musings about food, travel, creativity and life

The Joy of Reading

I just finished two fun summer reads, both of which are self-help books, of sorts–surprise! One is the book I checked out from The Community Library last week, Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin. The second is a short on-line free guide called 50 Ways to Find Joy Everyday by Ingrid Fetell Lee, author of Joyful. So I should be set, right? Let’s see.

Here are just a few thoughts offered by Gretchen Rubin in Outer Order, Inner Calm:

Beware “clutter magnet” spots–clean those out regularly so the mounds don’t get too high.

Look at your home “through the eyes of a stranger” as in what would photos of your home look like for an airbnb ad.

In seeing which items to keep, or not, in your home, ask “Does this energize me?” a Marie Kondo-light version of “Does this possession spark joy?”

Don’t cling to “an outdated identity” as in keeping professional clothes that are no longer needed, or those skiis that haven’t been used in a decade.

Consider “The X Factor”–as in “If I ran into my ex on the street would I be happy if I were wearing this?” Hmmm…interesting.

Take a photo of favorite objects that you love but are ready to pass along. I’ve done a variation of this and it actually does help in the letting go.

In all, her theme is choose the bigger life–“make space for our lives to expand in a new direction.”


And here are a few “quick pick-me-ups” from Ingrid Fetell Lee in 50 Ways to Find More Joy Everyday:

Get outside.

“Jump for joy,” as in trampolining or doing jumping jacks.

Look up–at rooftops, chimneys, weathervanes.

Organize bookshelves by color (sorry, Dewey!).

Paint your front door a bright color.

Rediscover and partake in childhood activities you used to enjoy.

Sing, especially with others.

Bring flowers near your bedside to “boost your mood in the morning.”


Amazing what a little reading can do to uncover some hints for creating more order, calm, and joy in one’s life. I’m going to try a few–like those flowers near my bedside and clearing out remnants of old identities. I’ll get back to you on how they work!

And you?  Any fun summer reads?

4 thoughts on “The Joy of Reading”

  • What…. you are going to get rid of those infamous Lynn Archer piles. What will I tease you about? I was always so impressed that you knew what is in each and every pile both at work and home.
    Enjoy trying out some of these great ideas…. just don’t paint your front door 🥰😘

    • How could I ever get rid of all my piles! For sure, I will keep one just so you can tease me. And, of course, our CV front door
      will never be painted…I wonder why😀

  • Enjoyed the list. I would love to have a conversation with a group of several generations, mine included, about partaking in activities that one enjoyed during childhood. I came up with playing with the neighborhood gang, riding my bike, helping my mother cook, learning to sew, reading, dancing and singing to my parents albums from musicals of the day. It was all so fun! I also found joy in school, loved doing what my teachers asked of me. So one of these evenings when we are gathered with friends I’ll start the conversation – “So, what did you do as a child that made you happy?” Bet it will bring smiles to everyone.

    • What a great idea for a conversation, Barbara. Let’s do it! I loved your list. And I came up with a few of my favorites–dance being a big one💃🏻

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