10 Things That Make Me Happy, Or, Saturday Morning at 10:10am. In 2010.



I have been tagged, for 10 things that make me happy, by One Fabulous Mom. She of the tummy tuck that worked, a writing career, and the newly-launched 40 Things To Do Before You Turn 40 blog. Thank you One Fabulous…

Let us consider happiness.

Not contentment. Happiness. As it turns out, I’m a natively contented person, for better or for worse. Just genetics, not praiseworthy. I don’t do depression, tending on my difficult days towards anxiety. Nor rage, tending in those moments of annoyance towards snaps of irritation.

So happy, to me, is the feeling that rises unbidden in your heart. That which begins a smile. Unasked. Surprising.

Definition achieved, here is my list. For today. Tomorrow will almost certainly be different.

1. Hot water.
Hot showers, hot baths, hot dishwater on my hands. Don’t know why, but it releases a noticeable burst of endorphins. Those pesky little hormones have a lot to do with the elusive bird of happiness.

2. Completion.
The satisfying stroke of a pen through an item on the to do list. Click of the customer service agent hanging up, her final words, “Yes, it’s all taken care of,” ringing happily in my ears.

3. Resonance.
Sitting next to someone I love, realizing in that moment we resonate. That were we to vibrate, cellos. Or trumpets, on occasion.

4. Diamonds.
Sparkle. The more the better. 1 large one, 2 medium ones, 50 small ones. Pins, necklaces, earrings, rings. I’d like nothing more than to spend the day at a diamond broker, sitting in the corner, watching. Maybe touching once or twice. Oh who am I kidding? I’d want to plunge my hand into a large bowl of them and run diamonds through my fingers. Do you think they have large bowls like this in the diamond district anywhere? That they’d be willing to let a slightly cracked middle-aged Californian indulge her fantasies?

5. Clear surfaces.
That moment when no laundry is left on the table, no dishes on the counter, no smudges on the mirror.

6. Sky.
Blue, gray, white, roiled by clouds, caught between high buildings, long and low over a freeway. Lighted. Except when I’m in an airplane. Then I pretend there’s no such thing.

7. Certain foods.
Clouds of steam off the plate. The first bite, heat. Next bite, rough garlic. Third bite, ginger. Final trace of something vegetal. Or Sichuan numbing spice. Om nom nom nom.

8. Your comments.
Makes me happy to read the stories people tell of what they wore or thought or did. Questions. Questions make me really happy.

9. Waiting with anticipation in the lobby of a spa.
Who invented spas? I need to find them and thank them. Is there anything better, in the immediate sense, than knowing that someone is going to smooth lotions on you any minute now? It will smell good. It will feel good. And for the next few hours, you are on leave from any to do list.

10. Waking up in the morning.
Oh, hello! World! Thank you!

For the 11th, which is probably the 11th on an infinite list, let me add other people’s writing. This morning it was ELS at Mon Avis, Mes Amis. I’ve mentioned her before, but let me do it again. This is only a small, small sample. Click for more.

“We went out one night onto the frozen lake, riding snowmobiles under the stars. We stopped in the middle and listened to the moaning of the ice, sitting huddled on reindeer skins, drinking hot berry juice and hoping to buggery that the damn lights would show. Did they hell. The Colonel took a spectacular tumble on the ice and snapped a thigh muscle, so we enjoyed a more earthly son et lumiere. There are now Samis in Bjorkliden who can swear like English squaddies.”

Yeah. What she said. Have a wonderful weekend.

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37 Comments

  • 01/02/10
    12:21 pm

    Reply

    Twenty Four At Heart said...

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend also – and a very happy 2010!

  • 01/02/10
    2:13 pm

    Reply

    Suburban Princess said...

    Happy New Year!

    Great list! I love seeing the counters clean and the laundry baskets empty!

  • 01/02/10
    2:22 pm

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    Duchesse said...

    Enjoyed your choices, L, and wish you enduring hot water and endearing resonances for 2010.

    Stay tuned at my place for a post on the pleasures of small diamonds that return outsized delights. Never have seen The Bowl but have held alluring, thrilling twinkling handfuls.

