I just posted a heavy hitter, so now it’s time to remember that no matter how much garbage is piled up on a life, some things are just good, no matter what.
1. A Brand New Box of Crayons
Crayola may have been my first love. Before I could write, I loved to create, drawing, then painting, then silk screening…all of it has a special place in my arsenal against reality. But crayons, new ones, for some reason seem to hold so much promise, so much vibrancy, so much potential that just cracking the top of the box and looking at them all lined up and ready to build worlds just makes me happy. Pure and simple.
I don’t even have to buy anything. Just walking through, running my hands along the spines, flipping through and reading random pages makes me happy. So many realities out there, some better than mine, some worse than mine, but all different. It is always a reminder to me that words matter, and leaves me walking out knowing that my passion matters. Whether or not I sell a single word, my passion builds worlds, and what’s cooler than that?
3. Making People Laugh
I’m a rather negative person. I try hard not to have much by way of expectations, that way when something good happens I can be happily surprised, but if something bad happens it’s not compounded by crushed expectations. I just kind of roll with things. Interestingly enough, people seem to find this trait really funny. Which always makes me the go to person when someone has a bad day. They always know I can make them laugh. The people I do contract work for know this as well, and their use of this trait is to send me their most irritable, unfriendly clients. Not once in two years have I failed to bring these people around and made them find the funny in the havoc that is their world when I encounter them. I figure if I can make a doctor who is missing 50K laugh about it, I’m doing well.
And doing this? Makes me happy. It’s the whole laughter is contagious thing, I guess. I may start out the day foul, but when I get other people laughing, I laugh too. Everybody wins.
4. The Smell of Fresh Dirt
I love gardening. And very little makes me happier than the day the plow guy comes and tills up that big square of earth where I will plant tomatoes and cucumbers and everything else that strikes my fancy. I love the idea of getting my hands dirty, moving the earth into position to bring my family food that I know isn’t troubled by pesticides, herbicides or anything else. Like crayons, it holds such great potential that I am thrilled by it. So any time I am met with the smell of freshly turned dirt I am taken to that moment in my own garden when it has been newly scored and waiting for my to do my thing. And I get the same little rush of happy anticipation that I do in my own fields.
In all forms. I can happily dork out to They Might Be Giants, be angry at the world with Tool, rip out my vocal cords keeping up with Ethyl Merman and sing my son to sleep with Patsy Cline. This morning I am writing to Spoon and The Airborne Toxic Event. Music can make me laugh, cry, rage and reflect, but it always makes me sing. And the more I sing, the happier I am. This cannot be said for those within earshot, as I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but it makes me happy, so there.
6. Unsolicited Declarations of Love
My husband spent the summer unsuccessfully fishing nearly every weekend. Several times over the summer I was woken up at 3 AM so see the catch (crabs! brought home only to show our son) and given a rose. My husband recognizing us for us, showing me appreciation for my patience with these trips made me happy. My son looking up from his intent play, just to say, “Mama, I love you,” melts me every time. Love is important, and every time it is expressed to me, I know that I am very lucky.
7. The Smell of Coffee
This is such a simple thing, but the smell of good coffee brewing carries with it good memories, a feeling of welcome and an anticipation of warmth from the inside out. Odd, since I can’t count the number of cups of bad coffee I’ve consumed in the ER or in funeral home parlors – it’s like my brain has filtered out all of those negative connotations and left only memories of my grandparents’ kitchen and friendly cafe encounters with friends. Whatever it is, it works for me and has left me getting a little thrill of pleasure and contentment whenever I encounter the smell.
8. The First Snow of the Year
Lucky for me this makes me happy, since it snowed pretty good clip last night and now we get to go trick or treating in the snow. But the first snow is so pretty and clean looking and it heralds the approach of family holidays, my birthday and the new year. And the novelty of snowball fights, catching snowflakes on my tongue and watching the dog and Quinn play won’t wear off until January. So today, I can look out my window at the white expanse while I’m toasty and warm, and look forward to going out to play with Quinn as soon as I’m done with this.
9. A Blank Page
Blank word document, steno book page, journal or sketch book page – it doesn’t matter. The blank page is always just the beginning. And I’m finding a theme with this post – it seems I love beginnings and all the potential that comes with them. But the blank page is best, because it’s a beginning of something that I am going to build on my own – there will be characters to meet, new places to see, new mysteries to solve and new trials to overcome or succumb to. But the blank page is where it begins. It’s the moment before creation and before a single marks is made, I know the secrets of the Universe.
10. Coming Home
The house is not spectacular. In fact, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. But it is home. It is the place where my family lives, where I can do whatever I want and find the greatest comfort. And there is an amazing and secret window of time, from when I first see the Indian Bean trees that my husband hates crookedly hailing me from the lawn as I approach, to the moment I step through the door to be greeted by the cheerful orange kitchen and more cheerful orange beast of a dog, that I am purely happy. It doesn’t matter if I’m coming home from the grocery store or a week-long trip. During those moments, the leaky roof, the drafty windows and decaying front steps don’t exist. They don’t matter, because I am home.