August: The Happiness Project Shifts Focus to the Spiritual
The August chapter of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project shifts from thoughts of money and the material to the spiritual. I’ll confess that I am glad to make that shift. Having just come home from my niece’s wedding, where my entire family spent the weekend together in a cabin in the woods, I am again reminded of how important my spiritual life, Christianity in particular, has been throughout my life.
Since my daddy has been a preacher for my entire life, this may seem a given. I’ve also had to put up with all the “preacher’s kids” jokes. Fortunately, my parents grounded us in our faith not because we had to, not because people were judging them by us. They introduced us to the basic principles and truths of our walk.
Without getting preachy, Rubin acknowledges many of what she calls the Splendid Truths: #2 On e of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself. #3 The days are long, but the years are short.
The shifts she points to–away from stuff and toward the intangible, away from self and toward others, away from the past or future on today–are worth practicing, no matter what your upbringing or belief system.
I plan to try some of the suggestions–the one sentence daily journal (probably using my Penzu account) or the gratitude journal–maybe a combination. I also want to remember to recognize when real life is happening, instead of trying to keep busy for fear of wasting time. Since I am so blessed to be close to my grandchildren and closer to all my family now, I want to take time to be aware of, thankful for this gift of right now.