  • 01/02/10
    2:25 pm

    Reply

    Semi Expat said...

    Your writng in just THE best LPC…. and I love your list – Om Nom Nom Nom ! Ha!
    I have directed my niece to your blog for her to follow and 'read and learn' (and be impressed naturally) – she is mid twenties, and just started her own blog too….her follower name – Sophie P…
    Happy 2010 to you.

  • 01/02/10
    2:26 pm

    Reply

    Kristen said...

    What a great list! Hot water makes me happy too.

  • 01/02/10
    3:17 pm

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    hostess of the humble bungalow said...

    You got me at hot water and then totally with the diamonds! I love them too….

  • 01/02/10
    4:20 pm

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    QueenBeeSwain said...

    beautiful and a great post to kick off the new year LPC! resonance, blue skies and clear surfaces are just fabulous! and I always love YOUR comments too :)

    xoox

    kHm

  • 01/02/10
    4:41 pm

    Reply

    Maureen@IslandRoar said...

    Oh, I share so many of those things with you! Clear surfaces, diamonds(!), sky, completion…
    Great list.
    Happy 2010!!

  • 01/02/10
    5:13 pm

    Reply

    LPC said...

    Any and all of you should consider yourselves invited to share lists if you are willing. And I will be on the lookout for Sophie P. I'm honored you'd point her in my direction. Will also be on the lookout for posts involving small diamonds…

  • 01/02/10
    5:24 pm

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    Mrs. Lynch said...

    OMG…your posts are the best. Om nom nom. Whole Foods.Grrrr. Good stuff.

  • 01/02/10
    6:40 pm

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    LPC said...

    Mrs. Lynch – I cannot for the life of me leave a comment on your blog…I have tried. I had an odd idea, which was, you might like Twittering. Good outlet for people with a sense of humor and little time for writing:).

  • 01/02/10
    8:08 pm

    Reply

    Preppy Napkin said...

    love your list!

  • 01/02/10
    8:26 pm

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    Belle de Ville said...

    Love your list. It's amazing how things like hot water and hot food can be pleasing.
    I don't have a bowl of diamonds but I do have a jar of diamond mele on my desk that I shake every once in a while…is that kind of the same?

  • 01/02/10
    8:44 pm

    Reply

    LPC said...

    Belle, as I understand it, diamond melee is a bunch of little guys. If yes, oh yes, it counts. A jar full of twinkle. How sweet the sound.

  • 01/02/10
    10:05 pm

    Reply

    Lipstick said...

    What a wonderful list…I too love hot, diamonds, clear, sky, spa, comments…

    mostly though-I have to say-wow. probably one of my favorite posts of yours. I do love your writing LPC.

  • 01/03/10
    7:42 am

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    Mrs. G said...

    I so love coming by your place every morning to read your words of wisdom. My fall on Christmas day, and the bruised hand that it produced, has kept me from getting around to visiting my favorite bloggers. It feels a little better today so instead of catching up on my housework I came by to wish you a very happy new year.
    Hugs,
    Sue

  • 01/03/10
    10:18 am

    Reply

    Mrs. Lynch said...

    I added a new post and tried to change the comment format. Try clicking the part that says "0 Comments" and if that wont work, I will tweet from the rafters.

  • 01/03/10
    10:21 am

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    The Broke Socialite said...

    Oh how lovely! I love when folks post "lists".

  • 01/03/10
    10:44 am

    Reply

    LPC said...

    Thank you guys. I like writing lists too, like this, because sometimes just answering questions from others I find out things I didn't know myself. And Mrs. Lynch, I can click on 0 Comments fine, but when I click on Post Comment, nothing happens…

  • 01/03/10
    11:39 am

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    Pink Martini said...

    Happy new year to you also. Looks like you are off to a great beginning. :)

  • 01/03/10
    12:01 pm

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    Mrs. Lynch said...

    Oh, I see what you mean. I just fixed it and posted a "test run" comment and it's fine now.

  • 01/03/10
    1:31 pm

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    Sher said...

