Tag: Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

Quotes July 03, 2022

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

 
 
Silence was the cure, if only temporarily, silence and geography. But of what was I being cured? I do not know, have never known. I only know the cure. Silence, and no connections except to landscape.
MARY CANTWELL
Manhattan, When I Was Young
 
 
 
 
There is a joy in the pursuit of anything.
ROBERT HENRI
The Art Spirit
 
 
 
 
To change fate, you do not choose small steps.
AMY TAN
“How to Change Fate: Step 1,” in Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir
 
 
 
 
So coming back from a journey, or after an illness, before habits had spun themselves across the surface, one felt that same unreality, which was so startling; felt something emerge. Life was most vivid then.
VIRGINIA WOOLF
To The Lighthouse
 
 
 
 
I had spent my whole life trying to fit in, but it would take the rest of my life to realize that some men are just meant to stand out.
CHARLES M. BLOW
Fire Shut Up in My Bones
 
 
 
 
It may well be that those whose work is their pleasure are those who most need the means of banishing it at intervals from their minds.
WINSTON CHURCHILL
Painting as a Pastime
 
 
 
 
Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across a thousand miles and all the years we have lived.
HELEN KELLER
The World I Live In
 
 
 
 
At a certain point one stands on the isthmus and sees clearly the Atlantic and Pacific of life. There is the destiny of going one way or the other and you must choose.
JAMES SALTER
Burning the Days
 
 
 
 
Sartaj was thinking about how uncanny an animal this life was, that you had to seize it and let go of it at the same time, that you had to enjoy but also plan, live every minute and die every moment.
VIKRAM CHANDRA
Sacred Games
 
 
 
 
I shall never forget how the red ball of the sun hung on the horizon and raced along with the train for a short space, and then plunged below the belly-band of the earth. There have been other suns that set in significance for me, but that sun! It was a book-mark in the pages of a life.
ZORA NEALE HURSTON
Dust Tracks on a Road
 
 
 
 
If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there.
ALBERT CAMUS
The Stranger
 
 
 
 
One discovers the light in darkness, that is what darkness is for; but everything in our lives depends on how we bear the light.
JAMES BALDWIN
Nothing Personal
 
 
 
 
The clearest indication of character is what people find laughable.
JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE
Maxims and Reflections
 
 
 
 
Humor is the antidote to overthinking. It’s a way of saying that life is paradoxical. Humor contains contradictions; it does not resolve them but revels in them. It says that the right way to exist among the contradictions, paradoxes, and absurdities of life is to cope with them through laughter.
BOB MANKOFF
How About Never: Is Never Good For You?

Quotes June 13, 2022

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

 
 
What is far off may be more familiar to us than what is quite near.
MARCEL PROUST
The Guermantes Way
 
 
 
 
I was made for the library, not the classroom.The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free.
TA-NEHISI COATES
Between the World and Me
 
 
 
 
The hallmark of a decision in line with one’s character is ease and contentment, and an ample, even provision of natural energy.
ANNE TRUITT
Turn: The Journal of an Artist
 
 
 
 
Each time of life has its own kind of love.
LEO TOLSTOY
Family Happiness and Other Stories
 
 
 
 
No matter how mundane some action might appear, keep at it long enough and it becomes a contemplative, even meditative act.
HARUKI MURIAKAMI
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
 
 
 
 
There’s only one very good life and that’s the life you know you want and you make it yourself.
DIANA VREELAND QUOTED BY CECIL BEATON
The Unexpurgated Beaton
 
 
 
 
Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
An Inland Voyage
 
 
 
 
Hurry, hurry, open every door! says my heart.
MARY OLIVER
“Habits, Differences, and the Light That Abides,” Long Life: Essays and Other Writings
 
 
 
 
Yet occasionally we discover in the folds of an old handkerchief a shell or insignificant stone that had once embodied our happiest of afternoons.
PATTI SMITH
Just Kids
 
 
 
 
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great.
WILLA CATHER
My Antonia
 
 
 
 
We can’t make people change, but when we change, others may change.
Nothing is more exhausting than the task that’s never started, and strangely, starting is often far harder than continuing.
We won’t make ourselves more creative and productive by copying other people’s habits, even the habits of geniuses; we must know our own nature, and what habits serve us best.
GRETCHEN RUBIN

