Monday, February 18, 2013

The Chief Good - Favorite Quotes from The Happiness Project

(I wrote, and then forgot about this post from a couple weeks ago.  Thankfully, the snow has melted since then and we are (hopefully) on onward to spring!  They're talking big snow this week but I'm ignoring it ;)

Today I'm sharing some of my favorite quotes from The Happiness Project, mixed with some pictures from (what I hope was) our last snow day at home.  Does anyone feel like this has been the winter of hibernation?  I'm not sure if it's just the stage in our life or what, but it seems we've had so many days inside, hunkered down under blankets and making due with what we have in the house instead of braving the elements and going outdoors.  It's been such a nice little pause in the middle of what tends to be a crazy life.

Yesterday, we made muffins and pigs-in-a-blanket, green monster smoothies, and ice cream sundaes, took naps, did puzzles, and read books in our teepee.  Beau went to work for awhile, but couldn't resist the two of us here without him.  UNI even cancelled classes this afternoon, meaning we had every excuse to hunker down and savor just one more day of the snow thing.  We're pretty good at it by now.

Food for thought from The Happiness Project...

"As the Spanish proverb says, 'He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies, must carry the wealth of the Indies with him.'" (Samuel Johnson)

"There is no duty we so underrate as the duty of being happy."  (Robert Louis Stevenson)

"Aristotle declared happiness to be the summum bonum, the chief good; people desire other things, such as power or wealth or losing ten pounds, because they believe they will lead to happiness, but their real goal is happiness."

"Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."
"Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth.  We are happy when we are growing."  (William Yeats)

"It is by studying the little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery, and as much happiness as possible."  (Samuel Johnson)

"It's one of the many paradoxes of happiness: we seek to control our lives, but the unfamiliar and the unexpected are important sources of happiness."  

"The days are long, but the years are short."

"When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so.  Now that I am fifty, I read them openly.  when I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up." (C.S. Lewis)

"Remember to leave a little mess."

"The things that go wrong often make the best memories."   

I'm planning to start a new blog series around here, or I guess I should say rekindle an old one I started about a year ago.  I went on a quest to identify pieces of happiness in each day, and record it in weekly blog post.  I've learned there's power to be found in naming those ordinary things that happen in the middle of our day-to-day lives, even on the days when it's hard to find much happy.

Rubin starts something similar on her own quest for happiness, recording one sentence a day in a journal: "As I became more aware of the preciousness of ordinary life, I was overwhelmed by the desire to capture the floods of moments that passed practically unnoticed" (198).

Thus, starts a Friday ritual of mine - to document the good in every day, through words and pictures.

365 days. 1825 happy moments captured.


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