For Part I.
In April, Rubin decides to Lighten Up in regards to parenthood. She takes more time for projects with her girls, instead of sighing about the waste of time they may seem to be. She decides to sing more, which not only brightens the household but also helps her keep her cool. She makes an effort to remember that the years really go fast and she needs to cherish each moment with her family. In this chapter, Rubin also showed her less favorable side, but as a parent-to-be it's always nice to know others get frustrated and angry at their children. She also writes about memory, "People remember events better when they fit with their present mood, happy people remember happy events better, and depressed people remember sad events better. Depressed people have as many nice experiences as other people - they just don't recall them as well."
In May, Rubin wanted to Be Serious About Play: have more fun, be silly, stray off the path. One of the best lessons in this chapter was about discovering what she thought was fun. There are plenty of ideas of what sounds fun. Sure, I can imagine that rock climbing or scuba diving could be a blast, but for me, it would be more an entire experience of stress and nervousness. She gives you the permission to realize if reading and watching TV is what's fun for you, that's OK. Don't underrate what you think is fun.
In June, it's all about Friendship. She yearned to remember birthdays, not to gossip and make new friends. Being there for friends can be a very fulfilling lifestyle. Helping them, supporting them, anything can turn around and make you very happy. She writes, "I certainly get more satisfaction out of thinking about good deeds I've done for other people than I do thinking about good deeds others have done for me." I somewhat agree with this, but I also get very warm-hearted when I think of the lovely things my girlfriends do for me. I think it's kind of equal both ways.
July was about money. Can money buy happiness? Rubin finds her answer, but also finds many disagree about this topic. It's another interesting chapter. I like when she gets into "overbuying" and "underbuying." I'm definitely an underbuyer. I don't buy toothpaste until right when we need it. We can be down to one roll of toilet paper before I buy more. We've thought about a membership to Costco, but that would really go against my underbuying personality! However, she points out that sometimes overbuying can be OK because it could mean less trips to the store, less stress about being out of things...
In August, Rubin Contemplated the Heavens. While part of the chapter was about spirituality, it didn't completely focus on that, but also on gratitude and, again, being thankful for what you have. One point she makes that I really responded to was about being excited when people are excited for you. She says she's not easily thrilled. Neither am I. But there are plenty of people around me who get thrilled for me about certain things (ex: baby inside me). Me? I'm always thinking ahead - where will this lead, what will this bring? Perhaps my less-than-thrilled nature makes me seem ungrateful for their excitement. I discovered that's something I could work on.
So, what do you think? Can money buy happiness? Do you get more from doing for others or what others do for you? Are you an overbuyer or an underbuyer? Do you remember happier moments better than sad ones or vice versa? What do you consider fun?