457: Look for Pockets of Wasted Time, a Hack to Soothe Anxiety, and Are You a Baker or Cook?

Update

We’re preparing the Very Special Episode 460 on making effective resolutions, so send us your questions, suggestions, and comments.

I mention Better Than Before, my book about habit change.

Try This at Home

Look for pockets of wasted time.

I mention Doug Lemov’s book Teach Like a Champion (Amazon, Bookshop)  and its discussion of “Tight Transitions.”

Happiness Hack

If you’re worried about some event looming in the future, try to visit the place where it will occur, to give yourself a better sense of what to expect.

Bonus Hack:  Store jars on their side to make it easier to get to the contents that would otherwise be hard to reach.

Know Yourself Better

Are you a “baker” or “cook?” That is, do you prefer to follow rules exactly, or to improvise and put your own stamp on things? (We’re both bakers.)

Don’t know if you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, or Rebel? Take the free, quick “Four Tendencies” quiz here.

Listener Question

A listener’s fourteen-year-old Upholder son is deciding whether to spend his morning free period reading for pleasure or talking to friends.

Demerits & Gold Stars

Gretchen’s Demerit: I haven’t been reading enough.

Elizabeth’s Gold Star: Her friend introduced to new neighborhood restaurant, Bacari.

Resource

The holidays represent a fantastic opportunity to tap into our senses — the smells, the sights, the sounds, the tastes, the textures.

Take my “What’s Your Neglected Sense?” quiz to discover which of your senses you may be neglecting—so that you can look for ways to find more comfort and pleasure in that sense during the holidays.

What We’re Reading

  • Elizabeth: Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis (Amazon, Bookshop)
  • Gretchen: Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell (Amazon, Bookshop)

457 

 

[music] 

 

Gretchen

Hello and welcome to Happier. A podcast where we talk about strategies and tips for how to build happier, healthier, more creative and more productive lives. This week we’ll talk about how and why we should look for pockets of wasted time, and we’ll suggest a hack that can help us feel less anxious if we’re worried about some future task that we have to do.

 

Gretchen

I’m Gretchen Rubin, a writer who studies happiness, good habits, the five senses, human nature. I’m in my little home office here in New York City. And joining me today from L.A. is my sister, Elizabeth Craft. And Elizabeth, I never feel like I have wasted time when I’m talking to you.

 

Elizabeth

That’ss me, Elizabeth Craft, a TV writer and producer living in L.A. And that’s right. Now I’m using all of my pockets of time to prepare for Thanksgiving because I am hosting.

 

Gretchen

Oh, yes. That is a major undertaking. So we are wishing you well.



Elizabeth

Thank you.

 

Gretchen

Before we launch in, we have a very special episode coming up. That’s episode 460. Every 10th episode is a very special episode. And this one is about resolutions. Yes, New Year, New You. It’s kind of a cliche, but a lot of people do use January 1st as a clean slate and an opportunity to reflect and think about New Year’s resolutions.

 

Gretchen

So what are your comments? What are your insights? What hacks have you found? What strategies have worked for you? What resolutions have changed your.

 

Elizabeth

Life and what didn’t turn out well? What have you learned in having your resolutions go awry?



Gretchen

Or maybe it was just it turned out it didn’t make a difference, right? You tried something and it didn’t work out. It’s nice to cross things off the list. And of course, what we’re interested most is what have you used? What strategies have you used to help you keep your habits? I talk about the 21 strategies of habit change in my book better than before.

 

Gretchen

Did you use those strategies? Did you come up with something yourself? We always love things for the fourth tendency. So if you have something that is like you’re a rebel and you found a rebel way to exercise regularly or you’re a questioner and you got over your analysis, paralysis, anything like that obligers, did you come up with some kind of innovative accountability method?

 

Gretchen

We could all learn from each other. So anything. It’s going to be all resolutions. So anything you want to send in, we want to see it.

 

Elizabeth

Can’t wait for that.

 

Gretchen

Yes. So, Elizabeth, this week our Try This at Home suggestion is to look for pockets of wasted time.

 

Elizabeth

So explain what this means.

 

Gretchen

Okay, so just in everyday life, there’s things that just take more time than they need. And I was thinking back on a book I read a long time ago by Doug Lemov called Teach Like a Champion, where he’s talking about things that successful teachers do, sort of like habits and strategies they have. And he has a thing called tight transitions.

