QUOTE: When I stepped back to reflect on the resolutions, however, I was struck by their small scale. Take January. “Go to sleep earlier”and “Tackle a nagging task”didn’t sound dramatic or colorful or particularly ambitious. Other people’s radical happiness projects, such as Henry David Thoreau’s move to Walden Pond or Elizabeth Gilbert’s move to Italy, India, and Indonesia, exhilarated me. The fresh start, the total commitment, the leap into the unknown—I found their quests illuminating, plus I got a vicarious thrill from their abandonment of everyday worries. But my project wasn’t like that. I was an unadventurous soul, and I didn’t want to undertake that kind of extraordinary change. Which was lucky, because I wouldn’t have been able to do it even if I’d wanted to. I had a family and responsibilities that made it practically impossible for me to leave for one weekend, let alone for a year. And more important, I didn’t want to reject my life. I wanted to change my life without changing my life, by finding more happiness in my own kitchen. I knew I wouldn’t discover happiness in a faraway place or in unusual circumstances; it was right here, right now—as in the haunting play The Blue Bird, where two children spend a year searching the world for the Blue Bird of Happiness, only to find the bird waiting for them when they finally return home.
What gets your attention?
What human needs or problems relate to the quote?
What is it like to have that problem?
What other resources connect to this idea?
What is the solution suggested in the quote, if there is one?
What would a camera see if the solution was implemented in my life, in my family’s life, or in my church or community?
What are the steps that I would take on Monday to implement that solution?
What does this say to my context as a …
… follower of Jesus?
… to a church?
… to a community – my neighbors?
The quote is from The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin, located at page
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