In the past month, I’ve read two books that I am so excited to share with you. They were both as good as I expected (and I had high expectations). When I can set a book down with a smile, I know they deserve my love and gratitude. I think the best way to thank an Author is to share her work.
You Can Buy Happiness (and it’s cheap) by Tammy Strobel
I followed Tammy Strobel’s story through her blog Rowdy Kittens as she and her husband, Logan downsized from a big apartment to a small apartment and then to a 128 square foot tiny home.
While she was sharing her simplicity story and I was sharing mine, we became friends. Tammy is one of the most genuinely thoughtful, caring people I know and that is evident in how she treats people and in her writing.
In You Can Buy Happiness (and It’s Cheap): How One Woman Radically Simplified Her Life and How You Can Too, Tammy shares research on happiness with her personal story. In addition, she weaves stories of simplicity through interviews and conversations into each chapter.
“In essence, this book is an invitation to rethink your relationship with money, time and stuff, to reconsider the things that make you happy”
I learned so much from this beautiful book and my favorite takeaway quotes include:
- If you’re not happy, changing your circumstance also means changing your attitude.
- For years, I made excuses for not volunteering. I never seemed to have enough time. Yet, I had enough time to watch television and surf the internet, and those activities always left me feeling drained. Volunteering became an obvious solution to avoid feeling isolated and to give me a sense of purpose.
- Simplifying and downsizing your life doesn’t necessarily mean living in a tiny house. It’s the philosophy or prioritizing happiness and actively shaping your life so you can focus on what truly matters.
Each chapter closes with a set of micro actions so you can begin to implement lessons immediately. This powerful book reminds all of us that happiness is a choice and that when you choose time over money and people over stuff, happiness awaits. I continue to learn from Tammy as an author and a friend.
Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin
In Happier at Home, Gretchen institutes new rules each month from September to May to make herself happier at home. While she admits that she can’t make anyone else happier, it’s clear that her happiness is contagious.
As she moves through resolutions like: Underreact to a problem, suffer for 15 minutes and jump more, she shares a little glimpse of her everyday life.
“This is the account of the strategies I used to feel more at home, at home.”
While you can implement Gretchen’s strategies, she gives you the blueprint to create your own. This book is built on the foundation of her splendid truths. You can learn more about her splendid truths in her books and on her website. While I could completely identify with Gretchen’s truths, after reading her book, I was inspired to document my own splendid truths.
- I am always capable of making change and adjusting to change.
- Once I’m finished with something, I’m happiest when I give it away.
- To connect, I must disconnect.
- I can’t fix you, or love you enough to make you want to fix yourself.
- I thrive on simplicity, but happily indulge in occasional luxury.
- There are big answers in quiet and in discomfort.
- Intentionally elevating and dropping my heart rate every day fuels my creativity and gentleness.
- The health of my body is dependent on the health of my mind
If I shared all of my favorite passages from Happier Home, this post would be too long to enjoy, so I’ll limit it to 3:
- Happiness is not having less; happiness is not having more; happiness is wanting what I have.
- Accept gifts in the spirit in which they are offered, instead of responding to the gift itself.
- Boredom can be important. That’s when you to figure out what you want to do.