Tag Archives: happiness home literature reading Laura Ingalls Wilder comfort psychology relationships

Podcast 79: Revive a Dormant Friendship, a Selection of Yearbook Quotes, and a Gold Star for Making Phone Calls.

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

Update: It’s almost September, and for many of us, September is the other January. If you get a clean slate, start-over feeling in September, check out my book Happier at Home. I spend a school year — from September though May — going deep into the project of becoming happier at home. If you’re not happy at home, it’s hard to be happy.

Try This at Home: Revive a dormant friendship.

I promised to post a photo of Elizabeth’s Smith and Noble window treatments, but Elizabeth decided that her house just looks too torn up — she doesn’t want to send a photo yet! The window treatments are the only thing accomplished at this point.

Happiness Hack: Todd asks, “Our household receives a lot of reading material in the mail, but we never know when everyone’s done reading something, so don’t know when to throw things away. Any ideas?”

Deep Dive: In episode 74, we suggested the Try This at Home of “Pick a quotation for your senior yearbook page.” Listeners sent in their choices — so many great ones.

Listener Question:  Jenny asks, “Can an Abstainer indulge in chocolate, in moderation?” Jenny is asking about the Abstainer vs. Moderator distinction — and here’s a post about planned exceptions.

Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth has fallen behind on her pledge on GoodReads to read 75 books this year. If you want to work on the habit of reading more, you can get my one-page “Reading Better Than Before” guide here.

Gretchen’s Gold Star: I managed to make some phone calls.

Remember,  I’m doing weekly live videos on my Facebook Page about the podcast. To join the conversation, check the schedule. Tune in this Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

And if you want to take the Four Tendencies quiz, to find out if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel, it’s here.

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

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1pixHappier with Gretchen Rubin - Podcast #79

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Do You Dread To Go Home?

Assay: In a novel, a mark of greatness is that a reader can return, over and over, and find something new. I've read Anna Karenina four times, and each time, it has been a different experience. As I am able to bring more to the novel, I take more from it.

This is a mark of greatness even in children's books. You might think that a book written for children would be so simple that it couldn't provide that depth of experience, but that's not true at all.

For instance, over the weekend, I re-read Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little Town on the Prairie. And although I've read that book dozens of times, I loved it just as much as ever, and appreciated it in new ways, yet again.

For instance, I was struck by a line that I'd never particularly noticed before. The awful Miss Wilder has just sent Laura and Carrie home from school — a terrible disgrace. As they're walking home to tell their parents what happened, Laura tells Carrie that she's not sorry for the way she behaved, because it was all Miss Wilder's fault. The narrative continues:

"Carrie did not care whose fault it was. There is no comfort anywhere for anyone who dreads to go home."

I've been thinking so much about home lately — the idea of home, the reality of home — that this one line hit me with particular force. People's idea of "home" may be very different, but home is one of the keys to happiness.

That's why it seems to me that the effort to make home more homey is so worthwhile. Have you found any good strategies to help ensure that your home is welcoming, so you don't dread going home, but look forward to going home?

* I loved cruising around Inchmark. I wish my daughters' school had "Crazy Hair Day." Maybe we'll do a home version.

* Yes, my next book is about happiness and home, with the surprising title of…Happier at Home. If you'd like to be notified when it's available, sign up here.