Five Things That Make Me Happy


You don't live to be 150 without learning to enjoy the little things.

You don’t live to be 150 without learning to enjoy the little things.

Challenge #5: What are five things that make you the most happy right now?

Happiness is one of those terms like “energy” and “manifestation” and “visualization” that get thrown around a lot by well-meaning people who want me to pay them for services as a Yoga instructor or a life coach. I tend to go on mental standby when I hear them come up in conversation because my experience is that once you start visualizing your energy to manifest your happiness the conversation can go on for about fifteen minutes before you’ll miss anything concrete, meaningful, or useful.

Taking away meaning and usefulness is a terrible thing to do to a word: especially as meaningful and useful of a word as “happiness”. I like being happy, but I there is something manic and unhealthy to strive to make every instant a happy one. Disneyland may be “The Happiest Place On Earth” but I would never ever want to live there.

But there are definitely things that brighten my day and mood and that I would be unhappy without. Here are five of those things:

  1. Dumplings. I love food. It’s one of my favorite things and dumplings are one of my favorite foods: spaetzle to pierogies to raviolis to potstickers dumplings are my ultimate comfort food. For about sixteen months after moving to California we couldn’t find a single Chinese food restaurant in town that had potstickers on the menu- steamed or fried. (I prefer steamed). The closest thing I could find was frozen P.F. Chang dumplings in the freezer section of the grocery store and that just wasn’t the same.  But wait! There’s good news! We recently discovered a humble little place in an obscure corner of town on the far side of the highway that not only has potstickers on the menu but were willing to steam them for me instead of frying them. They are our new best friends right now.
  2. Running at twilight. I like running pretty much any time, but running at twilight makes me a special kind of happy.
  3. The Snooze Button. They say it’s not good to hit the snooze button: that it’s healthier for you to get up right away when the alarm goes off, but the ten minutes demarcated by the snooze button are ten minutes reserved for cuddles with the Curmudgeonly Lion. These are the ten minutes are sacred and they are the ten minutes that the rest of the day has to try to live up to.
  4. Crossing Things Off My List. My daily happiness is fairly proportional to my daily progress on regular tasks. The reason why I make such absurdly long To Do lists is because I get such an absurd jolt of pleasure from crossing things off of them.
  5. Getting Real Mail. Bills don’t count. Nor do advertisements, solicitations, magazines, or newsletters. Getting proper, handwritten mail makes my day.

So these are five things that make me happy. Does this mean I’m happy in life right now?

Happy enough.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on September 5, 2013.

One Response to “Five Things That Make Me Happy”

  1. I never got into dumplings because the ones my mother would make usually made me ill. I have no idea why. But, I developed a fear of dumpling nights. Now that you mention them, though, I could really go for some potstickers and maybe a sweet-n-sour sauce. The frozen ones just don’t taste/feel the same. I’d probably take fried calamari over dumplings on average. My comfort foods are pizza, Cheezits and chocolate pudding. I turn to whichever suits the situation. Pizza for a meal, Cheezits for a daytime snack and the pudding for my evening relaxing or cuddling snack.

    I do like getting up with the dawn/sunrise.

    Did you mean sunrise or after sunset?

    But, I rarely get up that early to exercise alone. My regular exercise time seems to be closer to pre/post-dinner time. Around 6 pm. If I run errands on foot, I like to go before noon. And, I don’t run. I walk fast. I’d like a nice, clear stretch I felt okay to run. But, for now, I settle for walking even if those around me are jogging.

    I cannot support the snooze button theory:) How can you like twili–you must have meant nighttime, then. You’re not a morning person?

    I cannot get enough in ten minutes to make me content:P Ten minutes of anything is bound to be that first taste of the drug I get hooked on for an hour or so. If you offer me ten minutes of something, I may very well pass to avoid the temptation.

    4 is a good one. I need to work on that…

    I wish I had good reason to get and exchange handwritten mail. I love the penmanship of women. But, right now, there isn’t much I can write back about. I blame my semi-addiction to email. But, if someone cares enough to write a letter or fill their own handmade greeting card, score.

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