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Broken Windows

Last month my happiness guru, Gretchen Rubin (author of the Happiness Project) did a post about broken windows that has been rolling around in my mind ever since.

You’ve heard of the “broken window” theory in law enforcement, which says that when neighborhoods tolerate minor examples of disorder like graffiti, broken windows, and drinking in public, more serious crimes are more apt to occur. Well, Gretchen contends that the same basic philosophy applies in our personal lives. That when we tolerate minor “sloppiness” (i.e. unmade beds, unwashed dishes) we are more apt to feel out of control.

OMG! Light bulb moment!

That describes me to a tee! I have so many broken windows around here, it’s surprising a mafia family hasn’t taken up headquarters!


My broken windows are (to name a few!):

unmade beds

dirty dishes left overnight

piles of unread magazines and papers

hair that needs badly to be washed

empty grocery bags left where they were emptied

laundered clothes not put away

ignored “to do” lists

seasonal decorations still up long after the season has changed

Ugh! I need to stop there (and believe me, that was right off the top of my head, there are many more!)

When did this become okay with me? When did I stop caring about the lack of order in my life? Is it possible I’ve been living with the broken windows for so long I barely even see them anymore?

Hmmm. It’s going to take some time to figure out the “whys” but one thing is for sure! My life needs a major restoration project!

About tatterednworn

I am a woman who has committed to living a creative life.

4 responses »

  1. Best wishes with your restoration. You can do it. Just take it one step at a time.

  2. For a long time I didn’t want to believe this theory applied to the home, but not having to look for things that are “lost” and getting up to clean kitchen counters (how long does it take to load the dishwasher really?) do have a profound subtle affect on my well being. I love Gretchen’s book – although my happiness year is wildly off track right now. Good luck with your windows!

    • I am right with you, Deb! I had high hopes for getting right on the “Happiness Project” this year, but I’m off to a slow start. I still plan to do an amended version – grrrrr. But those broken windows have gotten in the way. Hopefully with the restoration project in effect, I’ll get back on track.



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