Gretchen Rubin

Gratitude! Ecstasy! The happiness of finding my lost Filofax.

I’m old-fashioned when it comes to keeping my calendar, and I carry around a worn, fat Filofax that contains every piece of information I need to live my life: my calendar, addresses and phone numbers, class lists for both girls, business cards for doctors, repairmen, etc., a list of important birthdays, a subway map of Manhattan, and a few precious mementos, like the Valentine heart the Big Girl made for me when she was in kindergarten.

Last night, I was at a friend’s house for the meeting of the children’s literature book group (we read To Kill a Mockingbird if you’re curious). I got out the Filofax to look up our next meeting date. I thought, “Zoikes, I’d better get my Filofax back in my backpack quickly, or I’m going to forget it.”

Fast forward, back at home. I realized that I didn’t have my Filofax. I was 80% sure that I’d left it in my friend’s kitchen, but I was kept awake long into the night by dark fantasies about identity theft and tiresome hours spent re-creating the information I’d lost.

At the stroke of 7:00 this morning, I called my friend. She had the Filofax. Her office is in my neighborhood, so by 10:15 I had my Filofax back in my hands.

What joy, what relief! In college, a friend told me about the “Lost Wallet Syndrome.” “No matter what’s happening in your life," he explained, "if you lose your wallet, you think, ‘How happy I would be if I would only find my wallet.’ But then, if you find it, you’re happy for about two minutes, and then you’re right back where you started.”

Well, “Lost Filofax” happiness is probably not a tremendously enduring happiness, but for today at least, I know that I’m going to feel very, very happy.

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Some of my happiness-project resolutions include "Make books" and "Take time for projects," and I was amazed by these beautiful art books (not about art, art themselves), from the Flying Fish Press gallery.

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Interested in starting your own Happiness Project? If you’d like to take a look at my personal Resolutions Chart, for inspiration, just email me at grubin, then the “at” sign, then gretchenrubin dot com. No need to write anything more than “Resolutions Chart” in the subject line.

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