Hairdryers, Psalms and the Bluebird of Happiness

Happiness lite.  That’s what I’m talking about today.  I’ve recently finished reading Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, which I rather enjoyed.  You’ve probably read it, cause all of us in the aggregate have shoved it to the top of the New York Times bestseller list.

Anyway, good old Gretchen Rubin has inspired me.  She started thinking about, writing about, blogging about, inspiring about and speaking about happiness.  What drives it.  What supplies it.  The wisdom of the ages.  Current thinking.  She created resolutions to do each month for a year, in different categories, that would help her DO what she intended to DO to become happier.  Many things struck me as helpful about it.  But here are my highlights:

A quote: “The words of the writer Colette had haunted me for years: ‘What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish that I’d realized it sooner!'”  Talk about what I’m always talking about… “the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places” (my beloved Psalm 16).   Look around, say thanks, get busy, Cary.

And an encouragement to “indulge in a modest splurge”:  Rubin writes about the balance between the old adage of “money can’t buy happiness” and just what sort of happiness money can buy.  And she talked about the ability for money to solve problems.

And as I’ve written about frequently in the last two years on my other blog,, I really care about what I do with my money and how I use it.  I believe God cares deeply about that.  I believe it’s a matter of justice and not an “I made it; I can do with it what I want” situation.  This is a “potential growth area” (i.e. weakness) for me to address in my life.

Yet the sort of “modest splurge” Rubin talks about is not at the level of solving problems of society.  It’s more at the level of everyday annoyances or simple pleasures.  So I decided to be open to addressing sticking points in my life and routine, to listen to my interior monologue about what’s bugging me, and do something about it.

And what I discovered was that every day I spent precious seconds or maybe even a minute being unhappy about my expensive hairdryer.  And every time I was in a cheap chain motel, I was thrilled with the inexpensive hairdryers nailed/superglued/velcroed to the wall.  They work well.  So I decided to give away my expensive, heavy, slow hairdryer and buy a cheapie travel one for every day use for $19.99.

As Robert Frost said, “and that has made all the difference.”

Happiness is so simple (some days).


~ by Cary on September 10, 2010.

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