Quotes June 04, 2022

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

 
 
Sometimes I would open my eyes and see the summer landscape passing through the dusty windows, so full and ripe at that time of year that it seemed impossible that it could ever be broken down and turned to winter.
RACHEL CUSK
 
 
 
 
There are those who leave and those who stay and there are those who come and go.
AMINATTA FORNA
“Hame,” The Window Seat
 
 
 
 
People often ask themselves the right questions. Where they fail is in answering the questions they ask themselves.
WILLIAM MAXWELL
Time Will Darken It
 
 
 
 
A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.
ANTHONY TROLLOPE
Autobiography of Anthony Trollope
 
 
 
 
Beauty is as much about how and whether you look as what you see.
JOHN GREEN
The Anthropocene Reviewed
 
 
 
 
At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough.
TONI MORRISON
Tar Baby
 
 
 
 
One has to look on oneself as the custodian of a quantity and a quality—oneself—which is absolutely unique in the world because it has never been here before and will never be here again.
JAMES BALDWIN
Nothing Personal
 
 
 
 
Looser types—people who are not busy weighing and measuring every little thing—are used to accidents, coincidences, chance, things getting out of hand, things sneaking up on them. They are the happy children of life, to whom life happens for better or worse.
LAURIE COLWIN
“A Mythological Subject” The Lone Pilgrim
 
 
 
 
What we perceive as limitations have the potential to become strengths greater than what we had when we were ‘normal’ or unbroken…when something breaks, something greater often emerges from the cracks.
NNEDI OKORAFOR
Broken Places & Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected
 
 
 
 
Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it.
SOREN KIERKEGAARD
Letter, 1847
 
 
 
 
One day when I was studying with Schoenberg, he pointed out the eraser on his pencil and said, ‘This end is more important than the other.
JOHN CAGE
Silence
 
 
 
 
Solitude shared with animals has a special quality and rarely turns to loneliness.
MAY SARTON
The House by the Sea

Quotes May 11 & 12, 2022

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

 
 
To improve the golden moment of opportunity, and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of life.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
The Patriot
 
The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.
SAMUEL JOHNSON
Rambler no. 2, Selected Writings
 
 
 
 
We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget.
JOAN DIDION
On Keeping a Notebook
 
 
 
 
“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”
Carl Sagan
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage
 
 
 
 
A library is a medicine cabinet. What can heal one person may not work at all for somebody else.
I didn’t know when I was coming back, but I knew I wouldn’t be the same on my return…If there was anyone I needed to get away from, it was me.
SANDRA CISNEROS
A House of My Own: Stories from My Life
 
 
 
 
To descend into ourselves, we must first lift ourselves up.
JOSEPH JOUBERT
The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert
 
 
 
 
For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock.
The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.
JAMES BALDWIN
Nothing Personal
 
 
 
 
Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone. Dawn and doom was in the branches.
ZORA NEALE HURSTON
Their Eyes Were Watching God
 
 
 
 
People seldom see themselves changing. It is like going out in the morning, or in the springtime to pick flowers. You pick and you wander till suddenly you find that the light is gone and the flowers are withered in your hand.
ZORA NEALE HURSTON
Dust Tracks on a Road
 
 
 
 
A red flower placed in a window may expand its influence over all the area of your sight.
ROBERT HENRI
The Art Spirit
 
 
 
 
The surest way to discipline passion is to discipline time.
W. H. AUDEN
“Balaam and the Ass” from The Dyer’s Hand and Other Essays
 
 
 
 
One does not play Bach without having done scales. But neither does one play a scale merely for the sake of the scale.
SIMONE WEIL
Gravity and Grace
 
 
 
 
To change fate, you do not choose small steps.
AMY TAN
“How to Change Fate: Step 1,” in Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir
 
 
 
 
I would never have chosen this path, but I am very glad to be who I am, here.
AUDRE LORDE
The Cancer Journals
 
 
 
 
We may, by fixing our attention almost fiercely on the facts actually before us, force them to turn into adventures; force them to give up their meaning and fulfill their mysterious purpose.
G. K. CHESTERTON
Tremendous Trifles
 
 
 
 
The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity, than the discovery of a new star.
JEAN ANTHELME BRILLAT-SAVARIN
The Physiology of Taste, or Meditation on Transcendent Gastronomy
 
