Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happiness Meme

Jana at An Attitude Adjustment tagged me for this this moment, what makes you happy? I've been thinking about this for over a day now, and I've realized that it's actually a pretty hard exercise. It's easy to come up with 10 things that make you happy generally. Your kids, your spouse, not being homeless, etc. You don't have to think very hard to find 10 things that make you happy or that you're grateful for when you're looking at the big picture. But to come up with 10 things that make you happy right now, when you have a headache and are tired and the house is a mess and you have a to-do list a mile long, that is a challenge. So I've thought and I've thought, and here I go...

1. Sleeping dogs. Preferably pugs who sleep in my lap, snoring gently while I pet their warm, soft ears.

2. The smell of green. The other evening I was driving to the grocery store with the windows down, and I caught a whiff of green. You can only smell green in the spring and summer, when the air is warm and a little damp and carries with it the smell of the green things growing all around. One of my favorite smells.

3. The house is blessedly, blissfully, silent this Saturday morning, as J and E have just left for E's swimming lesson.

4. Yesterday evening it was warm enough to sit on the patio drinking white wine.

5. The scatter of puzzle pieces across the coffee table, the train track on the floor, and the half-sunk helium balloon tied to a tiny fire truck - a mess to some, even to me most of the time, but at this moment, the tools of E's trade, and proof that my little boy is happy and healthy.

6. Writing. It makes me happy in the same way that breathing does.

7. Conversation with J last night over aforementioned white wine. I love that I am married to someone who will discuss politics and philosophy with me, who actually knows what he's talking about, and who challenges me every time we talk about this stuff.

8. Gail Collins' column in today's New York Times. Really, the existence of Gail Collins in general.

9. The feeling that life is starting to open up to us again. We can make plans for the future - travel, dinners out, home improvements, and our careers - and know that all of this stuff isn't just us dreaming lofty dreams, but that it actually has a reasonable chance of happening. It's a wonderful, liberating feeling.

10. E's relationship with my parents. As he gets older, it's really blossoming, in spite of the fact that we live 5 hours away from them. He builds train tracks with my dad, bakes cupcakes with my mom, and in between visits he talks to them on the phone. Hearing this little person tell Grandma and Grandpa about his day always makes me smile.

I'm tagging Stacia at Fluffy Bunnies and Leslie at Five to Nine, and anyone else who might be reading this post who hasn't already been tagged for this meme. Spread the happiness!


  1. I, too, love to watch the amazing changes in my own kiddos' relationship with my parents. It's just so ... heartwarming. And the smell of green! Delicious.

    (Also, thanks for the tag. This sounds like fun!)

  2. It is hard to do this--10 things in one day--so I had to wait until the right day. And I was listing my things all the way to Target and back. Then I got home and was stumped with three more left.

    Spring gives a lot to be happy about, thankfully.

    Today I got to sit on my deck because my in-laws are here and I read in the sun. That relaxation made me very, very happy.

  3. YES to warm weather, white wine and the smell of green earth. I enjoyed all three today.
    I hope you toasted to your wide-open future of plans and productivity. There's something about this time of year that gives me a sense of that, too - and I need it!
    Thanks for the tag - I love happy lists. Re: Jana's question, I think happiness IS contagious.

  4. Oh I love #6 :)
    I have to remember how happy it makes me so I keep writing! (Because life keeps getting in the way ;)

  5. Wine on the patio sounds lovely, and so does the smell of green!