Tag Archives: images

Episode 73: Get Rid of Something Useless, What to Do When Everything “Turns to Ashes”–and Something Beautiful for Free.

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

Update: We’ve heard from so many people about their signature colors, from episode 71; we’re going to do a Deep Dive soon. And despite her screaming, Elizabeth has now successfully ordered fabric for their banquette.

Try This at Home: Get rid of something as soon as it becomes useless. Harder than it sounds! Elizabeth mentions Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Happiness Stumbling Block: How to cope when everything “turns to ashes” (as it did, for Elizabeth).

Listener Question: Whitney asked about what to do about the fact that her very loving mother-in-law has given her a diaper bag that she doesn’t want.

Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth has delayed going to the doctor for too long. We talk about the Four Tendencies framework — if you want to read more about it, look here.

 Gretchen’s Gold Star: I give a gold star to the New York Public Library’s collection of digital images that are in the public domain. Free to share and reuse. Beautiful, amazing! What a treasure trove! The beautiful collection I mention — Plante et Ses Applications Ornamentales — is here.

Remember,  I’m doing weekly live videos on my Facebook Page about the podcast. To join the conversation, tune in Tuesdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

If you want to take the Four Tendencies quiz, it’s here.

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Happier with Gretchen Rubin - Podcast #73

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Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen toHappier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much.

HAPPIER listening!

Secrets of Adulthood: “__ Is a Good Servant But a Bad Master.” Fill in the Blank.

From Further Secrets of Adulthood: “_____ is a good servant but a bad master.”

What else would you suggest?

Habits, certainly.

Ambition.

Television.

Punctuality.

How would you fill in that blank?

 

 

Secret of Adulthood: The Days Are Long, But the Years Are Short.

Further Secrets of Adulthood:

 

Of everything I’ve ever written, I think this one line resonates most with people, and the one-minute video I did, in which I tell the little story about the day that this idea hit me with full force, is one of my favorite creations.

 

Do you know the feeling when one particular day seems endless — but then the year passes in a flash?

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Secret of Adulthood: There’s an Important Difference Between Something that Isn’t Used and Something That’s Useless.

Further Secrets of Adulthood:

 

I remind myself of this, so that in my zeal to clear clutter, I don’t get rid of things that I do love; even if I never do use them, they aren’t necessarily useless.  (Take this quiz to see if you suffer from clutter mentality.)

I write about this issue at some length in Happier at Home, in the chapter on “Possessions.”

Do you feel this distinction with your own possessions?

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7 Reasons Why Photographs Can Boost Your Happiness.

Every Wednesday is Tip Day.

This Wednesday: 7 reasons why photographs can boost your happiness.

Photographs are such a joy, and I don’t know about you, but I’m much more focused on taking photographs now that cameras and phones have evolved to make taking photos so much easier. I used to begrudge the time that I spent on photos, but now  I realize the role they can play in happiness.

1. Photos remind us of the people, places, and activities we love. Many people keep photos in their homes, in their office, or in their wallet, and happy families tend to display large numbers of photos at home. In Happier at Home, I write about my “shrine to my family” made of photographs.

2. Photos help us remember the past. One of the best ways to make yourself happy in the present is to recall happy times from the past. Photos are a great memory-prompt, and because we tend to take photos of happy occasions, they weight our memories to the good.

3. Photos can save space while preserving memories. Through a friend, I heard about a fantastic service, Plum Print, “the simple solution for storing and preserving kids’ artwork.” I mailed in a giant, awkward pile of my younger daughter’s artwork and school work from her early days, and Plum Print transformed it into a lovely hardback book. That’s the final product, in the picture.  My daughter’s work looks great, she’s thrilled with her “book,” and I have a slim, tidy record of everything she made for several years. I saved a few of the actual pieces, then threw away the rest. A friend was shocked that I tossed any of it, but I have a record of it, I kept the best pieces, and I’ve found that mementos work best when they’re carefully culled and displayed.  (Disclosure: I got my Plum Print book for free.)

4. A photo of something can sometimes replace the thing itself. After my friend’s beloved father died, she wanted to keep his enormous desk, as a memento–but she really didn’t have space for it. She took a photo of it, and then was able to let go of the desk. Strangely, too, a photograph of something can be more beautiful than the thing itself.  Consider Edward Weston’s photographs of peppers.

5. Photographs allow you to curate things you love. Taking a picture is a way to “claim” something. On Pinterest, I love to add things to my From the Ministry of Happiness board. It’s a way to make a collection without having to buy or cope with anything.

6. Taking photos fosters creativity. My delightful friend Maria Giacchino, who does my videos, takes and posts one photograph each day. The images are beautiful, and the need to find the day’s photo keeps her engaged with the world in a creative way.

7. Taking photographs can act as a diary. I’m always trying to figure out ways to keep hold of memories. My one-sentence journal, for instance. I try to use photographs to record the little moments that are so precious but also so easily forgotten.  One thing I wish I could tell my younger self: take photos of everyday life, not special occasions; later, that’s what will be interesting to you.

What have I forgotten? What are some other ways that photos can boost your happiness?