 

Gretchen

And he made the point that in a classroom you can spend a lot of time on things like the kids are lining up for lunch or you’re passing out papers or a kid needs a pencil, and that by really tightening those transitions, you reclaim a lot of time for teaching and learning. And so I was just thinking in my own life, like, where are my pockets of wasted time?

 

Gretchen

You know what I mean?

 

Elizabeth

Yes, Gretch, I can tell you from my past experience, a major waste of time is ordering lunch in the writer’s room. So when you work in an office on a show, you order lunch every day and this process can take an hour. I mean, it’s discussing where to go, and then it’s you have to pass around the menu and sign up in the menu.

 

Elizabeth

And sign up sheet inevitably gets caught on somebody who’s having a conversation and then it doesn’t go around. And then look, we always say in the writers room, like talking is valuable, catching up, getting to know each other, sharing stories. That’s all valuable. But it is not valuable to sit around and wait for people to order a burger.

 

Gretchen

Yes, because sometimes you’re right. It’s that was saying that this was like Zoom meetings because sometimes and this is a complaint people have about Zoom meetings is they’re too intentional in to purposeful so you don’t have that catching up, getting to know each other, forming friendships and relationships that are more easy to have when you’re in person and you have that downtime because that’s valuable.

 

Gretchen

But especially on Zoom, you either want to be having valuable, Let’s get to know each other time or you want to crisply get in and get out. Yeah, what you don’t want is the dithering, yadda yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda. Time.

 

Elizabeth

Yes. In fact, I think that’s one reason why, for instance, in Hollywood, Zoom pitches have become much more popular for executives and in-person pitches. And I think part of it is just for that reason that it’s a quicker in and out, for good or for bad.

 

Gretchen

Right. Right. Well, I’m sure there’s pros and cons, but back to the lunch issue. So how do different people deal with that? Because that I mean, an hour out of your workday in the middle of the day and you can see how people would enjoy the let’s debate this restaurant.

 

Elizabeth

Well, the yes. And what often happens is they don’t do it early enough and then lunch doesn’t come till two. And anyway, so it’s a whole thing. But Sarah and I work for someone who had not worked in TV for years, had worked in TV and then not and then was back and he came back saying, I have figured out being a showrunner.



Elizabeth

And that is a new lunch system. And so on Friday we had to decide what five places we were going to the next week, and then menus would be passed out and then everybody had to sign up by Monday morning for everything they wanted for the week. And if you wanted to change your order that day, you could, but that was on you.

 

Elizabeth

So if you on Wednesday didn’t want the thing you thought you wanted, you had to go tell the person getting lunch. I want to change this. And if not, you just got what you signed up for. So we spent no time in the room on lunch and it really was revolutionary.

 

Gretchen

And so would you make those five decisions kind of on your own time you’d look at the menu? Yes. Well, also, that kind of conversation can be really draining and demoralizing because you just feel like if people want to get things done, especially if they’re like, I want to get this done and get home or whatever, it’s very discouraging for them that this time is it’s just a drain.

 

Gretchen

It’s a drain on the system. Yes, I was I was looking at my own life for wasted time, and I found two pockets of wasted time. One is I realized that I leave a lot of papers out and I used to think that was bad. But now I realize it’s good because if I leave certain kinds of papers out, it’s because I know that I’m going to need them or I’m using them as a reminder, whatever.

 

Gretchen

So I no longer fight that. But I all my papers look exactly alike. And so I realized that I was spending a lot of unnecessary time looking at something to remind myself, okay, this is about a paid speaking thing I’m doing. Is it this one on the 15th or is it this one on the first? And now I realize if I would just in very big letters at the top.

 

Gretchen

Write what it is that I could just quickly glance at my piles and know which one I’m looking for. It’s not a lot of time, but it’s very boring time. And it’s right. It’s kind of effortful to look at a document and make sense of it. In this way. I could just be like November 15th, and then I’m like, Okay, that’s important because that’s this month.

 

Gretchen

And that other thing is December. That’s anyway, I just the way my mind works, that will work for me. And here’s another one that I’m really excited about so much that I’m going to do it. I’m either going to make it part of my happiness project for next year or I’m going to make it part of my 24 for 24.