 
 
 
I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.
SYLVIA PLATH
The Bell Jar
 
 
 
 
Sartaj was thinking about how uncanny an animal this life was, that you had to seize it and let go of it at the same time, that you had to enjoy but also plan, live every minute and die every moment.
VIKRAM CHANDRA
Sacred Gamed
 
 
 
 
One does not ‘find oneself’ by pursuing one’s self, but on the contrary by pursuing something else and learning through some discipline or routine (even the routine of making beds) who one is and wants to be.
MAY SARTON
The House by the Sea
 
 
 
 
Sunk in the grass of an empty lot on a spring Saturday, I split the stems of milkweed and thought about ants and peach pits and death and where the world went when I closed my eyes.
TONI MORRISON
The Bluest Eye
 
 
 
 
I can DO ANYTHING I want, but I can’t DO EVERYTHING I want.
To eke out the most happiness from an experience, we must anticipate it, savor it as it unfolds, express happiness, and recall a happy memory.
Be a storehouse of happy memories
The bird, the bee, and the bat all fly, but they use different kinds of wings.
GRETCHEN RUBIN

Quotes April 09, 2022

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

 
 
She generally gave herself very good advice (though she very seldom followed it).
LEWIS CARROLL
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
 
 
 
 
His mother saw that he was not lonesome, and because she was an understanding mother, even though she was a cow, she let him just sit there and be happy.
MUNRO LEAF
The Story of Ferdinand
 
 
 
 
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.
CHARLOTTE BRONTE
Jane Eyre
 
 
 
 
One’s life begins on so many occasions, constructing itself out of accident derived from coincidence compounded by character.
DONALD HALL
Unpacking the Boxes
 
 
 
 
But real flowers can never be dispensed with. If they could, human life would be a different affair altogether.
VIRGINIA WOOLF
Jacob’s Room
 
 
 
 
A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.
EUDORA WELTY
One Writer’s Beginnings
 
 
 
 
From the moment I held a box of colors in my hands, I knew this was my life. I threw myself into it like a beast that plunges towards the thing it loves.
HENRI MATISSE WITH PIERRE COURTHION
Chatting with Matisse: The Lost 1941 Interview
 
 
 
 
When things are taking their ordinary course, it is hard to remember what matters.
MARILYNNE ROBINSON
Gilead
 
 
 
 
I would never have chosen this path, but I am very glad to be who I am, here.
AUDRE LORDE
The Cancer Journals
 
 
 
 
One discovers the light in darkness, that is what darkness is for; but everything in our lives depends on how we bear the light.
JAMES BALDWIN
Nothing Personal
 
 
 
 
When one loves, one does not calculate.
ST. THERESE OF LISIEUX
Story of a Soul
 
 
 
 
You know that book; you forget the title after you’ve returned it and over the years you try to look it up a few times, but you never find it again.
HELEN OYEYEMI
Boy, Snow, Bird
 
 
 
 
Enthusiasm is a form of social courage.
The place that hurts isn’t always the place that’s injured.
We won’t make ourselves more creative and productive by copying other people’s habits, even the habits of geniuses; we must know our own nature, and what habits serve us best.
GRETCHEN RUBIN

Quotes March 22, 2022

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

 
 
This is your home, my friend, do not be driven from it; great men have done great things here, and will again, and we can make America what America must become.
JAMES BALDWIN
The Fire Next Time

 
 
 
 
There is in the soul a taste for the good, just as there is in the body an appetite for enjoyment.
JOSEPH JOUBERT
Pensées
 
 
 
 
Her green mind made the world around her green.
WALLACE STEVENS
Description Without Place
 
 
 
 
It is all a question of weeding out what you yourself like best to do, so that you can live most agreeably in a world full of an increasing number of disagreeable surprises.
M.F.K. FISHER
How to Cook a Wolf
 
 
 
 
Now and then it is a joy to have one’s table red with wine and roses.
Oscar Wilde
De Profundis
 
 
 
 
If you know what somebody wants, you know what he is like.
W. H. Auden
The Dyer’s Hand and Other Essays
 
 
 
 
Flawed can be more perfect than perfection.
GRETCHEN RUBIN
 
 
 
 

5 things making me happy

ONE
I couldn’t make it through my recording of this episode of A Little Happier without laughing—I find the one-liners of surreal comedian Steven Wright so funny. Plus, because they often take the form of aphorisms, I appreciate them even more.
 
