Podcast 72: Make Sure to Have “Room of Your Own,” Beware the Incomplete Upgrade, and My Parental Failure.

It’s time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

Update: In episode 64, we introduced the segment of the “Happiness Hack.” Some listeners sent us their favorite hacks. Keep sending them in! We love reading them.

Try This at Home: Have room of your own. Maybe not an entire room, but some room.

Happiness Stumbling Block: The incomplete upgrade. Have you experienced this?

Listener Question: Missy “I’m moving in with my boyfriend. I don’t have a TV, but my boyfriend has one. How do I avoid spending too much time on the couch?”

Gretchen’s Demerit: I didn’t warn my daughter that once her cellphone screen cracked, she should go ahead and get it fixed, even though the phone was still working. Why? Because inevitably it will stop working at the most inconvenient possible time. Which it did.

 Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth gives a gold star to summer traffic in Los Angeles.

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1pixHappier with Gretchen Rubin - Podcast #72

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  • Alicia Portzer Perry

    Ladies,
    I am happy to say after over 23 years of marriage of which 9 have been with our daughter, that I finally have a “room of my own.” It took me taking over a room and moving everything out of it. My daughter had two rooms and she gave away enough things that I could have my own room. You are so right that as a wife and mother we often get the answer that the rest of the house is ours but it is not. This room has been the best thing I have ever done for myself because now I have a place for my things. I had gradually gotten rid of many of my things because they had no home but now I have a place for yoga, reiki and inner peace along with the occasional Netflix watching. I truly love it and encourage everyone to find their own place. It just makes you happier.
    Alicia Perry
    Alabama

  • Paria

    My husband and I shared a small one-bedroom apartment, so I can’t have *a* room of my own — but I *have* managed to carve out a shelf for my collection of notebooks, journals, colored pens, and other stationary supplies. I’ve arranged everything so that it looks cute, and it makes me so happy to look at it!

    • statmam

      It sounds completely charming, Paria!

  • Laura Jolna

    I can relate with Missy’s concerns about the TV. My husband has to have the tv on all the time as background noise, even in the bedroom. I am not a tv watcher and find it sometimes hard to relax when he has certain programs on. I don’t want to hang out in another room and not have that “togetherness”, so I’ve resorted to wearing my noise cancelling headphones when it really bothers me. I usually read while he’s watching tv 🙂

  • This podcast had a lot of good tips and advice! Thanks again for always working so hard on the episodes, Gretchen and Liz! I came on to comment on the “room of one’s own” concept. Liz mentioned that your mother has always shared a room; I was in a position similar to hers. Except for a brief stint in college when I rented a room in a house, I’ve always had to share a room with someone — my sister, my college roommates, and now my husband. I’m a twin, so I joke that I didn’t even get the womb to myself! My husband and I just moved in to a bigger apartment and it has a room that we originally planned to treat as a guest room. However, after watching a news report about how our society should question the idea of couples sharing a bed (and how your sleep is worse and how it’s a relatively new concept in western culture), my husband and I decided to have our own bedrooms. It’s a little unorthodox, but we make it work and we’re definitely happier for it. He’s a doctor so his working hours are a little crazy sometimes, and now I don’t have to get woken up when he has to go in early for a surgery or when he gets a late-night phone call. I also love to read before going to sleep, and now I can without bothering him. Plus, we each get our own space in the apartment to decorate (or mess up) as we please. I’m kind of a minimalist, so it’s easy for my room to become the guest bedroom when people come visit. I hope this “happiness hack” can prove helpful to someone else!

    • gretchenrubin

      Great to hear that you’ve figured out a way to have “room” that works so well for you.

  • Sutika

    I am playing catch up with the podcast so probably this late comment won’t be read but here goes…. Missy’s question really highlighted for me the tricky issue of moving into someone else’s established space. I think this was Missy’s situation but I am not certain. If two people who are living separately move into a new location together there is a natural trigger to discuss how to use the space and to come to the process with the desire to compromise. If one moves into the other’s home then it is a much more awkward situation as one party is invested in how things already are. Not insurmountable but takes good grace on both sides.