I have been reading a book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, which I really recommend even if you think you are an overall happy person. Here are a couple things I have learned so far…
Things you used to enjoy
I have started to feel guilty about not being enthusiastic about things I used to be enthusiastic about, such as going to a small concert, and standing in the tight crowd singing along with a band. I have had friends ask me lately to go to concerts like this, and while I feel like, “Yes, I want to see that slightly obscure band!”, I don’t enjoy those concert scenes anymore. However, on Friday, I went and saw David Gray at The Centre for Performing Arts. Do you know what I said to a friend I went with? “I’m so happy that I get to sit through this entire thing and take it in.” Wow, suddenly being 30 sounds and feels old. But the reality is, I just don’t care to pour energy into things that don’t excite me any more. I enjoyed immensely sitting with my eyes closed listening to the incredible music and Grey’s spot on perfect voice. This is happiness to me.
It is okay to let go of those things that used to make us happy, and engage more in the things that make us happy now.
Things you will never do/things you can still do
Another topic of the book was realizing things you will never be or do and being OK with that. You may also realize that you may not want those things anymore, so they shouldn’t be seen as disappointments. Here are some of mine. I will never:
- marry Jonathan Brandis (Google him)
- be a famous actor or the lead singer in a band
- like dusting
- be an art historian in a museum
Amazingly, I can only think of a few things that I wanted in life, but will never have, after racking my brain for 10mins. The flip side is knowing all the things you still can do and, turns out, this list is far longer. I can still:
- write a book
- travel the world
- be the “crazy aunt” to my nieces and nephews
- fall in love
- learn new things and gain new passions
- make new friends
- learn to snowboard and surf
- find a career I will love
- make money off of a hobby
- run the Boston, New York and Rome marathons
What are some of the things you realize you will never do? What do you look forward to?