Women of a Certain Age The Happiness Project ~ a Book Review
By Marcia Barhydt

the happiness project book reviewI’ve just finished reading a pretty cool book called The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin, Harper Collins, 2009. The concept is a bit like Me and Julia; remember the book where the woman cooked all the recipes in a Julia Childs cookbook in a year?

This book is a true story of Gretchen Rubin’s year long dedication to bringing happiness into her life using wisdom gathered from “Aristotle to Oprah” as she puts it. And Gretchen’s narrowed her ideas down to make them manageable for her as well as adaptable for us, should we want to attempt our own happiness project.

There’s a website to match the book/project, http://www.happiness-project.com/. What’s remarkable about the site is that it’s not just another author site with accolades about every word they’ve ever written. This website is interactive with a Happiness Challenge, videos on YouTube, even a Happiness Project Toolbox to use in our own project. What a great idea!

You know, I’ve always been a pretty happy kind of person and so I was curious about what kinds of things you have to do to be happy if you’re kinda grumpy. Turns out, they’re all pretty basic things, golden rule kind of things, mixed in with some common sense attitude that helps sort out the chaff from the wheat. All of Ms. Rubin’s suggestions would be easy for each of us to implement, but…

But one of the things I’ve learned since I’ve been of a certain age is that we women often don’t take time for ourselves, especially when it involves something as frivolous as making ourselves happy. What a concept eh? We’re often too busy making other people happy to prioritize it highly for ourselves. Sometimes we don’t have the confidence, self-esteem, to abandon ourselves to such ‘frivolity’.

What I’m saying here is that I believe we need to value ourselves enough to be able to take the time, make the time, to find our own happiness. Without a second thought. What I’m also saying here is that I think that not many of us are able to do that yet and it’s about time we started rethinking our own importance in our lives.

And we need to start prioritizing our happiness right now!

Maybe the first place for us to start might be to change our self talk. We have that terrible habit of saying bad things about ourselves to ourselves, “I’ll never be able to look as good as she does”, “My body is in such bad shape”, “I’m probably not good enough to deserve much”, “He’s right – I’m not very bright”. Stop it right now!! Stop playing the messages you hear from your life right now and stop hearing the messages that you heard when you were a little girl too!

Start a whole new tape for yourself, for your inner dialogue. And put only positive affirmations on that tape, whether you believe them right now or not. If we play the positive thoughts over and over, we will come to believe them, our perceptions will become our truths.

And those truths belong in our own Happiness Projects.

I am a woman of a certain age and I’m certain of my happiness.

© Marcia Barhydt 2010