We’re told that happiness is in the extraordinary. It’s on a Caribbean sun lounger, in the driving seat of a luxury car, inside an expensive golden locket, watching sunrise from Machu Picchu. We strive, reach, push, shoot for more. ‘Enough’ is a moving target we never quite reach.
When we do brush our fingertips against the extraordinary a deeply inconvenient psychological phenomenon called the ‘hedonic treadmill’ means that, after a surge of joy, our happiness level returns to the baseline it was at before the ‘extra’ event.
So, what’s the answer? The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary theorises that the solution is rediscovering the joy in the ordinary that we so often now forget to feel. Because we now expect the pleasure of a croissant, a hot shower, a yoga class, someone delivering our shopping to our door, we no longer feel its buzz. The joy of it whips through us like a bullet train, without pause.
Catherine Gray was a grandmaster in the art of eye-rolling the ordinary, and skilled in everlasting reaching. Until the black dog of depression forced her to re-think everything.
Along the way, she discovered some surprising realities about the extraordinaries among us: that influencers risk higher rates of anxiety and depression, high-rollers are less happy, and huge frothy weddings increase the likelihood of divorce.
Learning how to be exalted by the everyday is the most important lesson we can possibly learn. In Catherine Gray’s hilarious, insightful, soulful (and very ordinary) next book, you may learn to do just that.
PRAISE FOR CATHERINE GRAY’S WRITING:
“Fascinating” Bryony Gordon.
“Not remotely preachy” The Times
“Jaunty, shrewd and convincing” The Telegraph
“Admirably honest, light, bubbly and remarkably rarely annoying” The Guardian