"A word in earnest is as good as a speech"
~Charles Dickens: Bleak House

1,000 Things That Make Me Smile

I learned a long time ago to appreciate all things that make you smile! It could be a big life changing thing, it could be the littlest of things. I have decided to make a list of things that make me smile .... that make life worth living, and share them here! Enjoy!

Feel free to add your own things that make you smile in the comment! 

  1. My children's laughter! There is no better sound in the world than when your children laugh! It starts when they are infants and they laugh so hard they hiccup. Then as toddlers and young children when they get hysterical over the littlest things. Then as teenagers, when it happens so infrequently it catches you by surprise. Whenever you hear it, it makes you smile too! :)
  2. My house ... in the middle of my street. I love sitting on my front porch on a warm evening, listening to the silence of my street and looking up at the stars! I reminds me how fortunate I am to live the life I live, while at the same time realizing how small I am compared to the rest of the universe!
  3. My husband ... you will never meet two more opposite people than me and my husband. But that is what makes us work - we compliment each other. And he takes care of me and our family. I met him when I was 16 and noone knows me better than he does (and he still wanted to marry me ..... imagine that!)
  4. My office. I have a great view of Cambridge Street in Boston from my office. I like when I can come in early and no one else is here. I have a coffee, get some work done and just relax before the craziness of the day begins.
  5. Cool showers in the summer. There is a line where the water temperature is just perfect for the summer .... right before it gets cold and makes you shiver. Where is hits your scalp as cold and by the time it hits your back its warm. It wakes you up & cools you off & gives you the second wind you need to really enjoy the season.
  6. An afternoon visiting friends. I don't think there has to be big elaborate plans to stop and see a friend - no matter where you live, you should be able to take some time and visit the people that have been an important part of your life. Sometimes just sitting on the porch watching your kids play is enough to put a smile on your face.
  7. Watching my son play soccer. I have been watching my oldest son play soccer for 13 years! I still smile watching him play. I realized as I sat at the field this morning, I will be starting all over again this fall with the little one, who is soooo excited that he will be playing soccer like his big big brother! Thirteen more years of smiles! :)
  8. Finishing a really big project. It doesn't matter if the project is at home or at work. I have yet to decide if the smile is from completing the job and being able to move on .... or if it is the feeling of pride and accomplishment. I guess it depends on the job - today it was both.
  9. Thunder Storms. I love summer storms. Not the kind that knock down trees or create tornadoes. But just a good, loud, quick summer storm. I like watching the the very black clouds come in, the lighting streak across the sky. But what I love most and what really makes me smile is the crisp air afterwards and the white clouds & red sky. It just seems to clean everything out and make the world fresh again.
  10. Working in Boston. I know - weird but true! I forget that Boston is a historic interesting place as I complain about my commute and can't wait to leave the office and head home. But on days (especially in the summer), when I can take a leisurely lunch and people watch on a beautiful day, I remember the beauty of Boston and the heartbeat of activity. On those days I smile.
  11. Finding a bargain! I love going into stores like Macy's when the new season of clothes comes out. I check out all the things that I would love to own and make a mental note because I refuse to pay full price. Then when clearance sales start at the end of the season I go back and see what I can find. I recently found a $50.00 shirt that I almost blew my no-full-price rule for and paid $6.00 for it! Yeah me! That is a big smile kind of moment!
  12. When my children succeed. Whether it is my step-daughter doing well on a college paper, or my teenager getting his driver's license, or the 5-year-old getting a hole in one at mini-golf; it is always nice to see your children's face light up from the smile of accomplishment!
  13. COFFEE! While I love my ice coffee from Dunkin' Donuts (I have decided you are either a Dunkin' Donuts person or a Starbucks person ~ I am Dunkin' Donuts!) My favorite coffee is the one I make at home in the morning when everyone else is asleep. It is just warm, cozy and comforting. A peaceful start to the craziness that are my days! Yah Coffee!
  14. Chocolate Fudge. Lots of people just eat fudge. That is wrong - shame on you! One must experience fudge! Since most really good fudge can be expensive I only purchase one or two pieces at a time and only on special occasions. I like to break off small pieces and let them dissolve in my mouth. This takes time, so you need to make sure that you have some quiet and some time to experience your fudge! It will make you smile.
  15. Technology Free Vacations. I love to just get away and spend time with my boys. Explore nature, play games, talk .... these are things I think we forget to do with the busyness of the living! It is so nice every once and a while to stop and smell the roses with the beep of incoming e-mail interrupting you!
  16. Looking at pictures we took on vacation. I love to take pictures! I have hundreds. I used to really enjoy when they got printed and I would write on the back of each one and put them in books. But in the digital age they are all in my computer. But I still like to go through each one and label them. Someday I will print them again and put them in books. I miss that!
