It's a new year! I have some resolutions.
One of them is to read more.
I recently had an epiphany. Reading brings me more joy than I realized. It's kind of a silly realization. (I'm was an English major, I homeschooled my children so we could spend more time reading, and I'm an English teacher, for goodness sakes!) I spent my whole college career happily reading--- in the library, on the grass in the quad, in my apartment---and then discussing and writing about such reading. I loved it. Last year when I was teaching English, I loved my quiet afternoon hours of reading whenever I had the chance. (I had seven preps, so I was always just barely ahead of my students in our reading!) When I am at home, I tend to look at reading as an indulgent habit that is not as important as laundry and the minutia of housekeeping. My brain seems to feel intellectually mushy unless I have something I'm reading, and therefore I'm less happy when I'm not reading. I especially love memoirs and biographies, self-help books, and lately I'm indulging myself by reading novels! To accomplish this, I've decided to read in all the "nooks and crannies" of my life, and to allow myself time to read even when there are some things that are left undone.
One of the books I recently read has given me quite a few ideas about things I want to do better or differently to have a happier life.
Oh my goodness! I loved this book. I didn't read this book a few years back because of some negative reviews on Amazon. Boo to that! Anyway, it helped that I recently started listening to Gretchen Ruben's podcast, "Happier," so I felt like I "knew" her personality. There are a lot of powerful ideas in this book about becoming a better and happier person. She also makes the case that seeking happiness is not a selfish pursuit. In essence, becoming happier blesses the lives of everyone around us. I love that. Powerful stuff.