From the heading of this blog, you wouldn’t have thought that it was the title of a book but it is! Recently, I read Gretchen Rubin’s Happier at Home and have been inspired to start my own Home Happines project.
What made me buy the book in the first place was of course recommendation. A mentor had suggested it so I wasted no time in purchasing it. However, it remained undisturbed on my bookshelf for a while, until two weeks ago. As you would agree, there couldn’t have been a more appropriate time to read this book.
The book follows the author’s journey and reflections throughout the months of September through to April as she works on ways to increase the happiness she felt at home and with her family. She undertakes a strategic plan to tackle one task at a time. Some of these included: taking time to make photo albums, clearing shelves, going on adventures and looking after her body.
Reading the book itself made me happier for a start as I had discovered a person who just wanted to be happy, for the sake of being happy and for no attached motives. This is what I want, I thought. So I too have come up with a few things I would like to work on.
After 14 years of marriage, my husband and I are so grateful to be living in a house which we can call our own. We moved into it in the April of 2017 but decided we will decorate once settled. So it was ideal for us to start our decorating venture this spring, especially with the lockdown coming into effect. I often hear couples complain about how difficult it is to work with their spouses when rennovating or decorating their houses. So I am very fortunate that this is not the case for me. When it comes to house interior, my husband and I are equally passionate and work on it as a dedicated team. You could describe us like two swans in a synchronised dance ceremony on a still lake.
When focusing on outward possessions in her book, Gretchen quotes Carl Jung:
We need to project ourselves into the things around us. My self is not confined to my body. It extends into all things I have made and all the things around me. Without these things I would not be myself.
Carl Jung, C G. Jung Speaking
So, house interior will definitely be part of my Home Happiness Project.
This aspect of our life is of utmost importance so it had to be part of my project. I am already health conscious and exercise regularly. However, this time I want to tackle the topic of health in a realistic way, one step at a time. I wanted to include my children too. Although I do not want to pester my children into being healthy, I understand that I need to be a good role model for them.
That’s what alchemists do. They show us that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Over the last year, my husband too has transformed into a healthier person. Health must be preserved, and I would very much like to reach my twilight years having taken good care of myself. More baking, less frying, more hydrating, less snacking. Also, exercise a little everyday. I like the variation of yoga, kettlebells and running, so I will keep this up. I have also made great use of online exercise classes. This is so convenient for me and I am very grateful for technology. Making exercise just as routine as brushing my teeth would certainly make me happier.
One of the greatest blessings in my life are my three children. It brings immeasurable joy to see them grow and evolve into their own unique selves. As a mother, the thought of her children growing up will inevitably bear a feeling of melancholy. However, there can be a brighter side to this. Now that my chidren are older (and out of nappies), I want to go on nature adventures with them as much as possible. This will make us all happier. When we go on outings as a family, we talk more, think more and appreciate each others’ company. Being out in nature has its own plethora of benefits too. More than anything, I want my children to carry with them wonderful memories, long after I am gone.
You too can come up with you own Home Happiness Project. It can include whatever you like. There are other things I have not included here, that will be part of my project, such as more cooking (needs no explanation!). I would li8ve to hear from you if you have ideas.