 

Gretchen

I have not yet decided where to classify it is. I am going to take the shortest possible shower.

 

Elizabeth

Oh, interesting. What’s your aim?

 

Gretchen

Okay, so I realize it’s better for the environment because I’m using less water. Elizabeth, ever since we had our conversation with Matt Damon, which was amazing, I’ve always thought like, Oh, I want to watch my water intake. So shortest possible shower. And often because I do run cold, even though I do help my lotion warmer, which I love, I don’t like getting out of the shower because it always makes me cold.

 

Gretchen

So I stay in their way too long. But the fact is I’m just wasting water. I’m drying out my skin and it’s just now or later. It’s going to be exactly the experience. And so it’s a win win win. If I just take the shortest possible shower. And then also, I don’t like taking showers because I’m like after such a long time, but it actually doesn’t take that long if you take the shortest possible shower.

 

Gretchen

So I’m very excited because you know me, I need to make it a thing. I need to give it a name. I need to put it on the list.

 

Elizabeth

Well, can I give you a hack for this Gretch?

 

Gretchen

Oh, yes, please do.

 

Elizabeth

You should get a space heater for your bathroom and turn it on when you get up or before you get in the shower. And it makes a huge difference in how enjoyable it is to get out of the shower. Can really heat up the bathroom quickly. That’s what I have and it makes a big difference.

 

Gretchen

Okay, I have a space heater. How long does it need to go to warm up the room? When you say like 5 minutes. 10 minutes, right?

 

Elizabeth

Yeah. Not long. Not long. Yeah. If you have the door.

 

Gretchen

Shut 100%, I’m absolutely going to do that.

 

Elizabeth

So the key is to turn it on. Not when you get out, but before you get in.

 

Gretchen

Okay, I will do that now. I’m excited.

 

Elizabeth

Yes. And Gretchen, I will say one thing that has helped me immensely with this whole notion of pockets of time is audiobooks.

 

Gretchen

Oh, how so?

 

Elizabeth

Well, now I feel like even if I’m taking time to do something, let’s say, for instance, shuffling papers, I can listen to an audiobook while I do it. Mm hmm. Because, you know, I’m always listening to something, either a podcast or an audiobook, and that helps me feel like all time ultimately is is well spent, which is helpful.

 

Gretchen

So even if the time is still in the wasted category, it’s not wasted because it’s being used in this productive way.

 

Elizabeth

Yes.

 

Gretchen

Okay. That’s interesting. So you can reclaim wasted time in two ways. You can either get rid of it or shorten it the way like with my shower or with the lunch process. Or you can make it useful in another way, say, by having an audiobook. Yes.

 

Elizabeth

And audiobooks, because I think a lot of people think of their commute as wasted time.

 

Gretchen

Sure, yeah.

 

Elizabeth

And an audiobook is the best way to of how valuable you feel. Your commute is interesting. Yes.

 

Gretchen

So the try this at home is to look for the pockets of wasted time and then your solution might be different depending on the nature of it and how you want to tackle it. Oh, this is interesting.

 

Elizabeth

Yes.

 

Gretchen

So let us know if you did try this at home and how looking for pockets of wasted time works for you. And what did you do about it? What did you do? Once you’ve identified those pockets of wasted time, I’m sure that a lot of people have the same kinds of wasted time. So I think we can all learn from each other in terms of how to either make better use of it or eliminate that time altogether, depending. Let us know on Instagram, Threads, TikTok.



Gretchen

Facebook. Drop us an email at podcast@gretchenrubin.com Or as always, you can go to the shownotes. This is happiercast.com/457 for everything related to this episode.

 

Elizabeth

Coming up, we have an anxiety related happiness hack, but first this break. 

 

[music] 

 

Okay, Gretch, we are back with this week’s Happiness Hack and it is about anxiety. Yes.

 

Gretchen

This hack is something that I’ve used myself and I never really thought about it as a tip or as a hack. But then a friend of mine said something that made me realize, like, Actually, this is a hack. Okay, So my friend had to have this medical procedure that she was very, very anxious about. And she was saying to her husband, I’m really, really anxious about this.

 

Gretchen

And he said, you know what? It’s two weeks away. You and I were just going to go to the office. We’re just going to go to the office ahead of time. And she was like, well, why would we do that? And he’s like, I just think you’ll feel better about it if we just it’s not a big deal.

