50 favorite things? Really?
A few weeks ago my writing group, A Drift of Quills, talked about the top 10 things that make us happy. Making that list had two wonderful results:
1. As I thought about the things I listed—really paused and thought about how they make me feel—I felt my mood lifting. Which was great, because my mood was lurking somewhere in my non-existent basement.
2. The more I thought about things that made me happy, the more happy thoughts came to mind.
This idea of thinking good thoughts to lift one’s mood is not new information, but it did come as a timely reminder and a much-needed boost. We get to choose how we feel. It’s a deliberate—and sometimes challenging—undertaking. Yes, I was (am!) tired, frustrated, and generally out of sorts when I started the original list. A deadline forced me to think about happy thoughts.
Oh, the awfulness…
When I started I really didn’t want to make some silly, sappy list of “happy things.” And yet, by the time I finished, I was smiling. I wanted to write down more. So I did, and I am going to share with you. I don’t want to overwhelm, so here are (only) 50 additional things that make me happy—in no particular order.
1. A full night’s sleep
2. Rain—I love the sound and the smell
3. Crocuses in the spring
5. The smell of homemade bread baking
6. Water (the ocean, lakes, rivers, streams, waterfalls…)
7. Appliances that are still working (after unexpected lifetimes)
8. Bees. Next to my little patio I have a plot of Russian Sage. Not only is it filled with lovely purple blooms for a long time, but the bees hang out there. Content to gather pollen, they don’t bother me while I sit nearby listening to them hum.
9. My beautiful little cottage. I never thought I’d live anyplace so wonderful, cozy, cute, and right.
10. Sea-worn shells. So smooth and satisfying…
11. My Kindle
12. Cuddles with my grandbabies
13. Checking things off my to-do list
14. Good-smelling things. I have a collection of essential oils, and I’m not afraid to use ‘em!
15. Having surprise packages delivered. (I’m looking at you, sisters! And Kristie! And Dorkas-from-Germany! And Alan-the-book-gifter!))
16. Dancing through the housework with the music LOUD
20. Looking at quilts. (I’ve made quilts. Looking is much easier.)
21. Remembering good dreams
22. Getting a massage
23. Living in a wonderful neighborhood filled with good, kind people
24. Pictures my grandkids draw for me
25. Soft, cuddly blankets
26. Animals doing silly things
28. Sushi with friends or family is even better!
29. The smell of fresh-cut grass
30. Plotting my story world with my writing partner Kristie
31. Smiling and waving at strangers—and having them smile and wave back!
32. A full refrigerator and pantry
33. A computer keyboard that doesn’t randomly type double letters (so not this keyboard)
34. 5-star reviews for my books
35. Emails from my readers
36. My backyard
37. Cheesecake (especially chocolate)
38. The drive from Medford, Oregon to the beach (though I haven’t taken it in too many years). The road my mother took twisted and turned. My grandmother called it “snake hips.” You can’t make that drive fast, but who’d want to? It’s so GREEN and lush and beautiful!
39. Cute illustrated notes from the little neighbor girl across the street (Hi, Frankee!)
40. The wonderful people that mowed my lawn all summer while I was taking care of my husband
41. Fall leaves
42. Dew on spiderwebs
43. My youngest daughter remembering to text me to see if I’m okay
44. That same daughter sharing silly things on Pinterest
47. My recently painted and re-decorated bedroom
48. Unexpected visits from friends
49. My sister-in-law Tania, who is the sunniest person I know
50. Chocolate (Because it bears repeating. Often.)
It took a while to make this list because I wanted to hold each item in my heart and think about it. Instead of rushing to check off an item on my list, I wanted to feel the happiness each and every thought kindled.
I invite you to set aside some time for yourself. Make a leisurely list of your favorite things—and spend some time with each of them.
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What makes you happy? Which of my things are on your list? Talk to me!