Sunday, February 07, 2010

Happy Happy Joy Joy

My friend Amanda posted a list of 10 things that make her happy and said that anyone reading it should consider themselves tagged and make their own lists. Then I went over the Cheryl's blog and found I was tagged there, too! Here is mine! (these are definitely NOT in priority order)


  1. LISTS: Lists can really be useful for those of us who are easily distracted. A list can keep me on task, help me remember things longer than a minute, get something off my mind so that I can re-focus on what I'm supposed to be doing. I often keep a list during meetings of ideas/thoughts/stuff I need to do so that I can keep concentrating on the meeting w/o forgetting what bright little idea just occurred to me. I keep paper and a pencil handy on my nightstand so that I can make a list if something is keeping me awake at night (sometimes this doesn't work). Lists are also handy when you don't feel like writing prose.
  2. FAMILY: I am truly blessed to have a great family: parents, sibs, in-laws, and a wonderful husband and son. We have a great time when we are together, I miss them when we're apart, and I'm so lucky to have them all. I include our 2 cats in this category, too. Purring heat sources make me very happy.
  3. SIMON: He gets his own mention because. You know, just because. I am very proud of him. He is brilliant, fabulously talented, and even when things get tough, he will work to get through it. He's caring and thoughtful, too, for which I am extremely grateful.
  4. CREATING THINGS WITH MY HANDS: I love crafts, and knitting is, of course, my latest obsession. It's lasting longer than any other ever has, I think, and I'm actually making useful finished items, so it's better than many of the things I've gotten into before! I enjoy the creative process, but knitting also allows me to keep my hands busy even when my mind is doing something else.
  5. PERFORMING: I love being on stage, the center of attention, making people laugh, entertaining people. It makes me happy, regardless of the medium . . . puppets, storytelling, public speaking, music, comedy.
  6. WATER: Swimming, water therapy, water aerobics or just splashing around, it all makes me happy. There's something wonderful about being weightless. Also, it makes me happy that when you exercise in water you don't sweat . . . or at least you don't notice the sweat because you're already wet. Sweating does not make me happy.
  7. LEARNING: Actually, I do love learning new things. What makes me really happy, though, is watching/helping someone else learn something new. That is partly why I've enjoyed working with children so much. Young children learn new things every day, and it's delightful to watch that happen. It's like little miracles popping all around you.
  8. SMILES: This seems obvious, but maybe smiling makes me a little more happy than just average happiness. Isn't it great to make another person smile? or better yet, to make them laugh?
  9. SPONTANEITY: I get positively giddy on vacation when we can just roam, with money our pockets, and see where the road takes us. I love stopping at a road-side monument or finding some out-of-the-way diner or just deciding that "today we'll all speak with British accents". It's silly, and it's delightful.
  10. ASSURANCE: I believe that I know my eternal fate, and that assurance makes me happy, content in a way to which nothing on this earth could ever compare. Those of you who know me well already know what I'm talking about, but if anyone ever wants to talk about this with me, please ask!
Thanks for tagging me, Cheryl and Amanda! If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged. What 10 things make you happy?

Friday, February 05, 2010

Important Things

I'm thinking today about what is important in life. What makes something important, and what level of sacrifice would you be willing to give for those things?

Oh yes, there are some "easy" answers to those questions. I would venture to suggest that each of us has at least one person, but often several persons for whom we would sacrifice a great deal. What I'm talking about now, though, is what, other than people, are you willing to lay on the line, say, for your job? Your car? Your food?

Backing up a little, let me explain how I got to these deep thoughts.

First of all, my favorite car has reached the point where it will cost more in repairs than I'm willing to sacrifice. I bought my nifty, purple PT Cruiser several years ago when we decided to downsize from a van and save some gas money. I've loved this car more than any other I've ever had. It looks cool (I mean, it's freakin purple!), it has a moon roof, it has SEAT WARMERS, and electric gadgets all over the place. I love love love this car! It gets decent mileage, it's quirky, it has great visibility from the driver's seat . . . and did I mention that it's purple? Anyway, it's reached the point, like all cars do, where fixing it would cost more than it's blue book value. Sigh. Most of the vehicles I've had, although I've grown somewhat attached to them, I really have just seen as transportation, but this Cruiser, well, it's sorta been a part of who I am for a while, you know? Silly? Of course it is! I love being silly, haven't you noticed? So we're giving it away, and I'm feeling a little blue about that.

Second, I work for the public library (as if you didn't already know that). I love my job, and I love my library system. I believe we do really important work. I believe, in my deepest of deep parts that the library is one of the most important institutions in our country, and indeed, that we cannot have a free and democratic society without a library. I believe that a good library (like ours) can be a major factor in changing the course of generational poverty and helping families break long, long cycles by helping them increase their literacy and job capabilities. I believe that everyone should have free, easy access to the internet, global information and intellectual freedom. But you know what? When the snow is coming down in big, fluffy flakes at a rate of 1/4 inch an hour and the roads are slick and freezing, I still wanna get me a snow day! I know, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but that's just the way it is. My good friend, Nick, said something on FB or Twitter that got me thinking about how vital our services and our availability are to our customers . . . and really, especially in the neighborhood I serve this is true. For some of my customers, the library is about the only thing they have to do on any given day, let alone a snowy one! If I can slowly and cautiously make my way there to open our doors, it's probably a very good thing, but I'm still not sure I want to sacrifice my life.

Third, I am thinking today about what makes a day special for me. Today I'm trying to make the day special for Simon by making him brownies to celebrate his early release day (due to snow). I gathered my special brownie-making bowl, my special brownie-making spoon, etc. I used the same recipe (well, with some alterations to make them less sugary and more dark chocolatey) I've used my whole life, from Mom's cook book. It is a special experience for me, and making the brownies cheered me up. Is there a recipe that cheers you up? I smiled, thinking that food always cheers me, and that is probably partly why I struggle with my weight. But then, who cares? Frankly, if it wasn't a health risk, I wouldn't care about the weight. It is, though, which sucks, so I won't be eating any of those delicious dark chocolate brownies with chocolate chunks. That sacrifice is worth it, and I got the pleasure of making them for my skinny kid.

So what is important to you? What do you sacrifice for your job? Is it worth the sacrifices you make? What do you sacrifice for your eating/drinking habits? Is it worth it? What would you do if you figured out that something you were doing wasn't worth the sacrifices you were making to do it?