 

Gretchen

Let’s just go together. We’ll go to the office, you can look around and then that’ll be that. And she was sort of like, Why would I do that? And she said, actually, it really lowered her anxiety. She could imagine herself going there. She could imagine herself in the place. And it just made her feel better about something she was very worried about.

 

Gretchen

And this reminded me that often when you were going to speak in front of a large group, you will go look at the space in advance. Now, when I started speaking, I was kind of surprised and puzzled because the organizers would often say, Oh, would you like to see the room? And I would always say yes, because, you know, if somebody invites you to do something, you’re like, I would like that very much.

 

Gretchen

And I thought they were just like, Look at this great room we have. But then I realize this is something that speakers ask for because now I ask for it because if you’re getting ready, even if you’re not that anxious, but just to get yourself ready for something that’s a big undertaking, like giving a big talk, it just helps you feel better when you can know in your mind this is what the room looks like, this is what the stage looks like.

 

Gretchen

If I’m standing there, this is what I’m going to be looking out at. This is how the lights are. This is how far the stage is from the first row. You just feel less anxiety when you can imagine yourself in that place. I think it gives you a sense of control and being able to visualize yourself well.

 

Elizabeth

And we always did that for our live shows. Gretchen We would go out, see how we’re going to enter. Yes, how we’re going to walk out. Yes. And it was very reassuring, especially because I had a lot of anxiety about that.

 

Gretchen

And it makes you feel better because you just know what to expect.

 

Elizabeth

And that I mean, Gretchen, this can be really helpful. Like with a child going to a new school or going to kindergarten for the first time. You drive by the school or you can hopefully get out and walk around the campus depending on the situation and say, Here is where you’re going to be. Yeah, yeah. Or not even just a little kid, but a college student as well.

 

Gretchen

Right now, I just think there’s something about knowing what to expect gives you a greater sense of control.

 

Elizabeth

Well, Gretchen, I actually know writers who, if they have a big meeting or even just something they consider to be an important meeting, they will drive to the place like a restaurant to see how the parking is. Yeah. Or an office building just so they know, they know where it is like a couple of days before so that they don’t have that anxiety of where am I going?

 

Gretchen

I mean, that’s another good aspect of this, which is if you’re worried about how long is it going to take to get there or how is the parking or do I know exactly where I’m going or just like the way how do we enter on stage? Because sometimes there were stairs and if you were wearing your like extremely fancy, fashionable boots, it just there’s just so many reasons that if you’re anxious about something, maybe doing that dry run is something that is going to make you feel more in control and less anxiety when the actual intimidating event comes to pass.

 

Elizabeth

All right. And Gretchen, we have a bonus hack this week.

 

Gretchen

Oh, yes. This came from Jennifer. And I think this is this is a very small practical hack, so maybe it’s not a whole hack, but it’s definitely worth mentioning as a, an elegant solution to for a common, common problem.

 

Elizabeth

And this comes from Jennifer, Gretch. She says, Store your face cream slash lotion jars on their side. This allows the contents to settle so you can scoop it out easily. I’ve always struggled getting the last bits out.

 

Gretchen

I mean, this is so clever and I know that you’re just like especially with a larger bottle where you can’t reach the bottom with your finger and you’re like, Oh, there’s all this expensive lotion, or I just don’t like the waste of it. It feels like I got to get this out. And then you put it upside down and makes a mess stored on its side.

 

Elizabeth

There you go. Thanks, Jennifer.

 

Gretchen

That’s a great hack. And now for a Know Yourself Better question. So, Elizabeth, are you a baker or a cook?

 

Elizabeth

What does that mean? And then I will answer you. But I think I already know my answer.

 

Gretchen

Right? Well said. The baker is the person who follows the rules. Exactly. Because when you’re baking, you have to get the proportions exactly right. So it’s one cup of flour. Or are you more of a cook who improvises? You’re putting your own twist on things. You’re adding some unexpected condiments. You’re putting in twice as much of this or leaving out that.

 

Gretchen

So it’s the baker or the cook. What are.

 

Elizabeth

You? I am most definitely a baker. I like rules. I like to follow rules. In fact, Gretchen, yesterday I got a notice from school saying someone with your decals dropped off their child in the wrong spot. And that’s not allowed. And please don’t do this, or we’re going to fine you. And I wrote back, I said, I assure you that was not me, because I follow the rules and I drop them off where I always drop them off.

