30 challenges.

I need to get out of my head. Would you like me to get out of my head? I bet you would. I’m going to get out of my head; it’s a scary place and a messy place and it’s somewhere I don’t need to be because I’m about to go back to work (I have a professional development class today and tomorrow, and while I’m not looking forward to sitting on a stool for 7 hours, I am looking forward to thinking about something that’s not me for a little bit).

I found this on Pinterest the other day, and so I think I’m going to try to focus and just do THIS for 30 days. For the next 30 days, I solemnly swear I will only write about the 30 things on this list. If I veer away from this promise, I formally give you the right to flog me with wet noodles.




So. Day 1, Ten Things That Make Me Happy:

image  1-Miss M. Sometimes, when I wake up with insomnia, I just lie next to her and watch her sleep. It’s the one time she’s quiet and I can still see the baby in her, particularly when I watch her in profile. Everyone always told me to hold on to her baby-ness as long as I could, because I’d miss it so much. I’d be slogging diapers and bottles and all kinds of crap around, grumbling that I couldn’t wait for this part to end…but now I’d like to go back to that part. Her sweetness, holding her while she slept on me…I cannot tell you how deeply happy she makes me even when I am mad at her. Simply: I love her.

2-Road trips. They just make life better and more exciting. There’s no cooking or cleaning up – you get to eat as much inappropriate junk food as you want (in Pigeon Forge, I’m pretty sure I basically ate an entire stick of butter one night). There are fascinating people to run across. I notice an immediate uptick in mood the day I leave for a trip.

3-Music. Life without music would just not be as bearable. Music wrenches my soul, quiets my sad, and sometimes rocks me gently to sleep. Miss M has a lovely voice, and she and I share a deep love for singing in cars. (We usually sing to Barry Manilow, Alison Sudol/A Fine Frenzy, or Adele songs. And she’s introduced me to Pentatonix and Melanie Martinez thanks to her YouTube music videos addiction.) And live music! Live music makes me really happy. When I’m at a restaurant with a live band or a live singer, it makes the entire experience happier.

4-Wine. I’ve actually never been able to decide if it’s the wine that I love or the wine glasses. I think I just love drinking out of wine glasses – I feel like a Rockefeller. (Did the Rockefellers drink wine? Who knows, but I do want to feel like one.) My favorite time/place to drink a glass of wine: on a porch or a deck, at night, under the stars, in the summer.

5-Stories. Confession: I don’t think I tell good stories via spoken words. I forget important parts, mess up punch lines, and sometimes go completely off tangent. My better stories always just come out of my fingertips; I’m not a fast thinker on my feet. But when I’m around someone who can TELL a good story, I am in heaven. And if I get to listen to an accent of some kind while they tell their story…heaven. Just. Heaven.

6-Beginnings. The anticipation, the newness, the beginning of anything makes me happy. The possibilities are endless, I heart a clean slate. Middles are fraught with trials and tribulations, endings are always sad and bring out my deepest nostalgias. But beginnings are my favorite…I think because there are secrets to uncover, new things to learn.

7-Learning. Learning new things makes me happy. Research has always been a geek issue for me. When faced with a new skill or thing to learn, my issue is getting started. But once I start, I’m in heaven. So much information! So much to discover and figure out! New knowledge, to stack on top of all the old. Trivia games are some of the only games I enjoy playing. Knowledge. Learning. Love.

8-Sunny, warm days. I can’t tell you how happy these make me. When I wake up, open the blinds, and sun streams through the windows the whole day feels hopeful and just grand. My whole heart sings.

9-Hugs. I literally don’t think I’d be okay without these. I can’t think of anything else to say except that hugs from people I care about and deeply love keep me going, some days. And on really bad days? The memories of hugs. (You can’t steal that – I may use it as a story or poem title one day.)

10-Fresh, clean bed sheets. Kittens and puppies. Flowers (yellow dandelions are my favorites). Grilled cheese and tomato soup. Twix candy bars and peanut butter cups. Hot peppermint tea on a rainy night. Beaches, lakes, mountains. Nature trails. Sandalwood. Patchouli. Hot baths. (This is all more than one thing, making this a list of like 20 happy things or something. But I’m not a rules follower…breaking rules quietly sometimes makes me happy, too. Nothing illegal, just you know. Stupid rules. Life is too full of rules.)