and opening my mind to new ways of approaching life put a smile on my face.  Either way, I left feeling … happy.

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