 

Elizabeth

There’s no possible way that was my car because I don’t want to get penalized. No.

 

Gretchen

Oh, my God. It’s so funny, though, because I. I so much don’t want to get in trouble that if I feel like I’m being and I’ve got my whole thing of I’m just accusation, it’s like I will want to like show up at the office and be like, let me explain to you and show you photographic evidence. Like, let’s look at the tape, man.

 

Gretchen

Let’s run it back. I want to show you that. Was that me?

 

Elizabeth

Yes. So, yeah. So I don’t bake or cook in real life, but if I am one, I am most definitely a baker. As are you.

 

Gretchen

Yes, we are. The same way we are bakers. We are non-baking bakers. We are bakers that are hard. We do not do the baking in the world.

 

Elizabeth

The worst thing someone could say to me is metaphoric equivalent to add a dash of salt. I’m like, No, I need to know.

 

Gretchen

How many.

 

Elizabeth

Exactly what to do.

 

Gretchen

Right, Right. Or like flavor to taste or simmer until done or whatever. You know, like, I don’t want to improvise. I don’t want to add my own. But so here it is. I wonder if there’s a for tendencies tie in. You’re an obliger and I’m an upholder. I wonder if they are more likely to be bakers. And I wonder.

 

Gretchen

I think rebels would probably be more likely to be cooks because they don’t like to follow rules. That’s kind of the essence of rebels, though. Rebels will always surprise you. So I can imagine that there could be a rebel baker because they’re always going to put their own spin on it. And this is why I would love like gigantic data, because people are always asking me about correlations.

 

Gretchen

And it’s just hard to tell because I only have.

 

Elizabeth

Right.

 

Gretchen

Ethnic data. I did my survey to see about the relative sizes of the four tendencies, but beyond that, it’s very people are like, does it correlate with professions or does it correlate with bakers and cooks? I just don’t have that kind of big data. I would love to have it One day. Maybe one day, Yes. And now for a listener question.

 

Gretchen

And fittingly, this question does tie into the subject of the four tendencies. And by the way, we should mention, if you don’t know what we’re talking about or you want to find out whether you are an upholder, a questioner, obliger, or rebel, you can take the quiz at gretchenrubin.com/quiz. This is a question related to upholderness.

 

Elizabeth

And this comes from Lisa. She says, My 14 year old son is an upholder through and through. He just started high school this year and he has a big list of things he wants to accomplish both in school and outside of school. He has some time in the morning between when he gets to school and when he has to go to homeroom.

 

Elizabeth

He likes to read in the library during this time and he feels this is important as he has a number of books he wants to read for personal reasons. He found a table where he was able to sit by himself and read. However, a group of girls he is friends with has started coming over to talk with him every morning.

 

Elizabeth

He asked me how I can politely tell them you would prefer to read in the morning and talk with them later. I advised him that I didn’t think there was any nice way to say this. This is a new school that has students from 19 towns and I worry that this could be off putting and might risk friendships and cause hurt feelings and friendships in high school and especially a new school are so important.

 

Elizabeth

I’m hoping you and Elizabeth and or your listeners might have some advice. My son gave me the okay to ask, and we’re both eager to hear your thoughts.

 

Gretchen

As an upholder, I so understand the student. I get it.

 

Elizabeth

Yes.

 

Gretchen

So, Elizabeth, what are your thoughts?

 

Elizabeth

First of all, it’s nice that people want to be his friend. Yes. And relationships are so important. I totally hear what the mom is saying. And I very much relate to that. I wonder if there’s things she could do, for instance, if they come over and talk to him because he say, oh, hey, I’m really engrossed in this.

 

Elizabeth

I just I’m trying to finish this chapter. Can I come talk to you when I’m done?

 

Gretchen

You know, this is the thing. I see both sides of this because you said relationships are important and it’s absolutely true. Relationships are so important. They’re so important in high school. They’re is so important when you’re forming new friendships. And so and I remember that when I was in high school, I had a rule for myself. Living people come first and I was like, if I ever have a conflict between two things, anything related to a living person came first.

 

Gretchen

So it’s like, I want to read a book or I should talk to friends. I’m like, living people come first or.

