Friday, December 4, 2009

Sweet sleep

NaNoWriMo this year contained a lesson in sleeping habits. I wrote after dark, which meant that I wrote into the time where self-control is lost, so that I got to sleep very late, being ‘busy’ on the web trying to wind down.

Getting back to good sleeping habits is taking more time than I thought it would, but I’m slowly getting there.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Gretchen Rubin alerted me to it, but of course we all know it. Getting enough sleep is a cornerstone of happiness. It is not only that lack of sleep makes me cranky and unproductive, it seems that lack of sleep actually interferes with self-regulation.

In my experience this is exactly the case. Lack of sleep means loss of will-power (which often leads to late nights, setting up a vicious circle.) It interferes with accuracy and speed. (The interesting study on Canadian road accident statistics on the days that summer time get switched on and off proves this.)

Earlier this year I slept well. This November I’m doing NaNoWriMo again, and it’s taking its toll on sleep. Although I’m not changing into a raging monster of unhappiness, I can feel that I need more energy to keep myself happy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Admit it

I have to admit it: I like sorting things.

I like taking a jumble of things and bringing order to it. I like unsnarling rope or cables. And it’s not only the idea that I like, I like getting my hands on the things, and I would willingly spend hours sorting them.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

True Rule

If you smell smoke or hear water running when you shouldn’t, investigate. You might prevent a lot of damage.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Gretchen Rubin suggest that doing things that gives one more energy will bring one more happiness. Lately she has been stressing sleep as a source of happiness.

I totally agree with her. Since I stopped drinking coffee I stared getting to bed earlier, and with deliberately going to bed ridiculously early I find that my happiness has increased.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Area of Refuge

Today I re-read an old post of Gretchen Rubin, and I realized the value of an “area of refuge.” Exercise and relaxation is good for eliminating residual stress, but for the present stressor distraction is probably a better option.

I’ll need to think a bit about what I can use as an “area of refuge.” I don’t think I’ve used one accidentally before.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Unexpected benefits.

I am unexpectedly happier without coffee. Despite being such a pleasure to drink coffee, or at least caffeine, has been a barrier between me and happiness.

I think the most powerful effect has been on the improvement in the quality of my sleep. I need much less sleep to be satisfied, and I don’t have to drag myself out of bed.

A second effect is that I no longer have to fear headaches. I get the most dreadful headaches from caffeine withdrawal. Not drinking coffee frees me from the worry having to keep my caffeine topped up.

Friday, January 16, 2009

"Lighting up"

I am re-reading a book: Lighting Up: How I Stopped Smoking, Drinking, and Everything Else I Loved in Life Except Sex by Susan Shapiro.

This book has brought me happiness. I can’t remember where I first heard of it, but I was intrigued by it’s descriptions, and I bought it with loyalty points.

Apart from being a good read, it is also a kind of Happiness Project, because it tells the story of the author kicking her smoking habit, with the help of her therapist, dr Winters. She discovers the multiple addictions she has, and what it means.

The book also brought me happiness, because I could lend it to a friend, who lent it to a horde of other people.

I am also trying to increase my happiness by following the book’s implicit advice. I am also trying to kick my addictions, the two of them being starch and coffee, often in combination.

Over the last few weeks I have been tapering down my coffee use, and yesterday I had my first day with none at all. It is not a particularly happy experience, but I know I will be healthier and better once I’m totally off it.