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  • feedwordpress 17:36:17 on 2016/11/08 Permalink
    Tags: , election, , , , neighborhood, , , , voting   

    Something that Makes Me Happy: Voting. 


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    voting2016

    I sometimes get what I think of as my “America feeling.” Usually when I get this feeling, it’s so strong that I actually choke up.

    It hits me at the oddest time.  For instance, I felt it when I got my daughter’s emergency passport, and the officer was giving us our directions. (You can hear me tell the story on episode 31 of the podcast: “If you have an appointment, you’re in line A, for ‘appointment’; if not, you’re in line B, for ‘bad planning.’”)

    I felt it during the musical Hamiltonfor instance, during this part.

    I get the America feeling whenever I vote.  I love to vote. It gives me such a feeling of accomplishment and participation.

    Also, writing Happier at Home made me more attuned to the feeling not only of “home” but also of “neighborhood.” Voting is always a great neighborhood experience for me.

    Today when I signed the voting register, I saw the signatures of my husband and my mother-in-law (we live around the corner from my in-laws, and I mean right around the corner); my father-in-law’s name is on the flip side.

    I had a nice chat with the people on either side of me in line, plus we saw Paul McCartney walk by! It was a very friendly neighborhood experience.

    This has been a tough election cycle. Voting reminded me of how grateful I am. Grateful for my family and my neighborhood and my country. Gratitude for democracy and the ability to vote. These elements of my life are so easy to take for granted, and yet play such an important part of my daily happiness.

    How about you? How do you feel about voting?

    The post Something that Makes Me Happy: Voting. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
  • feedwordpress 01:21:07 on 2016/07/01 Permalink
    Tags: , , , neighborhood, , , , , ,   

    I Make a Good Happiness Choice, and a Bad Happiness Choice. 


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    brooklyn_heights

    One of the advantages of being a writer is that I have a lot of control over my time. However, I often don’t take advantage of that. I feel uncomfortable if I’m not being “productive” when I feel like I should be working — and most of the time, I feel like I should be working.

    But the other morning, I made a good happiness choice. I was going to the Panoply studio in Brooklyn to record an episode of my podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, and somehow I got it in my head that I needed to leave my apartment at 8:15. Only when I arrived at my subway stop did I realize I should’ve left at 9:15.

    So what to do with that hour? First, I considered using that time for work. I saw a nice outdoor cafe, but then I thought — no, I’ll choose to wander.  I want to explore, and spend this lovely June morning getting to know a new part of New York City.

    So I did. I walked around Brooklyn Heights, I saw the waterfront, I went to the bank, I got some exercise (I haven’t had much exercise in the last few weeks), I got to understand the geography of the city better — I had a very happy hour. And I had plenty of time to work, later. In The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, I write about why these various elements give a happiness boost.

    Today, I made a different choice. I met a friend for lunch, and her office was right near a perfume shop that I’ve been meaning to visit for months. I’d planned to go to the store after lunch, but when I got out on the street, I thought, “I just took a long break for lunch. I need to get back to my desk.” And here I am, back at my desk — and I wish I’d visited the perfume shop! I love perfume, it was only a few blocks away from my friend’s office, but it’s quite far from my apartment, so I’m unlikely to be down there again soon. I wish I’d taken the time to enjoy that neighborhood, enjoy some beautiful scents — and delayed my desk time by an hour.

    We talk a lot about the problem of procrastinating work in order to goof off. But sometimes, we procrastinate goofing off in order to work. Do you ever have this problem?

    Obviously, it’s not a good idea to leisure over work all the time. But sometimes, it’s the right choice.

    I should’ve put “Visit perfume store” in my calendar. Upholder that I am, I bet that would’ve helped me to go.

    The post I Make a Good Happiness Choice, and a Bad Happiness Choice. appeared first on Gretchen Rubin.

     
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