“If Blueness Threatens I Look for the Humor in Any Situation.”

Happiness interview: Trish McEvoy.

I’ve long been an admirer of Trish McEvoy — both for her beautiful products and for her entrepreneurial acumen in establishing her cosmetics company and her brand. So I was thrilled to hear that she was a fan of my writing.

I was very eager to hear what she had to say on the subject of happiness in her own life, and immediately asked for an interview.

Gretchen: What’s a simple activity that consistently makes you happier?

Trish: Getting ready for the day always makes me happy. From applying my making to picking out what I want to wear to how I will style my hair, I love the girly part of my day.

What’s something you know now about happiness that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?

When I was 18 I didn’t understand the impact of one’s relationship and situation management on happiness. Experience has taught me that how I react to something can affect drastically different outcomes that either add to or take away from my happiness. At 18 we’re the center of the universe—as we get older, we better understand how inextricably linked our happiness is with other people.

Is there anything you find yourself doing repeatedly that gets in the way of your happiness?

Difficulty accepting the things I cannot change, like the health of my aging mother.

Is there a happiness mantra or motto that you’ve found very helpful? (e.g., I remind myself to “Be Gretchen.”)

There is something funny in almost everything. Have a laugh. Be in the moment and find the joy therein. Enjoy the little things but don’t sweat the small stuff. Get the most into and out of every day.

If you’re feeling blue, how do you give yourself a happiness boost?

I keep the blues at bay! If blueness threatens I look for the humor in any situation.

Is there anything that you see people around you doing or saying that adds a lot to their happiness, or detracts a lot from their happiness? 

Complaining—the pity party—is the biggest detractor from happiness. Learning, dreaming, pushing oneself, celebrating the positives all create happiness.

Have you always felt about the same level of happiness, or have you been through a period when you felt exceptionally happy or unhappy – if so, why? 

Both. I have had moments of great joy—like when I met my husband, started my business, and met my best friends—and sadness at the loss of people I have loved .

Is there some aspect of your home that makes you particularly happy?

The people in my home and its beauty and order.



  • crazyworld

    So, after reading for the nth time how a famous, successful person says you should stop complaining and start doing etc (huge paraphrasing here – just getting the point across and no grouse against Ms. McEvoy at all) I want to ask, how is one supposed to feel after failures. For example, if you Gretchen worked long and hard at your book and blog and they completely flopped and you could not make it work, what would you feel? Would you still be able to say, look on the bright side, etc. Not that anyone would be asking – obviously only the success stories are heard from.
    I am just really curious – I have read self help type of books and content for years and years but lately, as I am getting older, they have started to all sound kind of trite. Maybe I am just extra grumpy today =)

    • Upbeat Mom

      I’m sure Gretchen would have a better answer…. but I can offer this. I really believe in the value of having a good hard cry, (or a safe temper tantrum) to air the negative feelings. Failure hurts! It’s disappointing, discouraging, and sometime embarrassing. I think it’s okay to really vent the negative feelings (choose carefully where, when, and with whom). The trick is to not get stuck in the bad feelings. After a good cry, you can wash your face, take a walk, and think about what you’ve learned from the negative experience. For me, personally, if I give the negative feelings full expression, it’s easier to let them go, pick up the pieces and move on to something happier. Sweeping them under the rug never helps me!

    • gretchenrubin

      Oh, believe me, I have written books that did not succeed. Happier at Home is my sixth published book, plus I have 3 unpublished novels (or is it 4?). For me, although success is sweet, if I enjoy the process, then that is satisfying too. Because I loved writing each of my books, I don’t regret having written any of them, even though not all of them “found their audience” as we say in the publishing world.

  • Theresa

    She “keeps the blues at bay”? Clearly Ms. McEvoy hasn’t dealt with extremely serious issues such a life-altering illnesses or she wouldn’t say something so immature. Right now my aunt is struggling with cancer that has reoccurred for the 3rd time. Would Ms. McEvoy suggest I find the humor in that? Ridiculous interview. She does mention the difficulty accepting the health of her mother… why isn’t she taking her own advice to find the humor in that situation? Perhaps because there isn’t any.