Aug 19, 2011

100 Things To Be Happy About

Barbara Ann Kipfer is a woman after my own heart. She is a linguist & lexicographer; i.e. a lover of language, its meaning & its context. Of the nine books on one of our shelves, she is responsible for three of them (almost four if you count the thesaurus, as she was once its editor). Needless to say, I'm a fan.

In sixth grade, she began noting things that brought her happiness. Twenty five years later, her collection of 14,000 Things to Be Happy About was published. I was inspired by this simple act of treasuring life’s little offerings! I cracked upon a notebook & started my own list. This act of committing such things to paper made me even more aware of all that brings me joy, seemingly trivial or otherwise. I was & am still eager to fill this book!

Before I share my list of entries with you, I’d like to tell you a funny story. While living in Arizona, Mr. A & I drove to San Diego for our anniversary. Well, we drove part of the way. In the middle of the desert, Zoey (the car) broke down. In August. Oh dear. Luckily! amazingly! thankfully!, we came to a stop over a wash (a stream bed that’s predominantly stream-less in Arizona). It was our new abode as we camped in the 110° ‘shade’ for an hour waiting for a tow.

Ironically, this was the book I had tucked in my purse for some beach reading on our trip…

Such a wonderful life lesson! There’s always something to be happy about. What was our 'happy list' at that particular moment? Having company, a phone, a bottle of water, a beach towel, a giant (not beach) umbrella we begrudgingly took at my mom’s insistence that “You never know with the weather.” (Mom knows best!) & the laugh we got when the hot pink tow truck named ‘Pinky Tow’ rolled up. Still makes me chuckle a year later.

Consider starting a list of your own! A few scribbles here & there over time will add up to one happy collection. On lackluster days, perusing your list could be just the change in the weather you were looking for. So without further adieu, here is a sampling of my list in progress.

100 Things To Be Happy About (According To Me):

an empty notebook full of college ruled paper
animals (especially beluga whales)
the click of puzzle pieces fitting together
my mom’s homemade lemonade
thinking “that would make a beautiful picture”
finding money in old purses
the first sign of pumpkins in the fall
wishing on fallen eyelashes
watching raindrops run down glass
the sound of sneakers on a wooden basketball court
push pencils
a greeting card in your mailbox
knowing who’s calling before you answer the phone
how perfectly balanced a pen feels with the cap on top
sandwich bread so fresh that it sticks to the roof of your mouth
giving someone a compliment that “makes their day”
the original score to Jurassic Park
John Cusack movies
French fries dipped in milkshakes
Freddie Mercury
fortune cookies
feeding baby ducks!
a brand new hi-lighter
Christmas lights
licking the batter off the spatula
a dictionary/thesaurus
a first kiss
the folded over potato chips (or as I like to call them, flippie chips)
strangers that look you in the eye
getting lost in a bookstore
1964 Bel Air
whispers in the dark
inside jokes
the sound of putting a VHS into a VCR
a wink from across a room
waking up in a house full of family
reruns of 'Mad About You' & 'Will & Grace'
flipping over unlucky pennies for future passerby
paying it forward
the pizza crust ‘bubbles’
Bach’s Cello Suite #1 (1st Movement)
being called sexy & cute at the same time
the dust cloud kicked up by running horses
scratcher tickets
a lingering hug
a blue sunrise
listening to someone else’s heartbeat
the sound of the waves
porch swings & hammocks
watching airport runways
John Hughes movies
Starbucks' winter themed cups/sleeves
my baby blanket
laying in the blades of grass watching clouds
the smell of carbon paper & old library books
military dog tags
word searches
whipped cream straight from the can
polka dots
a new wallet to fill
the movie 'Elf'
sea glass
the corner piece from the brownie pan
movie trailers
the sight of ice cubes cracking in tepid water
peeling the painters tape off
the contrast of the striped balls on the pool table
multiple stems of one kind of flower
being raised with a vast musical education
being so giddy you absentmindedly skip while walking
the sudden silence when driving under an overpass in the rain
the smell of garlic & onions sauteing
the sight of kids with food bigger than their heads (like lollipops)
the feel of sheets against freshly shaven legs
hearing all the songs I want to hear on the radio
a comfortable bed
cookie dough
decorating for Christmas
the beauty of a plastic bag dancing in the wind
The Beatles
having a mom like mine
waking up to someone’s arms pulling you closer
someone trusting you with a secret
the smell of banana bread taking me back to my childhood
ice cream packed into the nooks & crannies of a sugar cone
(cream) soda in bottles
Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies
driving fast (safely)
ticket stubs
dressing up for Halloween
the beauty of a pearl
the smell of blown out candles making me think of birthdays