50 things that make me happy – part 1

Perhaps the simplest but deepest wisdom is just being happy.

With my 50th birthday less than three weeks away, I decided to list 50 things that make me happy. This list is in no particular order and by no means is it complete. I’ve left off the big and obvious ones – my friends, family, job and health.

1         Daffodils daffodil

2.       A shower after a hot, dirty, sweaty day.
3.       Bright winter days so cold the snow squeaks
4.       Magic. Fairy tales. Fantasy. Sci-fi. Take me away, baby!
5.       Treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, geocaching… even a word search game.
6.       Travelling – all the new places, faces, smells, sights, foods and sounds that challenge, delight, intrigue and excite.
7.       Those first green shoots in the garden. After months of Canadian winter, they are a thrill and a promise.
8.       Ringing church bells

9.       Eggs. I love what they represent. I love their shape. I love the way they look and feel. I love their incredible fragility and yet they have the strength of a dome structure (bet you can’t crush a chicken egg in your hand).eggs

10.   The smell of tomato plants in the sun.
11.   Swimming and playing in the water.

12.   Philosophical debates

13.   Pine trees – the way they smell, their wooden, fractal-inspired cones and their deep moan on windy nights

14.   Board games. I loved them as a kid and I still love them now.
15.   Songs from the ’80s. I was a teenager then and no music is more evocative for me.
16.   The first cup of coffee in the morning.
17.   Skeletons and skulls.skeleton
18.   Sincere compliments – giving and getting them
19.   Really good shoes – especially red ones.
20.   Hallowe’en – the colours, the candies, the dressing up and costumes, the spooky fun and giggly scares.
21.   Nuzzling the warm little nape of a baby’s neck and smelling that baby smell.
22.   No alarm clocks. I love a morning where I don’t have to be up by a certain time even if I rarely sleep in.

23.   Horses’ hooves clip clopping.

24.   A big cozy chair, a drink, a great book, likely a kitty snuggled in my lap and time to read.
25.   Making out. Oh how I love to kiss and kiss and kiss.


Oh you dirty dirty girl

I firmly believe that any day that ends with my being dirty was a good day. The dirt can be from playing, from working hard, from having an adventure or even a misadventure. But if I come home and I’m dirty it can only mean:

  1. I’m safely home,
  2. I’m still alive, and
  3. I was really living. (There is a difference between merely being alive and truly living).

Getting dirty – whether in word, thought or deed – means you’ve done something to flout the straight and narrow conventions that say we must behave ourselves and be clean and in control at all times.

You’re dirty. You let go, freed yourself from the rules, and even if only for a little while, exercised a wilder you. kids in mud

The other day on my way into work I stopped to greet three Rottweilers that were out with their owner having a wet, mucky romp. I know these dogs so their hello back was canine joyous and very big. I ended up covered in mud and slobber from my chin to my knees. I couldn’t have been happier.

As I walked into the office I was smiling and thinking “It’s not even 9:00 a.m. and I’m already dirty. It’s going to be a great day!” And it was.

“They” were right

There are some things “they” have said we should do that I have discovered for myself – to my delight – are absolutely true.

Always have an up-to-date resume. Yes! Write your resume then keep it up-to-date. Whether you’re actively job hunting or not, just having this document prepared will make you feel hopeful and in charge of you, the moneymaking machine. I was able to apply for and get a dream job because I had an up-to-date resume available when it was requested on a whim by the hiring manager.

Use the good stuff. You’ve heard this before – burn the candles, wear the silk lingerie, use the good china. Do it! Sure the fancy soaps, expensive perfume and fine old scotch will get “used up.” That is the point. They’re not made to be forgotten in a dark drawer. These beautiful things add luscious sensory joy to life. Don’t deny yourself that.

Send “thank you” notes. When someone gives you a gift or performs a kindness, send a thank you note (even an email is okay). Is that old fashioned? No. Politeness, gratitude and consideration are timeless. Saying thanks reminds you of all you have to be grateful for and esteems the recipient.

adventureGo out and get some fresh air. Magic and adventure won’t come knocking at your door. You have to get out in the world. At the very least you’ll clear your head and get a change of scenery.

I also can vouch for sunscreen, flossing, hugging, playing with children and afternoon naps.