Have you ever heard of The Happiness Project? I stumbled onto it in my surfing one day, and it's piqued my curiosity. Lawyer turned author, Gretchen Rubin, is writing a book about spending a year testing out "every principle, tip, theory, and scientific study [she] could find." It's titled The Happiness Project and should be coming out in 2009. On her website each Wednesday she shares a new set of tips revolving around a specific area of life. Unfortunately I've only scratched the surface of this vast pool of information, but today I'd like to direct you to one of her set of principles: Tips for being a more light-hearted parent. Gretchen gathered 12 ideas, mostly from friends, that she tries to incorporate into her parenting.
As soon as I read #1 I knew it was a great way for our house to be a little happier......At least once a day, make each child helpless with laughter. Doesn't that sound like a fabulous idea, and so easy? Well it's easy with a four year old--good luck to you moms of teenagers! Every so often I think of this tip during the day and I start in on a surprise tickle attack, make goofy faces in the car, or just let myself laugh at the absurd silliness exuding from my son. It usually invites one of those deep belly-laughs from him, the kind that make us both delighted just to be alive and together. It amazes me how this one simple act can produce such profound joy in the two of us. the kind that eases whatever other stressful encounters we've had during the day. I forget, too often, the healing power of laughter.
I'll let you discover what else she has to say. Most of the thoughts are good reminders of things you probably already know and maybe even have done in the past. As I get older, I find reminders are invaluable though. I surround myself with reminders every day so I can keep my priorities where I want them. But that's another post for another day. Go read these tips and then do me a favor and comment here about which ones were your favorite and why. Or which ones you can't wait to try out this week.