Sunday, June 26, 2011

Not in a time to come

Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord.”
(CS Lewis, Weight of Glory)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Granting happiness.

Somehow, something that eats at my happiness is rugby at Loftus Versfeld.

Loftus is the home stadium of the Blue Bulls. It’s just down the orad from where I live. When there is a match on, and I have to drive through the masses of cars and ‘freelance parking assistants’ and pedestrians, I immediately feel very annoyed and aggressive.

This does not happen every day, of course, and most of the time it has no effect on me. But when I do get mixed up in it, I get annoyed.

I’m not a rugby fan, and much less a Bulls supporter, which doesn’t help. But why can’t I relax and join the people in their enjoyment?

Sunday, January 23, 2011


In the 2011 Happiness Challenge, the theme for the month is Resolutions, and the last video suggested that we select a one-word theme for the year.

I watched the video, but at the time I didn’t think much about it.

This morning, I had a happiness-reducing experience, and the theme for this year floated into my mind: “Maintain”

If things work out as planned, this is going to be a busy, busy year. If I don’t maintain, next year, which might be even worse, will start with a deficit.

Maintain does not imply that there will not be growth, but that the growth will build on a well-maintained environment.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Gretchen Rubin makes the point that enough sleep is of central importance to happiness. Recent reading has convinced me of this, and I’d love to one day do an experiment in living without artificial light.

But for now, getting to bed at an early hour is what I will do.

After the weekend’s experience of not sleeping well, I got to realize something: not getting to bed early enough waste time twice: once when I spend midnight hours being unproductive, and the second time when I spend my waking hours being under-productive because of lack of sleep.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You don't have to be normal to be happy.

I found this very interesting and informative piece on autism. It’s a good read, a very personal view, and very useful.

Ten things everyone should know about autism.

What does autism have to do with happiness? Point 9 in the blog post is titled Autistic people can be happy without being cured.

The point ends But being a happy autistic person isn’t “being brave” or “making the best of it”. It’s quite simply being happy. You don’t have to be normal to be happy.

This is quite liberating for me: I don’t have to be normal to be happy. Or, as Gretchen Rubin will say, everybody’s Happiness Project will look different.

The autistic person’s happiness project is of course a good bit more difficult than the the neurotypical’s, so my slightyly ideosyncratic happiness project may also work for me, but it might not be easiest.

Friday, August 6, 2010


There’s one thing that’s very detrimental to my happiness, and I consider making a Happiness Commandment out of it. I think it would be “Don’t Wait.”

This is not the kind of “wait” found in procrastination. This is the kind of wait as in “waiting for”. If I wait for somebody to phone, for somebody to come around, for something to happen, and there’s no deadline or no certain time to it, I become unhappy. I’m not sure about the emotions involved, I just notice that I become passive and after a while I feel unhappy.

Yesterday afternoon I saw a friend in passing, and she said “I’ll call you tomorrow.” This morning I wondered if I should wait for the call, and I realized that the promise was so vague and unlikely that I would just be waiting for something that won’t happen. This realization (which was not particularly new) pointed me towards a part of my assumptive world that I can change to improve my happiness.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I’m wondering if I should make changes to my gym routine to improve my happiness.

On Mondays I do a gym class with weights. It’s very effective, and it’s the only strength training I need to do, in my experience. But because I’m putting quite some effort into it, I’m sore for the rest of the week. While the soreness is not distracting or very pronounced, I’m wondering if it might be affecting my happiness subconsciously.

I was prompted in this thought by a tip from Gretchen Rubin.