This post was inspired by Happier at Home(disclosure: this is an amazon affiliate account)
by Gretchen Rubin where she runs a nine month experiment to create happier surroundings. Join From Left to Write on January 6 we discuss Happier at Home. You can also chat live with Gretchen Rubin on January 7 on Facebook! As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.
This book came at a great time for me, I am not unhappy at home, but obviously recent situations have left me feeling down, and that affects my family. I always want my home to be a happy place and I know that my emotions don’t always let that happen. Unfortunately, I found this book hard to read and a bit dry. There was some really great content, but weeding through the rest left me a bit bored.
There was one piece that struck me right away, Gretchen Rubin talks about how people wanting things to make themselves happy was a failure, but is that mutually exclusive? Can someone who is happy want materialistic things because of what interests them? Can they still be just as happy or genuinely happier with that item?
I think now, especially in the blog world, there is this idea that if you say you want something materialistic (like making a gift wish list) then you are a bad person, because you should be focusing on your family or significant other and your friends, etc… You should be focusing on making memories and being grateful for the time you have. I don’t think that that statement is entirely wrong, but having the desire for items doesn’t mean you don’t value the relationships in your life.
I, personally, don’t wear a ton of jewelry, I don’t need tons of rings and watches, etc… (and it doesn’t make you a bad person if you happen to like those things). I do however love kitchen items. I love having people over for dinner and making great meals. I love trying new gadgets or baking pans. I love going to kitchen or home stores and spending hours looking around.
I truly am happy when I am in the kitchen cooking or baking for people. Wanting a cast iron skillet or new chopper isn’t going to make me happier, and I am well aware of that, but new appliances that allow me to add new recipes to my repertoire, especially recipes that someone I love, loves, well that makes me incredibly happy.
I agree with Gretchen when she writes that items we desire these items, not because we needs possessions but because of what these items mean to us. Seeing a smile on my husband or sons face after a newly discovered meal, that is why I want these items.
What do you think? Can people still desire material things and be happy?