I’m a bit of a Gretchen Rubin zealot. It’s kind of funny because I don’t always like her, but I always respect her and I almost always put stock with her theories. Probably one of the things I love the most is that they’re flexible. They don’t require unanimous agreement because they’re based on several different perspectives and perceptions. Everyone is unique and, even though she’s quite rigid with herself and her own habits, she supports others in what works best for them. In that, she is rigidly flexible.
If you’re unfamiliar with Gretchen Rubin, she is most well known for her 2009 book The Happiness Project that was published with the tag line Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun. In it, she breaks down how she devoted each month of the year to improving her happiness related to a specific area of her life and how she took smaller steps to execute that. Ever since I first read it (and I’ve read it several times) I’ve vowed to do my own Happiness Project the following year. Maybe 2019?
In her follow up book, Happier At Home (Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life), Gretchen (I’ve listened to about 175 episodes of the podcast she hosts with her sister so, yes, I feel like I can call her that) addresses happiness in the home using the same kind of outline as she used in The Happiness Project. Because the subject is a shared home and because that often includes children going back to school, the Happier At Home Project begins in September. As Gretchen theorizes, September is the other January.
I have to agree with her. Even though Back To School season has long been meaningless to me, I still can’t help but feel the excitement of a new and fresh start. Changes. Beginnings. Improvements. They’re all my jam.
I’m not a stringent resolution maker at any time of year, but I do enjoy moments of big change implementation, a start line after which something (or everything!) is different.
As we approach the beginning of a potentially transitional period, I like to take some time to think about what’s working in my life, what isn’t, how I’m feeling vs how I want to feel. I like to do some reflection on what I can do better or maybe even just differently.
Do you agree that September is the other January? Do you make changes in your life at the beginning of anew school year? Do you have any goals for this fall?