Yes, what you are about to read is a listicle, my list of things that make me happy. I know I’ve made lists like this before, and have a real chance of repeating myself. I don’t care too much if I do. Right now, I want to think about happy things and people that make me happy. I’m not burying my head in the sand, but rather doing what I can to keep my head above the current turbulent waters (pardon the mixed metaphors).
I am not going to write about my family and friends — it goes without saying that I love and cherish these folks — plus I know I’ve mentioned them before. It’s too easy. Let me dig a little deeper and go from there:
· The laughter of toddlers. Actually, there are lot of great things about babies and toddlers, like how they run and how they trust you when they hold your hand — the kind of vulnerability that breaks your heart. But that burbly laughter, straight from deep in their bellies — that’s the absolute best.
· Dark chocolate squares, cold from the refrigerator, melting on your tongue.
· The scratchy extra little bit of sound from old vinyl records.
· Clinking crystal glasses, that clear-as-bell ding. It’s one of the reasons we use actual Waterford glasses for our every day use. We saved up change to buy them — a lot of change over a lot of time. We are not rich. It doesn’t matter what you drink from crystal, Champagne, Diet Dr Pepper or milk, it simply tastes better from a crystal glass.
· Hugs. Yeah, I know, this is dangerous time for hugging strangers, but it sure is a swell time to hug loved ones. Actually, it’s always a swell time to hug loved ones.
· An excellent adaptation of a beloved book. Those are as rare as original ideas from Hollywood, but when they happen… it’s magic. I’m thinking about you, The Princess Bride.
· Reading poetry out loud, tasting the words as your mouth shapes them. Delicious and fulfilling, but with no calories.
· Putting good-smelling lotion on dry, nearly-cracking hands, and/or rich, thick lip balm on dry, nearly-cracking lips. Aaaaah, sweet relief.
· Waking up and hearing the rain pelting the window outside after weeks of dusty, choking dryness. Or, waking up to sunlight after days of heavy, gun-metal colored clouds and relentless rain. Take your pick.
· Cracking the spine of a new book and smelling the pages before getting lost in the terrific writing within.
· It’s the journey, not the destination. However, when the tires of the plane squeal touching down of your vacation destination, that feeling of anticipation is almost the best part. Almost.
· Sitting down with the family you like for … any holiday or a Sunday meal, before you take even a single bite, there is a feeling like life is complete. Like, what else could you possibly want or need? It’s all right here, near you and inside you. (b) a subplot of the above: when you realize that you are complete, just as you are right now, that you are not broken, everything is contained within. That is a feeling of peace.
· Doing what you are supposed to be doing, what you are called to do. Writing as a writer, painting as an artist, working with wood or clay, building a house, playing tennis, cooking. Everything falls into place, when the feeling of flow is easily achieved, life makes sense.
If you are willing to share your list with me, or with the world (but tagging me as a reader, as well), I would enjoy reading your listicle. Meanwhile, I wish you good health and may you find joy in your every day, in a myriad of little things.