 

Elizabeth

It’s that is such a huge idea. I think we need to make a bigger thing out of that. I mean, I think that is a great rule to live by. I don’t live by it. I often choose binging a show over living people, but I think the idea that living people come first is important.

 

Gretchen

Well, it’s true. But then on the other side, though, the opposite of a profound truth is also true, which is that you want to be true to yourself. And she says, this is a child who really wants to read and feels like it’s really important to him for his own reasons. And you and I are huge readers and I totally get that feeling of I want to read these things and it’s important to me.

 

Gretchen

And so I’m just saying when it was me in that high school, I decided that I would go for the living people.



Elizabeth

Or Gretchen could he say like Monday, Wednesday and Friday are the reading days and Tuesday, Thursday he’ll talk to friends. So he could say to them, I think if people understand where you’re coming from, they’ll accommodate you. So like, let’s say he sees them on Monday, could he say, Oh, it’s one of my reading days, let’s hang tomorrow morning?

 

Gretchen

I don’t know. Maybe now it depends on him. It depends on the kids. Yeah. Yeah, I do think that it’s true that people and this is something that I really was very struck by when I was writing better than before, is that a lot of times people are like, Well, the thing about my habit is it’s inconvenient for other people, or other people are complaining about it.

 

Gretchen

And so they try it and then they back down. Well, the thing is, a lot of times people will sort of grouse at the beginning, especially if it sort of inconveniences them or it changes their habits, which is a little bit disruptive. But if you hold the line, if you’re like, this is really important for me to get up and go for a run at 7 a.m. every morning and I’m going to work it out in a way that it’s reasonable, Usually people will adjust.

 

Gretchen

You kind of have to give them a chance to adjust. And so I think that this child really was like, let me just tell you what’s going on here. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to you, it’s just that I have my own thing going and I need to. I think that if he held to that, they would adapt.

 

Gretchen

However, it seems to me that high school is a kind of particularly fraught relationships time So I don’t know.

 

Elizabeth

Both things are true. The thing is reading is great and talking to people is great.

 

Gretchen

And being true to your own values is really important. But the fact is that also strong relationships are very important. And yeah, I.



Elizabeth

Mean, I fall to your thing of living people come first ultimately. But I would also say could his mom help him out? For instance, let him read during dinner? Oh, you know, maybe they sit around usually and talk. But given that we’re trying to bolster our relationships at school, maybe there’s something that could give at home.

 

Gretchen

Interesting. Okay. Well, this is listeners. We don’t have the answer here, clearly, but what are other ways to think about this? What are other solutions, Elizabeth, that I had not even thought of that That’s like a completely different way of thinking about time. Then you could also say, well, family time is important, but you’re like, well, maybe family time gives way to this at this time.

 

Gretchen

We often talk about like seasons of life and that certain things come to the fore and certain things move backwards and different seasons. Like, I think this is going to be fascinating. So everybody, what do you think? What are your suggestions? How would you approach this dilema.

 

Elizabeth

Coming up, peaking of reading, Gretchen has a reading demerit, but first this break. 

 

[Music] 

 

All right, Gretchen, we’re back with demerits and gold stars and you are up this week with a happiness demerit.

 

Gretchen

Well, yes, and I should be inspired by the 14 year old student who is really holding the line, making time for reading that is very admirable. Even if he decides to do it differently in that particular thing. But I have not been doing a good job of holding my reading time. I don’t understand it. I love to read.

 

Gretchen

I value reading time and I just have not been reading enough. It’s just partly it was because I was on a reading slump and so I’m now trying to do a better job of putting the books down that I don’t like because that slows me down. And partly it’s because I’ve been reading books that are really, really the books that I were reading that were very, very good were challenging.

 

Gretchen

So they weren’t the kind of books that I would read right before bed because they took a lot of concentration, which is good. But then I need to make time on the weekends. And sometimes I was just working and like catching up on my emails, but I need to make time for reading. Reading is so, so important to me and then I just start feeling lousy because it’s not part of my life.

 

Gretchen

So as is always the case, I’m using the demerit to inspire myself to hold the line, and I make time for reading, which is so valuable to me.

 

Elizabeth

All right, Good reading is good.

 

Gretchen

And how about your gold star? Let’s take us up.

