Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Joyful Reading

Photo by Edouard Boubat

"Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?--every, every minute?"
---Emily in Our Town, by Thornton Wilder

I just finished a book about joy. "We are all sculptors, authors, and composers. Our lives, quite simply, are our most precious projects. And a life of joy--if we want it--is ours to cultivate and cherish . . . to discover and design." The premise is that Happiness is a Choice. In order to be happy, you must make it the priority in your life.

Jacqueline Kelm is the author. One of her many great suggestions: Answer the daily question What one thing can I do today, no matter how small, to increase my joy? I really liked the answers some people gave:
  1. Take my children as they are and enjoy them.
  2. Pull non-essential items off my to-do list.
  3. Set up two lawn chairs in the driveway and wait for someone to walk by.
  4. List what I'm grateful for right now: hand lotion, nice soap, a heating pad.
  5. Pack the book bags before breakfast so I can eat and chat with the kids.
  6. Sincerely compliment my husband on one of his great qualities.
  7. Don't start my conversations with, "My life is so crazy."
  8. Reflect on the blessings of a Monday morning.
  9. Listen to my favorite CD.
  10. Look through a photo album.
This book is easy to pick up and put down, perfect to keep in the car or read on an airplane, or take to the beauty shop. It doesn't take a lot of concentration and you don't need to keep track of where you were; the ideas are bite size, but nourishing. It reminded me that I'm writing my own story and I'm in control of the main character.


Christie said...

That sounds like an awesome book!

Jake said...

Perfect hostess gift. Please pack and bring to me. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read it mom!

marta said...

Sounds right up my alley. I like books like this and I can't wait to see who comes up to your lawn chairs! I'm glad you always find the best books. Have a fun vacation.

Olive's Granddaughter said...

Thanks for the tip. The book sounds like one I'd like and one I could definitely benefit from. Take to the beauty shop?? Who me??

Kay Dennison said...

I have a sign on my bathroom mirror that reads: Today I choose to be happy. Someday soon I'll write about how it got there on my other blog. Some days, it's an impossible choice but it's still my choice and most days I can get past what's holding me back.