When I was in college I picked up a little book called 14,000 Things to Be Happy About. It’s simply hundreds of pages of stream-of-consciousness lists of things that make you happy. When life was stressful or I was feeling blue, I would just pull out that book and smile like crazy. And I would take a red pen and make marks next to the things I really loved and different marks next to the things I really liked and other marks next to things I hoped to experience.
- mason jars
- the cool underside of a pillow
- hearty stew in white bowls
- late Sunday brunches
- dandelions and buttercups
See? It’s the perfect little book to let your mind wander and help you to exhale, even just a little bit.
Even now, every once and again my mind starts keeping a running tally of things that make me smile — silly things like the first few chews of bubble gum and the names of Northeastern towns like Kennebunkport and Montauk, and finding one last chocolate-covered caramel in your Sea Salt Caramel gelato. And after a while that tally in my head gets too long and I’m reminded again of that sweet little book.
Because while I give thanks and express gratitude to God all the time for most things, sometimes I forget to just appreciate the little things that bring a smile. You know, the small, seemingly insignificant things that help you enjoy life.
So I decided it was time to write part three in this very inconsistent series. (You can read the first post here and the second one here.) And in no order of importance whatsoever, here are 25 things that make me happy:
- kids singing the Veggie Tales version of “9-to-5” at the top of their lungs in the car
- singing along with them
- pink lady apples crisp and cold from the fridge
- the smell an empty coffee bag leaves in the kitchen
- gray and yellow anything
- a full water bottle with ice and fresh-squeezed lemon
- school lunches made the night before
- new batteries in your wireless mouse
- accidental snort-laughing
- accidental snort-laughing in public
- accidental snort-laughing alone in public
- your husband’s smooth dance moves
- a new phone case
- liquid laundry softener
- warming hands on a hot mug of tea
- peanut butter granola
- thinking about someone and they suddenly call you
- freshly manicured short, red nails
- finding a favorite item at the grocery store is buy-one-get-one free
- exquisite candle jars with exotic scent names like elysian garden and saijo persimmon
- white, coral and turquoise in the spring
- the voice translation Bible
- singing along to music while running when you’re sure no one is around
- being totally alone in your house, even for just a little bit
What would be on your list?