“Though I sometimes mocked the scented-candle-pushing brand of happiness building, I discovered that there is something nice about working in an office with a candle burning. It’s like seeing snow falling outside the window or having a dog snoozing on the carpet beside you. It’s a kind of silent presence in the room and very pleasant.” —Gretchen Rubin in The Happiness Project

For years I’ve avoided candles even though I really like them. They seemed too much like a cliche of a late-teenage girl trying to be bohemian—especially if I had a candle burning while I was writing. But I got a candle for Christmas this year and I’ve been lighting it at night, and I miss my dog, and there’s been so much snow falling the past few weeks. A kind of silent presence. What a redemptive description.

January 16, 2014