I’m really struggling these days, so I thought I’d switch gears around here and list some of the things that make me smile, laugh and be happy.
- Sometimes I forget how happy music makes me. The other day I was feeling especially down, but proud of myself because I had forced myself to go for a run. As a reward, I brought a big speaker into the bathroom with me, got my favorite playlist going, and belted out the songs while showering. This was surprisingly therapeutic (though my neighbors may not have appreciated it) and I think it’s only a matter of time before I’m “discovered”.
- The upside to some of the insomnia I’ve been having is that once or twice a week I get out of bed extra early and take Belle out for a dark, quiet, peaceful morning walk. We hit the sidewalk around 4:30am, so there’s not a whole lot going on, and the crisp, fall air wakes me up in a way that my alarm clock never can.
- I’ve always had an anti-green thumb: I’m pretty sure the underground plant network warned all plants to stay away from my house or face the dire consequences. But since my roommate moved in a year and a half ago, I became the caretaker of the two plants she brought with (both from her mother’s funeral). Talk about pressure! They were both doing poorly when they arrived — her last place of residence had her (and the plants) living in the basement and both the cats and dog got at them. Somehow, someway, I managed to turn them around — now one of them is big enough to stage a coup on the house, and the other looks all perky and green instead of mostly dead. Every time I look at these plants I feel a slice of pride for making them grow.
- I work in I.T. and because it’s for a small, private company, I basically have my hand in anything computer-related, from servers to network to security to hardware to software. But what I most like doing is helping people solve their problems. About two weeks, I managed to salvage a guy’s computer — he had really mucked it up — and I later got an email from him: “I’m married but I have to tell you that I love love love you… thanks for much for your help.” That made me smile for days.
- I’ve started getting more consistent with getting back to running, hoping that through sheer force of will I can make myself feel better (running has always been how I’ve kept my moods in check). Even though it hasn’t really had that overall “pick me up” effect that I was hoping for, I will say that there’s no better feeling than finishing a run — especially a long one, like the 9 miler I did this weekend — and knowing it was all me. No one helped, I didn’t cheat it, I pushed my way through it and it’s entirely MY gold star.
- At night when Belle climbs onto the bed, she burrows and snuggles into my body, settles herself in and then lets out this big, contented sigh and falls asleep. Makes me love her even more (until she starts to snore, of course).
- Every year, I take 3 of my best friends out for their birthdays. It’s something we plan months in advance (they all have husbands and kids so they are notoriously difficult to schedule something with), and each one of us looks forward to it. We haven’t done this even once without having at least one long, drawn out, can’t breathe laugh-fest at the table … and there’s nothing better for the soul than laughter shared among friends.
- No matter how bad my outlook gets, I know that if I ever go into a really bad place that there will be people around me who will notice and help pull me out. The comfort I get from that is beyond words.
So, what’s your make-you-happy thing?