    I'm also a list maker. In a bustling world it lets me feel like I'm actually getting something finished too ;)

  • 01/03/10
    4:46 pm

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    sobeit said...

    Enjoyed your list..#2 makes me happy, but I am such a procrastinator!

  • 01/03/10
    7:12 pm

    Reply

    midlife slices said...

    I could have written a similar list and in fact, I think I'll steal this and do one of my own. I hope that's o.k.

    Happy 2010 my friend.

  • 01/03/10
    7:51 pm

    Reply

    lauren said...

    ooh, i have a little story for you, inspired by your mention of peppercorns.

    my husband had, until recently, a favorite sichuan restaurant in midtown manhattan, known to be liberal with its numbing spices. a few months ago they were sued by employees for back wages or some such; instead of contesting the charge, they and their sister restaurants simply closed up shop overnight. disappeared in a cloud of ma po tofu. turns out they were actually owned and operated by the chinese government, and the level of scrutiny the case would have entailed wasn't to their liking. how's that for an eccentric international endeavor? we think they were (tasty) fronts for some sort of low-level espionage, messages transmitted with cartons of broccoli and such.

  • 01/03/10
    9:46 pm

    Reply

    Lana of Honeysuckle Lane said...

    LOVE your list and I, too, enjoy crossing something off my to-do list.

  • 01/03/10
    10:33 pm

    Reply

    Rita said...

    Congratulations on receiving the Happy 101 Award…very much deserved. You make me laugh, you make me happy!!! What a wonderful list. I agree about finding the spa person.

  • 01/04/10
    5:32 am

    Reply

    ELS said...

    Thank you so very much for your incredibly generous and kind comment – the writing admiration is utterly mutual. If you could also share some of the non-rage-y genes, that would be wonderful…

    Otherwise, agree to the letter with all your happy-making things. Go see your chum in Belgium – the Antwerp Diamond Quarter has vats of them; I'm sure a lady of your charm could persuade them to let you plunge your gloved arms in past the elbow?

  • 01/04/10
    5:55 am

    Reply

    gweipo said...

    My son would agree thoroughly with your nr. 4 – diamond obsessed as he is. He's got to make do with semi-precious stones, which is a poor second best – but you can actually roll around in them in Cape Town at the waterfront, which is quite a fun experience.

  • 01/04/10
    5:55 am

    Reply

    Jan said...

    I second the "sky" one. I miss big, open, intensely blue skies.

    If you should find someone who will let you play in a large bowl of diamonds, find out if they'll let you bring a friend. :D

  • 01/04/10
    6:57 am

    Reply

    LPC said...

    Anyone and everyone should feel free to make lists of their own and share. I will clearly have to organize a tour, involving Cape Town, Antwerp, and all the gems we can possibly get next to our skins. Lauren, as for the Chinese restaurant shenanigans, one of my favorite places out here persists in calling the Sichuan beef dish, "numbling" instead of "numbing." Probably a secret code for Revolt!, now that you point this out. Thank you.

  • 01/04/10
    7:00 am

    Reply

    kanishk said...

    The Bowl but have held alluring, thrilling twinkling handfuls.

    kobe beef

  • 01/04/10
    8:08 am

    Reply

    Buckeroomama said...

    Hot water this time of the year –divine.

    Completion –any time, –most welcome!

    And the waiting with anticipation in the lobby of a spa? No words (or I just couldn't think of any that come close to describing how I feel about that)!

  • 01/05/10
    8:05 am

    Reply

    Patsy said...

    Waking up in the morning is my favorite. The whole day is there before you! Who knows what could happen – you could go to a spa, or have sushi or be offered a bowl full of diamonds.

    I, too, am a contented person. Lucky, aren't we? I give thanks for that a lot.

  • 01/07/10
    5:49 am

    Reply

    vintage simple said...

    What a beautifully written post… Loved reading it. I love it when words form sentences in precisely the way we want them to. That makes me happy. And reading them, too.

    -maria

  • 01/16/10
    4:48 pm

    Reply

    joanne teichman said...

    love love "sky", "resonance" and "diamonds". happy new year! best ~ joanne@ylang23.com (hope you'll visit our site!!)

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