I’ve been pondering happiness ever since I realized my month in Rome is coming to an end.
And nothing makes me more unhappy than leaving Rome.
Except for leaving Maui, which ties with Rome for first place in my heart.
So, pondering my pending unhappiness, I decided to read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
In the book, she spends a year doing activities that she believes will add greater happiness to her life. She splits the book, and project, into 12 sections, one for each month of the year. In each month, she endeavors to do certain tasks that she believes will bring her more happiness, which hopefully culminates in a big bliss fest by December.
I mentioned this project to my Roman friends Marco and Sandro. This is their reaction:
|You’re doing what?!|
|Whaaat?! Who needs a happiness project?|
I replied to their chagrin with an exasperated, “People are creating lists of things to do to bring more happiness into their lives. What’s wrong with that? Look, here is my list.”
I pulled out my list that included activities I wanted to do each day, or nearly each day, to bring me greater happiness. Items listed down the margin included activities such as Update Blog, Write Morning Pages, Practice Italian, Practice French, Stretch, Take Vitamins. And across the page were dates and check marks on days when I did the activities.
Marco gave me that look. You know the one (see above) and he said, “Janice, because we are accepting you as a Roman citizen now, you must know the true secret to happiness:
You must find people with whom you can Eat, Drink and Laugh.
That’s it. That’s the secret.”
It’s as simple as that?“It’s as simple as that. To find people you can eat, drink and laugh with is the sweetness of life.”
Marco looked at my list again more carefully and pointed at the area where I had marked off many days of Practicing Italian and no days of Practicing French.
“Well, maybe I was wrong,” he laughed. “This makes me happy.”