Tag Archives: neighborhood

Podcast 29: Why Elizabeth and I Lower the Bar, Use the Clean Slate to Change Habits, and Try to Stop Wasting Food.

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

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Happier with Gretchen Rubin: Episode 29

jacketphotobuildingsUpdate: After many months, I realized that the buildings pictured on the cover of The Happiness Project are just a few blocks from the studio where we record this podcast. Fun!

Try This at Home: Lower the bar. In other words — cribbing from Voltaire — don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. (Thanks to our producer Henry, for the hilariously appropriate musical accompaniment.)

Better Than Before Habit Strategy: The Strategy of the Clean Slate means that any transition is a great time to change a habit. It’s a powerful strategy, but one that’s not always available to us, so it plays to be on the watch for opportunities.

Listener Questioner: “Any tips for cultivating happiness when you have small children?”

We mention this little one-minute video I made, which, of everything I’ve written, probably resonates most with people: The days are long, but the years are short.

Gretchen’s Demerit: We waste food. Any suggestions?

Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Elizabeth’s writing partner Sarah lives in a neighborhood that had a neighborhood-wise garage sale.

I mention the delightful picture book by Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton in Spring. I love all the Poppleton books.

As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

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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!

The Happiness of Voting, and the Neighborhood Feeling of the Polling Place.

I love to vote. It gives me such a feeling of accomplishment and participation. If I get nothing else done today, at least I voted. (Not only that, I’ve been to the gym!)

Also, writing Happier at Home has made me more attuned to the feeling not only of “home” but also of “neighborhood.” Voting is always a great neighborhood experience for me.

When I walked into my polling place (a school), I spotted my husband, who was just about to vote–great timing for me, because he could tell me the number of our election district, and save me a long wait to find out that information. Once in line, I met the grandmother of a girl in my older daughter’s class, and a woman who heard me speak last night at the Yale Club. When I signed the voting register, I saw my mother-in-law’s name on the same page as mine (we live around the corner from my in-laws, and I mean right around the corner). It was a very friendly neighborhood experience.

Hurricane Sandy has done so much damage here in New York City, and the voting process has been affected as well. Polling places aren’t available, machines don’t work, electricity is out, and so on.  Many people will have a lot of trouble voting.

I felt so full of gratitude when I voted. Gratitude for my neighborhood and for my country. Gratitude for electricity and democracy. These elements of my life are so easy to take for granted, and yet play such an important part of my daily happiness.

How about you? How do you feel about voting?

“I Love Passing Through a Place I Haven’t Seen For a Long Time.”

“I like my town but I can’t say exactly what I like about it. I don’t think it’s the smell. I’m too accustomed to the monuments to want to look at them. I like certain lights, a few bridges, café terraces. I love passing through a place I haven’t seen for a long time.”
–Georges Perec, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces, “The Town”

* Even though I’m not much concerned with my manliness, even I get a tremendous kick out of cruising around The Art of Manliness.

* I have two apologies to make. First, if you’ve been waiting for a bookplate or a signature card, I’m almost caught up. By Tuesday, they should all be in the mail! I had many more requests for signature cards than I expected, so had to wait for more to arrive. (If you want a free, personalized bookplate or signature card, email me at gretchenrubin1 at gmail dot com.)

Second, a problem with Gmail meant that many of my responses with starter kits, resolutions charts, etc. didn’t go out properly. I’m going to re-send all that info. So sorry if you’ve been waiting, and sorry if you get double emails.

Arrrrgh. I remind myself to Enjoy the fun of failure.

“Life Is Not So Short But That There Is Aways Time for Courtesy.”

“Life is not so short but that there is always time for courtesy.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

* If you’d like a personalized, signed bookplate to put in your copy of The Happiness Project, email me your name, or someone else’s name, and the address to which I should mail the bookplate, and I’ll send it right off. Feel free to ask for as many as you like. My email is grubin at gretchenrubin dot com. Don’t forget to include your mailing address.