 
TWO
Adding whimsy to tasks makes me happy—and so does clearing up my office at the end of the work day. I shared this “Desk-clearing Bingo Card” to gamify my end-of-day desk-clearing ritual. Take a look, see if you can get a bingo. Your Monday morning self will appreciate the neatened desk.
 
 

THREE

I love perfume, and I was fascinated to read this interview with Kimberly Waters, a boutique-fragrance expert and founder of MUSE (Modern Urban Sensory Experiences).

 
 
FOUR
During my daily visit to the Met, I try to notice details and make connections. I was admiring Sir Thomas Lawrence’s beautiful 1790 portrait of Elizabeth Farren, when, because of St. Patrick’s Day, I particularly noted that she was Irish. (I love the textures captured in this painting.)

 
 
FIVE
For my #Rest22in2022 challenge I’m aiming to build a habit of rest by taking a nap on the days it’s possible to do so. I was very interested to learn Dr. Sandra Dalton-Smith’s perspective, which categorizes rest into 7 “types.”
 
 
Updates

I created a free, downloadable PDF version of my Calendar of Catalysts, just in time for the first day of spring this Sunday (a perfect opportunity for a fresh start). Click here to download, print, and add your own auspicious dates.

Quotes March 13, 2022

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

 
 
I have stood by the side of a field and watched hundreds of snow geese take flight, as if departing our mortal world for their own enchanted kingdom.
KATHRYN SCHULZ
Lost & Found
 
 
 
 
Let us choose for ourselves our path in life, and let us try to strew that path with flowers.
ÉMILIE DU CHÂTELET
“Discourse on Happiness” from Selected Philosophical and Scientific Writings
 
 
 
 
What we perceive as limitations have the potential to become strengths greater than what we had when we were ‘normal’ or unbroken…when something breaks, something greater often emerges from the cracks.
NNEDI OKORAFOR
Broken Places & Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected
 
 
 
 
There are unheralded tipping points, a certain number of times that we will unlock the front door of an apartment. At some point you were closer to the last time than you were to the first time, and you didn’t even know it. You didn’t know that each time you passed the threshold you were saying good-bye.
COLSON WHITEHEAD
The Colossus of New York
 
 
 
 
I shall never have the garden I have in my mind, but that for me is the joy of it; certain things can never be realized and so all the more reason to attempt them.
JAMAICA KINCAID
My Garden (Book)
 
 
 
 
How we schedule our days is how we spend our lives.
The bird, the bee, and the bat all fly, but they use different kinds of wings.
GRETCHEN RUBIN

Quotes February 28 & March 01, 2022

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

 
 
The salvation of man is through love and in love.
VIKTOR FRANKL
Man’s Search for Meaning
 
 
 
 
Where it is in our power to act, it is also in our power to not act.
ARISTOTLE
The Nicomachean Ethics
 
 
 
 
I suppose the more you have to do, the more you learn to organise and concentrate—or else get fragmented into bits. I have learned to use my ‘ten minutes.’ I once thought it was not worth sitting down for a time as short as that; now I know differently and, if I have ten minutes, I use them, even if they bring only two lines, and it keeps the book alive.”
RUMER GODDEN
A House with Four Rooms
 
 
 
 
We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.
JANE AUSTEN
Mansfield Park
 
 
 
 
Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt.
WALT WHITMAN
“Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” from Leaves of Grass
 
 
 
 
What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.
GEORGE SAUNDERS
Syracuse University Commencement Address, 2013

 
 
 
 
What we do every day matters more than what we do once in a while.
GRETCHEN RUBIN
 
 

Quotes February 20, 2022

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

 
 
The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.
WILLIAM BLAKE
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
 
 
 
 
The most congenial social occasions are those ruled by cheerful deference of each for all.
JOHANN W. V. GOETHE
Maxisms and Revelations
 
 
 
 
Yet occasionally we discover in the folds of an old handkerchief a shell or insignificant stone that had once embodied our happiest of afternoons.
PATTI SMITH
Just Kids
 
