Sunday, January 18, 2009

14,000 Things To Be Happy About

Years ago, when I was in grad school, I visited a friend of mine from college who was living in Ohio. We went to this amazing bookstore, where she pointed out this book to me. I didn't buy it until years later, but sometimes I pull it out and read through it. It's really just a stream-of-consciousness list of things that made the author happy, and many of them really did make me feel happy and comforted. A few of my favorites:

Brand-new notebooks
The Eastern Seaboard
French Toast, butter, and powdered sugar
Eight hours of sleep
Building a model car
Snow outlining the elements of trees’ architecture
After-shower cologne
Glassed-in cupboards
A cardinal’s brilliance against the snow
The brisk dusk of a late October evening
The cool underside of a pillow
Yard sales
Street musicians
Someone laughing
“The Long And Winding Road” by The Beatles
Eating over at someone’s house
Having a picnic on the living room floor
The smell of the sea
Breakfast cooked over an outdoor fire
Having someone to come home to
Steel drums and street dancing
Handed-down Christmas ornaments
The book that made a difference
Sleepy dogs
White cotton t-shirts
Street food
The hazy Chicago skyline growing out of the horizon
Being glad you have each other
Mozart piano concertos
White Christmas lights
Art galleries
French bread
The Chicago Cubs
Hanging out and remembering why you like each other
People-watching from a park bench
Being motioned to come sit by someone
The smell of old school buildings
Watching a thunderstorm
The Atlantic Ocean
Afternoon naps
New Year’s Eve
The Art Institute of Chicago
Pizza and beer
Taking a shower
Getting a really good haircut
Driving to the beach with the windows open and the radio blaring
Warm, dry socks

As much as I tend to dwell on the bad things that are happening around me, this does make me feel a little better ...


jo said...

It's funny; the line about the french toast, butter and powdered sugar suddenly made me remember that my dad used to put jelly and powdered sugar on his french toast.

That's a great list. I'm glad it gave you warm fuzzies.

Anonymous said...

A friend gave me that book in high school, and it cracked me up at the time. I was the eternal optimist; that's why she bought it - to show me I wasn't the only happy weirdo out there.

I gave it away years ago, before I could fathom that I would ever go through a time where it wasn't so easy to be the Silver Lining Girl all the time.

Thanks for the reminder!

Will said...

Now THAT'S a list. Of everything on it--and I share most of it to some degree or other--the cool underside of a pillow gave me a big smile.

Curtis said...

Sold! I bought the book. Thanks for the 'heads up'!

cb said...

You know what made me happy?? Burning that book for warmth.

Anonymous said...

A great list with detailed description, particularly the "Snow outlining the elements of trees’ architecture." But the Chicgo Cubs??? AACCKK!! This list has brought the smell of my parochial school to the forefront.:-)