Happiness / Lists

10 Things that Make Me Happy

1. Sunshine

2. Swimming

3. My toddler’s giggle

4. Getting lost in a great book

5. Finishing a project (even if it is folding a basket of laundry)

6. Hot coffee, cold coffee, coffee with chocolate, coffee ice cream…

7. Buying rose bushes on clearance and giving them a new home

8.  When kitty-cat chooses to sit on my lap

9. Getting an unexpected email or text from a loved one

10.  Getting a real piece of mail from a loved one

This list is not in order, nor is it comprehensive.

This list is in honor and loving memory of a dear professor of mine who has lost her battle to cancer.  She was an amazing, accomplished woman who always offered a hot cup of tea (even in 100 degree Fahrenheit weather) and a word of encouragement.  She was a writer, a feminist (click here to see a book of poetry she edited), and a mentor to many.  She was the first to teach me how to free write, how to annotate in academia, and how to read critically.  She was also one of the first adults that I did not know from childhood to express confidence in my writing talent.

On one of the many occasions when I parked myself in her book-filled office she had me write a list of the ten things that make me happy.  At the time, I was so depressed that I didn’t think I could come up with even three items.  But how could I resist her hot tea and smiling patience?

I carried that piece of folded bright red paper around with me for a long time.  At some point, after many years of emotional self-flagellation, I realized that happiness is not something that just happens, like breathing, but happiness is a choice, a choice to see something positive, to find something good in the dirt and grime of daily existence. 

I still have that list carefully tucked into one of my many journals.

Cheers, Deirdre Lashgari! 

You made me think…you made me write and rewrite…and helped me find my voice.


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