 
 
 
If you ever want to keep up a grudge against someone, don’t see that person alongside beautiful flowers.
JAMAICA KINCAID
My Garden (Book)
 
 
 
 
I had wanted to come back to Greenwich Village ever since I had left Waverly Place, and since moving to West Eleventh Street, I have never lived anyplace else. I do not want to. That is not because of what the Village is but because of what I have made it, and what I have made it depends on who I am at the time.
MARY CANTWELL
Manhattan, When I Was Young
 
 
 
 
We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited.
TREVOR NOAH
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
 
 
 
 
It’s not easy to start over in a new place,’ he said. ‘Exile is not for everyone. Someone has to stay behind, to receive the letters and greet family members when they come back.
EDWIDGE DANTICAT
Brother, I’m Dying
 
 
 
 
It isn’t enough to love, we must prove it.
ST. THERESE OF LISIEUX
Story of a Soul

 
 
 
 
5 things making me happy

 
 
ONE
A friend invited me to “The Art of Listening: Underwater,” an immersive, site-specific installation of underwater recordings. Thought-provoking and unlike anything I’d experienced before.
 
 
TWO
On my sister Elizabeth’s recommendation, I watched the brilliant documentary Get Back. It shows the Beatles writing their album Let It Be—in just 21 days. I love anything that analyzes the creative process, so I was enthralled by watching the band at work. I feel a real Beatles phase coming on. If you have any books to recommend, send them my way. (I just finished Craig Brown’s One Two Three Four.)
 
 
THREE
I felt the need for a little boost, so I watched the opening sequence from the 1997 movie Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. That sweet, silly little clip always makes me so happy. I’ve been thinking a lot about the Beatles (see above), and the opener has a real Beatlemania vibe.
 
 
FOUR
I read some terrific books in January. One was written by Mike Schur, who has written for and created some of my favorite TV shows. (No matter what happens in my life, I can make an allusion to The Office.) Take a look at what I read last month.
 
 
FIVE
At the end of each day, I try to organize my home office. It helps me make the transition from work to home, and it makes it more pleasant to start work in the morning. I’ve been drifting away from the habit of doing this “evening closer” (even giving myself a Demerit for it) but recommitted to it last week. Do you have a daily clearing ritual?
 
 
 
 
5 things making me happy
 
 
ONE
I was fascinated by this profile and interview of Millie Knight, the highly decorated British Paralympic skier who lost most of her sight in childhood. “I ski with my ears,” Knight said. The video recreates her experience of racing down a ski slope.
 
 
TWO
This week we celebrated Valentine’s Day. Which means our gallery of our annual Valentine’s Day cards are out on display—so festive.
 
 
THREE
A thoughtful listener from South Dakota sent me this photo of a flyer from her local store. It was so fun to spot my aphorism quoted at the bottom.
 
 
FOUR
I’m fascinated by the phenomenon of pareidolia, which explains why we so often spot faces in the most unexpected locations–because face-like patterns activate the brain’s fusiform face area.

I got a big kick from seeing a collection of such faces on the Twitter account @faceinthings.
 
 
FIVE
I’m having a lot of fun developing my “Calendar of Catalysts.” Many listeners have suggested adding the date of May 4, as in “May the Fourth be with you” from Star Wars. Very fun. What would May 4th be a good catalyst for? Is there another date you think I should add?

Quotes February 08, 2022

Courtesy of Gretchen Rubin Moment of Happiness

 
 
Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive.
EDITH WHARTON
A Backward Glance
 
 
 
 
People pay for what they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it very simply: by the lives they lead.
JAMES BALDWIN
No Name in the Street
 
 
 
 
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
KURT VONNEGUT
Mother Night
 
 
 
 
Most of us are experts at solving other people’s problems, but we generally solve them in terms of our own and the advice we give is seldom for other people but for ourselves.
NAN FAIRBROTHER
The House in the Country
 
 
 
 
There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
ZORA NEALE HURSTON
Their Eyes Were Watching God
 
 
 
 
As habit is more dependable than inspiration, continued learning is more dependable than talent.
OCTAVIA BUTLER
Bloodchild and Other Stories
 
 
 
 
I should say that happiness is being where one is and not wanting to be anywhere else.
MICHAEL FRAYN
A Landing on the Sun
 