 

Elizabeth

All right, Gretch, I am giving a gold star to my friend Alexa this week for introducing me to a new restaurant in the valley. So I will say, first of all, the restaurant is called Bacari. It’s a tapas restaurant, and she had just been insistent for months that we should go to this restaurant. And you know how it can take months to do something?

 

Elizabeth

Yeah, we finally went and Adam absolutely loved it. I mean, I loved it, too, but Adam really loved it. It has an amazing atmosphere, which is, you know, not always easy to find great food. It’s a great place to go with friends. Or we just went, Jack, Adam and I went the other night and had a great time.

 

Elizabeth

And the thing about a new restaurant is that it opens up the neighborhood. It makes it feel like, Oh, we have this whole other choice in front of us, right? It feels like it makes your life bigger just to have another destination points Gold Star to her for really sticking with you have to try this restaurant. She was right, Bacari for anybody here in L.A. who wants to try it.

 

Gretchen

And so this is just my idle curiosity Was it a place that you were often near it and you just never went in? Or was it? Oh.

 

Elizabeth

No. Oh, you wish. Oh, but a few months ago.

 

Gretchen

Oh, I.

 

Elizabeth

See. But it’s in a place that we it’s very easy for us to get to. Right. And the restaurant that was there before, I did not like I see. So I would not probably not have gone there.

 

Gretchen

Because sometimes it’s fun. When you have a new restaurant, you go to a neighborhood that you didn’t otherwise go to. So that opens up your city in that way, in that you’re going to a place that you wouldn’t otherwise go to. And so that can be very fun.



Elizabeth

That is true.

 

Gretchen

Jamie is really good about going to restaurants in parts of New York City that I had not been to before. And that’s always a super fun element to it is like apart from the restaurants, it’s fun to go to a new part of your city, too.

 

Elizabeth

So, you know, in L.A., Gretch we try to keep everything close.

 

Gretchen

Yeah, No, right. Because it’s a half an hour at least to get anywhere. 100%. Yes. The resource for this week. Okay. We are coming up into the holiday season and that is a great opportunity to tap into our senses. There are the smells, the sights, the taste, all the things about the holiday season. So take the neglected sense quiz and figure out which of your sense you neglect.

 

Gretchen

And then that is something that is really fun to really explore during this time of the year when there’s a lot of sensory delights to be enjoyed. You can take the quiz at gretchenrubin.com/quiz. Elizabeth, you and I, we know that we are most neglected senses taste. And so when we’re together for our Kansas City Christmas, we’ll have to think maybe this is when we’ll try Marmite.

 

Elizabeth

Oh we’ve been.

 

Gretchen

Talking about that we wanted to try something new. Okay. If we can get some Marmite in Kansas City, we’ll try it together. But you can have a sense of adventure. You can do something with someone else. You can find a new source of comfort or calm or creativity. And it’s just a new way to enjoy the holiday seasons because maybe you’re overlooking everything that’s offered to you through that sense.

 

Gretchen

And again that’s gretchrubin.com/qui for what’s your neglected sense? So, Elizabeth, what are we reading? What are you reading?

 

Elizabeth

I am reading Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis.

 

Gretchen

And I am just about to start Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. And that’s it for this episode of Happier. Remember to try this at home. Look for pockets of wasted time. Let us know if you tried it and if it worked for you.



Elizabeth

Thank you to our executive producer Chuck Reed and everyone at Cadence 13. Get in touch Gretchen’s on Instagram and Threads and TicTok at Gretchen Rubin and I’m on Threads and Instagram at Liz Craft. Our email address is podcast@gretchenrubin.com.

 

Gretchen

If you like this show, usually I say recommend it to a friend, but today I’m going to say rate and review it. That is another way that people discover a show. They look at the ratings, they look at the reviews, so that really, really does help us out. If you take a second to rate and review.

 

Elizabeth

Until next week. I’m Elizabeth Craft.

 

Gretchen

And I’m Gretchen Rubin. Thank you for joining us. Onward and upward.

 

Elizabeth

You’ll love this. So for Thanksgiving, you know, the party crackers we’re always talking about. Yeah, I got ones shaped like turkeys. They’re very cute.Oh, how fun. I will send you a picture.

 

Gretchen

It really does add a lot to the festivity.

 

Elizabeth

Yes.

 

Gretchen

From the onward project.

 

[music] 

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