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In this crazy world, it can be so easy to get overwhelmed and dragged down by the bad stuff… sometimes, you just need to take a little time to really think about the good stuff on focus on it instead. We can't all be outraged all the time; it's bad for your health, it's bad for your mood, and if we're going to create sustained change, it's a marathon, not a sprint.
In honor of that, I compiled a list, mostly so I'd have an excuse to sit and think for a bit about things that make me happy; I can always use it as a reminder when I feel myself getting stuck in the bad stuff. I'd love to hear what some of your simple joys are, too, in the comments!
- Perfect temperature coffee: You know that sweet spot between scalding hot and lukewarm. You take a big swig and it doesn't burn your tastebuds off, but it warms your whole self from head to toe. Caffeinated bliss.
- UGGs: Never, in a million years, would I have spent this kind of money on a pair of boots that aren't TDF gorgeous. I've had a couple pairs of fake ones, but wouldn't spring for the real ones, because I basically only wear them to walk Max to and from school when it's cold, and on camping trips. But Jamie bought them for me for Christmas a couple years ago and they're so cozy and they make my toes so happy, I can't imagine going back to fake ones.
- Sneaking a peek at Max's writing workbook: Part of Max's schoolwork is to write for 10 minutes every day; sometimes they do it in class to a prompt from the teacher, and sometimes it's just freewriting at home for homework. I flip through it sometimes, to see what he's up to, and I love seeing these little glimpses into his mind. This one reads: The oldest person I know is 98 years old (or something like that) and she is my great-gramma that I call Grammy and I love her so, so, so, so much. (For the record, Grammy will be 93 in June)
- Finding a new series to binge watch: I don't know how I watched television before Netflix. And Hulu. And AppleTV. Jamie and I watched The Sopranos years ago, when we would get DVDs three at a time in the mail… it was like prehistoric binge watching, compared to now! Finding a new show where I can watch the whole thing in a row? Glorious. (In related news: Why didn't anyone tell me how great Shameless is?!?!?)
- 125 Stars on Starbucks app: Ding! Ding! Ding! That magic number that means I'm getting a fancy coffee soon instead of my usual drip. I'm too cheap to pay full price for a latte or whatever, so it's very exciting when I get a chance to grab something fancy.
- Smartwool socks: This is a new addition to my happiness list; I'm not really a sock person, but I got a pair of Smartwool socks for Christmas and oh my goodness they're lovely! I can totally see why one might become a sock person after wearing these.
- Clean sheets: Sigh. Like staying in a hotel without having to pack a bag. So nice. If I ever win the lottery, I'll change my sheets daily.
- Max splashing in puddles: He has a specific giggle that's pretty much reserved for puddle splashing, and I love it so much.
- When I manage to sing along to all the words in “Guns and Ships” from Hamilton: Those words come FAST. I've only managed to pull it off like twice, despite the cast recording being on repeat for the last year or so. Counting down the days until our April tickets in San Francisco!
- Surprise Pop Tart deliveries: OK, so this was a one-off thing, but I've kept the pic in my phone because it makes me smile every time I see it. In one of those random Facebook conversations a couple of months ago, I mentioned that I had never tried Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts. NBD, right? Well, Jessi didn't approve of this missing life experience, and a few days later, Amazon dropped these off.
- Dresses with pockets: What more do I need to say? I don't understand why ALL women's clothes don't come with pockets. Even when I don't put stuff in them, I just love knowing that they're there.
- Novelty stud earrings: I've amassed quite a little collection over the last couple of years. I get them from all over the place, but ModCloth is a good place to start if you want some cute ones of your very own.
- Peeling hard boiled eggs from my Instant Pot: My Instant Pot obsession is well-documented. If you read here or follow me on Facebook, you know how much I love it. But nothing is quite as pleasing as peeling a hard boiled egg from the IP. We swear by the 5-5-5 method, and it makes perfect eggs every time. The peel practically falls off, even fresh from the store eggs. Like magic.
- Finding cash in a purse or pocket: A buck is cool, five is cooler, but when you grab a purse you haven't carried in a while, or stick a hand in a coat pocket and pull out a twenty? It's like winning a prize. You totally know it was your money all along, but it's still exciting to find unexpected cash.
- Perfectly piped frosting: It's just so pleasing, when you manage to get a picture-perfect swirl on a cupcake. See also: soft serve ice cream.
- My phone case: Flowers AND Star Wars? What's not to love? (Side note: I have the “tough case” version and I highly recommend it. It's a nice slim profile but still does a great job protecting my phone.
- Rinsing etching cream off a Silhouette project: I swear it's like magic… cut a vinyl stencil, stick it on something glass, paint on a thick layer of etching cream, let it sit then rinse it off. MAGIC. It's becoming one of my favorite go-to gift ideas, to custom etch things for people. 🙂
- Not having anywhere to go on a rainy day: Do I need to add anything else? Pouring down rain outside (which it's been doing here for weeks, btw) while it's warm inside with coffee and a good book? Bliss. Please don't make me run errands!
- Apps that let you do cool things with photos: I love Prisma so much, and wish they'd come out with a version that creates high-res versions! They're like magic Photoshop filters on steroids. So cool.
- Being able to place a voiceover or character actor without having to look on IMDB: Am I the only one who does this? I basically can't enjoy a show if I think I recognize an actor or a voice from something else. But it's so exciting when I manage to figure it out without searching IMDB.
- A friend who texts every day, just to see how your day is going: Self explanatory. Who doesn't want a text just to check in? This is related to one of my own little life hacks as well; when I'm having a crappy day, I'll send a couple of texts or Facebook messages to say hi to someone else. It can do wonders for my own mood to make someone else smile.
I think this is a good exercise for anyone who might be feeling frustrated, worried, or overwhelmed. I'm going to try to do this from time to time, as a reminder to keep an eye on the good stuff, even when it feels like the world is falling apart around me.