I've had a chance to read and review Happier at Home, by Gretchen Rubin. I will share a summary and my thoughts on what I thought of this book.
I was really excited to get this book to review. I have seen the great reviews Gretchen got for her first book The Happiness Project. I have been meaning to read that book too, but I haven't.
What caught me at first was the first paragraph in the book. It says,
"One Sunday afternoon, as I was unloading the dishwasher, I felt overwhelmed by a familiar but surprising emotion: I was hit by an intense wave of homesickness. Homesick--why? Perhaps the hint of some scent, or the quality of the light, had triggered a long-forgotten memory. Homesick-for what? I didn't know. Yet even though I stood in my own kitchen, with my family in the next room".
For some reason, I myself have experienced this same feeling. I have no idea where it comes from or why I am experiencing it, especially when I am already happy with my family and life. Gretchen goes on to talk about home and what she wants from "home" exactly.
So, she goes on to devise a plan for 12 months. Each month is dedicated to one theme. The themes are as follows:
I think this is a great plan and it's important to spend a month's time focusing on one area in your life instead of feeling overwhelmed at doing them all at once. I enjoyed reading all of her topics and I think those are areas in my life I would choose to work on also.
I had some thoughts as I was reading this book. I have never been one for self help books. I think they are great ideas and I see them with great intentions of reading them or thinking that I would enjoy them. But, as I came to find out along with other books of this nature that I have tried to read, it's just difficult. I found differences in her life and my life and knew certain things just weren't going to work. I think she has wonderful ideas and they can work for some people. I just wasn't open to doing some or trying to make them work in my family.
She did make many good points though. Some in particular were in the chapter Parenthood. She talked about setting aside specific amount of time to be together with your children. She said, "The days are long, but the years are short." So very true... If you get so busy with life, the most important thing you can do is make time time for your children. Whether you have to schedule it in or not!
I also enjoyed her section talking about Warm Greetings and Farewells. Instead of rushing out the door in the mornings or quickly putting your kids to bed at night, make it a memorable one. Start the day off with a hug and a kiss. "That is the most important thing--certainly more important than having an extra few minutes to cross a task off my to-do list."
So, overall, in my opinion, I would rate this book 3 stars. Like I said, it is a good book and can be helpful for those willing to listen and follow what she says. Gretchen does make some great points and has some great ideas that I will add to my own life. I would still recommend this book. Gretchen did a great job outlining it and explaining her plan for bringing more happiness into her life.
**I received a free copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah to review. All opinions expressed are mine.**
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