Happiness interview: Monica Rich Kosann.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of the idea of “home” to happiness, and so I was interested to read Monica Rich Kosann’s book, Living with What You Love: Decorating with Family Photos, Cherished Heirlooms, and Collectibles. It fit into my own ideas of cultivating a shrine and using family photos, mementos, and beloved objects to make home more homey.
It turned out that Monica and I have several odd connections — small world! — so I was particularly interested to hear her thoughts about happiness.
Gretchen: What’s a simple activity that consistently makes you happier?
Monica: Hanging out with my dogs.
Wat’s something you know now about happiness that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?
That life moves fast…so savor every moment and appreciate the things you have..not the things you don’t.
Is there anything you find yourself doing repeatedly that gets in the way of your happiness?
I am usually pretty good about this…my glass is always half full. But, like all of us, I can get bogged down with responsibilities, routines, business etc…and then get annoyed at myself when I don”t allow time for being creative and free in my world of design and photography. So, I try to spend more time behind my camera…or sketch pad and find a gradual return to HAPPINESS!
Is there a happiness mantra or motto that you’ve found very helpful? (E.g., I remind myself to “Be Gretchen.”)
Yes, I always say…JUST DO IT. What’s the worse that will happen? Yes you can fail, but if you don’t try you will never know. My husband and I always tell this to our kids.
If you’re feeling blue, how do you give yourself a happiness boost? Or, like a “comfort food,” do you have a comfort activity? (mine is reading children’s books).
It is important for me to always renew my creativity…this could mean museum visits, antiquing, flea marketing, travel…I always have a million new ideas after these activities and feel recharged.
Is there anything that you see people around you doing or saying that adds a lot to their happiness, or detracts a lot from their happiness?
It’s good to surround yourself with people who have positive energy. I don’t understand people who look at the dark side of things…being positive is good for the soul!
Do you work on being happier? If so, how?
Not consciously. I am generally a happy person and try not to let things and people get me down…it is not always easy. When I published my very first book I didn’t dwell on the rejection letters only the acceptance one! That’s the one that counted anyway!
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