 
 
 
Ah! There is nothing like staying home for real comfort.
JANE AUSTEN
Emma
 
 
 
 
Maybe I was reaching for authenticity through a funhouse mirror. I didn’t know. I just didn’t want to be who I was. It turns out that’s not a specific enough request.
R. ERIC THOMAS
Here For It
 
 
 
 
There is no substitute for the comfort supplied by the utterly taken-for-granted relationship.
IRIS MURDOCH
A Severed Head
 
 
 
 
It isn’t necessarily the great and famous beauty spots that we fall in love with. As with people, so with places: love is unforeseen, and we can all find ourselves affectionately attached to the minor and the less obvious.
MURIEL SPARK
“Tuscany by Chance”
from The Informed Air
 
 
 
 
There is something magical about beginnings, about the challenges that come with territory not yet conquered, about being the underdog. I think I’d far rather stand at the beginning of something, looking up, rather than at a summit, looking down.
JO MALONE
My Story
 
 
 
 

5 things making me happy

ONE
Finding an effective “treat” makes me happy. Treats and rewards aren’t the same. Rewards are earned; treats are not. We can give ourselves treats just because we want them. It’s important that our treats are healthy treats, however; I have a long list of healthy treats I can give myself as needed. What’s a treat you enjoy? I like beautiful scents, re-reading, and perfume.

TWO
I was fascinated to read about the work of an engineer who works on measuring and describing odors—I’d love to try the “Nasal Ranger” for myself.

THREE
This hilarious exchange between Reese Whiterspoon and Ina Garten reminds me of the truth that there’s no “right” way to approach resolutions. We each have to figure out the way that’s right for us—and what we’re aiming for! A good book makes one person happy; for someone else, it’s Sudoku.

FOUR
I love laughing—most people do. And I also see real value in incorporating humor into our lives. I was fascinated by this talk about how humor can strengthen relationships, boost creativity, and build resilience.

FIVE
Because I visit the Met every day, I’m always looking for exercises to help me look harder and see more. I loved this piece about photographer Stefan Draschan, who visits museums and takes photos when he sees visitors match up with the artworks in surprising ways. So fun to see.
 
 
 
 
5 things making me happy
ONE
On the Happier podcast, a listener shared that she sometimes talks to herself using her roller derby name, when she wants to help herself be more assertive. Elizabeth and I had fun choosing our derby names – “Lightning Lizzie” and “The Arrow.” What would your derby name be? (We found out later that many listeners assumed that we were talking about the Kentucky Derby!)

TWO
Having a dog brings me even more joy than I expected. On cold days (which we’ve had so many of lately) Barnaby likes to sit on a sunny windowsill.

THREE
I was happy to see that Happier is in good company on this list of “Best Mental Health” podcasts from Women’s Health Magazine.

FOUR
A listener sent me this helpful tip: if you’re interested in a book, artist, thinker, author, or subject, search the title/their name in your podcast app of choice. Then filter by “episodes” to see podcast episodes that mention your topic of choice. So easy, so exciting to have all that information on hand.

FIVE
We recently had a big snowstorm in New York City, and one thing I love about snow is the silence that often accompanies it. New York City can be a noisy place, and with less traffic and the muffling effects of snow, a snowstorm brings a beautiful silence.
 
 
 
 

5 things making me happy

ONE
I love reading personal manifestos (and I love writing them myself), and I was fascinated to read the manifesto of bestselling and Booker Prize-winning author Bernadine Evaristo.

TWO
On the newest episode of More Happier I finally got to tell Elizabeth about a tidying breakthrough that made me so happy.

THREE
Great news if you’ve been struggling to keep up a good exercise habit: Research shows that muscle can bounce back even after periods of inactivity.

FOUR
Are you working on #Rest22in22? This article has a lot of great suggestions. To get better sleep at night—make changes during the day.

FIVE
In ordinary times, I like to work in a coffee shop. I find the low buzz of noise helps me to focus. It’s not the same as IRL, of course, but this site provides a terrific “Café Library” of the ambient sounds from different types of cafes.
 
 
 
 
Small changes make a surprisingly big difference.
The fun part doesn’t come later; now is the fun part.
Enthusiasm is a form of social courage.
GRETCHEN RUBIN