Saturday, September 29, 2012


A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Gretchen Rubin, creator of The Happiness Project.

I thought, How sweet, here is a darling housewife from Iowa. It turns out that Gretchen, indeed a wife and mother, lives on the upper East Side, is married to a hedge fund manager, and is a former lawyer who clerked for Sandra Day O'Connor.

It also turns out that The Happiness Project is an empire comprising, among other things, several books, a blog, discussion guides, resolution checklists, and a full slate of speaking engagements.

Happiness, and making a project out of it, are concepts that are somewhat foreign to me. Gretchen, however, also turns out to be  a St. Thérèse of Lisieux devotee and, having liked Shirt of Flame, she asked if I'd be interested in answering a few questions.

Of course I was.

Here they are.


  1. Fantastic answers Heather! Your distinction between happiness and joy was wonderful (and accurate, to me.)
    I have Gretchen's book on my bedside table, which is akin to being "on deck at a time to be announced," and now that I know she's a fan of St. Therese , the book just moved up in the batting order.
    I'm sorry for the loss of your mom, and I will pray for you and your mom. I'll bet she's looking down on you and telling everyone else, "See what a great writer and torch-bearer that woman is? She's mine!"

  2. Heather, this was wonderful! Not the least to say, ironic that you would be interviewed about "happiness" at the time of your dear mother's death.

    I also think another bit of irony is that J.D. Salinger did an incredible job of writing about the Jesus Prayer in Franny and Zooey. (Who would think he'd explain this practice so well?) I read that years ago after reading Poustinia and some other books on this prayer, (Way of a Pilgrim.) You have to wonder how many people read Catcher in the Rye, moved on to Franny and Zooey, and then started the practice of the Jesus Prayer.

    Blessings and prayers for you and your family. XXOO

  3. And thanks to Gretchen I have now discovered YOUR blog!


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