Gretchen Rubin

A Little Happier: A Lesson I Have to Learn Over and Over.

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There are some lessons that I just keep learning, over and over, as I make the same mistake.

And this is a mistake I’ve made many times.

For instance, when my daughters were small, the fact that we had to keep the stroller by the front door made me crazy – there was no way to store the stroller neatly out of sight, and it just bugged me to see it there.

And more recently, when my daughter Eliza was in high school, I was annoyed by all the products that she kept in the bathroom that she shared with my husband Jamie and me. I kept trying to organize the shelves, or straighten things up, and it just wouldn’t stay put.

Nail polish, colored pencils, stuffed animals – they all drive me slightly crazy.

I was thinking about this as I was collecting Barnaby’s dog toys off the floor (Paddywack, my dog when I was growing up, didn’t really like toys, but Barnaby loves toys). I was thinking, “Gosh, all these toys! How tiresome.”

And here’s the thing that I have to keep learning: the situation that’s driving me crazy right now is a situation that I will recall with great affection and longing.

Oh, those days when we had a stroller by the front door! And oh, those years when our medicine cabinet was bursting with skin cleansers and face masks, and when we had the squeaky toys strewn under every chair!

I remind myself, once again, to enjoy this moment and this time of life. Everything changes.

The days are long, but the years are short.

Here's the one-minute video I did, The Years Are Short. Of everything I've ever written, I think this short video resonates most with people.

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