A Little Happier: Sisters Nora and Delia Ephron, and the Intimacy of “I’ll Take Food from Your Fridge.”

I’m a big fan of Nora Ephron’s movies and books (books like Heartburn, Crazy Salad and Scribble Scribble, I Feel Bad about My Neck; movies like When Harry Met, Sleepless in Seattle). In fact, I just recommended Heartburn for my monthly book club (you can sign up for the book club here).

I was re-reading that novel, to learn from it as a writer, because that kind of light, funny, flowing writing is extremely hard to pull off. How does she do it?

I’m also a big fan of the work of her sister, Delia Ephron. I loved her wonderful book of essays, Sister Mother Husband Dog: (Etc.).  The story I tell is something from the essay she wrote about her sister Nora — about the nature of intimacy.

If you want to hear more from Delia Ephron, here’s a post I wrote inspired by the essay “Bakeries” in the same collection: “Discardia,” or How One Moderator Manages to Indulge Moderately. All about the Abstainer/Moderator split.

 

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Happier listening!

Podcast 77: Go On an “Errand Date,” Deal with the Nasty Areas of Your House, and Handling Sentimental Items.

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

Update: A listener updates us on her theme for the year: “More Music.”

Try This at Home: Go on an “errand date.”

Happiness Hack: For people sharing a space, Erin suggests a hack that she used in college: each roommate had a bin,  so when anyone wanted to clean up, stuff just went in the bins.

Happiness Stumbling Block: Dealing with the nasty, smelly, sticky areas of our home. I write more about this in Happier at Home.

Listener Question: Elena asks about how to deal with possessions that have a lot of sentimental value.  Again, a big subject in Happier at Home. Here’s the link to the post I mention, about 7 Reasons I Disagree with Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Elizabeth’s Demerit: Elizabeth never got around to sending a package to her niece Eleanor at summer camp.

Gretchen’s Gold Star: I managed to give away our beautiful, beloved play kitchen.

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.

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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Happier with Gretchen Rubin - Podcast #77

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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.

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A Little Happier: I Read the Short Story that Was Read as Part of My Wedding.

In episode 76, a listener asked for suggestions for great wedding readings, and I promised that I’d read “I Was Trying to Describe You to Someone,” the short story from Richard Brautigan’s wonderful story collection The Revenge of the Lawn that was read at my wedding.

How I love this story! You can read it for yourself here.

Speaking of great quotes, if you’d like to get the “Moment of Happiness,” my free daily email newsletter with a wonderful quotation, sign up here. I love collecting quotations, and choosing the quotation for the daily newsletter is one of my favorite things to do.

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Agree? A Song Can Fix a Particular Year in Your Mind.

“Songs last forever. They fix particular years in your mind.”

D.V., Diana Vreeland

I certainly find this to be true in my own life. Like a scent, a song can instantly transport me back to a particular time.

Agree, disagree? What songs have proved particularly powerful in fixing a particular year in your mind?

I Do Love Writing Manifestos. Here’s My 11-Point Manifesto for Podcasting.

As I mention in episode 76 of the Happier podcast, I love writing manifestos — and I think it’s a very valuable exercise. Whenever I try to distill my ideas into a clear, succinct list, I find that my understanding improves, and I have a much better sense of what I’m trying to do.

I’ve done a Happiness Manifesto and a Habits Manifesto. And, of course, when Elizabeth and I started our podcast, I had to write a Podcast Manifesto.

As with all my Manifestos, this one is aspirational. It’s not necessarily what I do, it’s what I try to do.

Here it is:

  1. Be clear about what we’re doing.
  2. Remember the four desires of the listener: hunger for stories; fun of companionship; desire to learn; ease of listening.
  3. Be consistent, and also surprise.
  4. We don’t have conflict, but we do have differences.
  5. The more we reveal ourselves, the more others connect with us.
  6. Beware of banter.
  7. Remember how people listen.
  8. People love to learn, and people love to teach and share.
  9. It’s good to have fans, and it’s great to have a community.
  10. Connect with listeners in as many ways as possible.
  11. A strong voice repels as well as attracts.

I find myself thinking about the points of the Manifesto often, when we’re preparing and recording each episode. Let me know if you think I’ve forgotten something for this manifesto.

Do you find it helpful to write a manifesto — for work, family life, a creative endeavor, life aims?