It has become my year to meet my favorite authors! Last night, I had the honor of adding Gretchen Rubin to my list. She had a profound impact on my life & it was pure joy to hear her speak & express my gratitude to her.
In 2015, I heard Gretchen interviewed on a podcast. (I wish I could remember which one). She discussed her book, The Happiness Project, and explained she never wanted to look back on her life and think, that was the happiest time of my life and I didn’t even realize it then. This one sentence changed my life.
Her words resonated in a powerful way I did not understand, but I kept hearing them in my head. She opened my eyes to all of the blessings in my life. I thought, I AM going to look back on this time as the happiest of my life. The days when our family of four still shared a home, before our oldest moves out on his own. I’ll never get to live this time again with all of us home together, I realized. Because of this, I soaked it all in & found the most beautiful appreciation for our family, our health, our home, our lives & our love. I had everything I ever wanted & because of Gretchen, I stepped back and felt immense gratitude while I was living it. This shift in perspective truly increased my happiness.
I started to read The Happiness Project with my friend. It was shortly after I read It Starts With Food and completed my first Whole30. These two books were the perfect complement to each other. I started my own happiness project in early 2016, combining gratitude, faith, church, yoga & Whole30 to create new habits.
On February 17, 2016, Gretchen & Elizabeth interviewed Melissa Hartwig on their podcast, Happier. Their conversation made everything click. I was lit up with excitement about my habits, my life & my future. It felt like a fresh beginning, like I finally figured out the ways to live my healthiest, happiest life.
Kenny died one week later.
The life I loved ended in an instant. I was convinced I would never feel happiness again.
Because I had already learned these lessons, in time, I was compelled to return to my habits to rebuild my life. I have found my happiness again. It doesn’t erase my sorrow, but exists with it. I have an appreciation for my life that I believe only loss & faith could have taught me. I live in awe over the beauty & love that surrounds me. I am creating happy memories full of laughter & love & feel gratitude as I am living them.
I lived my final months with Kenny focused on all of our blessings instead of stressing about all of the stuff that does not matter. I was meant to hear Gretchen speak those words & I’m eternally grateful that I did.
This is why I open up & share. We can inspire each other with just a few words. If any of this resonates with you, I hope you’ll look her up & start your own happiness project.