  17. Watching the kids sleep. I love watching the boys sleep (now I am not creepy, I don't go into the teenager's room to watch him sleep anymore - but I remember watching him when he was little). I am sitting here now watching the little one .... the regular breaths, the innocent look on his face, and even occasionally when they kind of wake up talking (like the other day when he woke up giggling, looked at my husband and said "look daddy I'm a chipmunk!").
  18. The end of a long week. I love sitting on my couch at the end of a long week where I have accomplished a lot. Knowing that I can curl up, stay up late, hang out, do whatever .... because the next day I have nothing much to do and can just chill in the pajamas for awhile, enjoy my coffee and not worry!
  19. My bird feeder. I remember in my mind I associated having my own home with having a bird feeder. I think it was because I lived in an apartment "complex" for so long. Now I sit in the living room and watch all the different birds stop by for a snack :)
  20. My blog! I really like my blog! I like it more when people actually comment and conversations can be started. But when I have written something and it touches someone else enough to comment - that makes me smile!
  21. My students! I love watching the faces of the students in my class when they finally "get it" when the "light dawns." It doesn't happen for all the students since many are checking Facebook or texting - but when it does happen it is brilliant!
  22. Realizing I am not alone - one of the things that this blog has done is give me access to other blogs about lupus. This is a wonderful thing because it makes me realize I am not alone in a way support groups or discussion boards did not. Because I can choose which blog I want to follow and I can pick strong, bright happy people with positive attitudes - who also go through the awful mind boggling world of lupus.
  23. Storytime! It is nice to turn off the technology and read a book with the little one. I refuse to purchase an electronic book reader for this purpose! Story time should be with an actual book - I know it is old fashioned but I like the formality of it, turning the pages, looking at the pictures, etc. It is a great way to connect with your kids.
    1. addendum .... I got a Nook. I love it! But it has not replaced story time. Sometimes we read together from the Nook, but he still loves books!
  24. Being stuck in the car with my teenager! Over the years the car is the place my oldest son and I had our best conversations about life ..... probably since he couldn't actually leave and neither could I. But now that he is driving, and has his own life that I am not always a part of these conversations are even more important and special.
  25. Knowing that the dog will always be happy to see me when I get home! I have to admit I did not want to get a puppy. But a year later I have to say that the joy on the dog's face when I get home always makes me smile. They really ask so little from us and give so much to us. My husband was right .... the dog was a good idea.
  26. Halloween! It is my FAVORITE holiday. I love being able to be someone else if I want to be. I love the crispness of the season. I like being scared - carving pumpkins - walking the neighborhood. I love everyting about it - especially the chocolate!
  27. Tradition! I am not talking old stuffy tradition - I am talking about things that you look forward to all year! Visiting the zoo in the summer. Putting up the Christmas Tree. Turkey on Thanksgiving. Apple picking in the fall. These are things we put in place as a way to hold the family together. As the family grows and ages some traditions change and that is good. But if you can look back at things you have done over and over and they still make you smile - then it is a keeper!
  28. Christmas Ornaments! I have hundreds! Each year the day after Christmas I go to the stores and purchase ornaments for the next year at half-price. That is a really fun tradition. But my favorite part is opening them the next year. Unwrapping each one, remembering the year I purchased it. Finding the right spot on the tree. It always makes me smile!
  29. Snowstorms! I know my husband would disagree with me since he is the one who does the shoveling. But I love a snowstorm. Now again I am not talking about extremes. We just had a storm that ended at noon so we got a day off (which is always brilliant) but then we got to go out and play in the snow. I love the snow right before the plows come in - when everything is crisp and clean and sparkly and quiet. It is beautiful and magic.
  30. Dressing-Up! People who know me know that I am a jeans and a t-shirt kind of girl. But I love to dress up for a special occasion or an event. That moment when it all comes together and your hair is just right and your makeup works and you know you look good!
  31. Having a lupus free day! Not often, but every once and awhile I wake up and I know it is going to be a lupus free day. I am going to have energy, I am not going to be in pain, there will be no headache or weirdness. That is a beautiful day!
  32. The Walking Dead! Really nothing else to say here!
  33. Opening my office window on a beautiful spring day! My office is on the 10th floor and really the windows only open about six inches. But it is enough to get a breeze and hear the sounds of the city. It makes me kind of want to come down with some sort of sickness so I can go home early .... but it is lovely!
  34. Picking Apples! There is no better tradition in New England than picking apples on a beautiful autumn afternoon. The air is clean, the cider donuts smell great. It is not too hot and not too cold. And then when you get home you get to make all kinds of goodies with your apples - apple pie, apple cake, apple butter, applesauce, baked apples ........mmmmmmmm
  35. Picking out our pumpkin! Along with picking apples we pick out our pumpkin. Searching through the pumpkin patch for the perfect shape and smoothness for the perfect pumpkin to carve up for Halloween. And when the time is right to crack it open and begin the carving process you get roasted pumpkin seeds and a pumpkin pie to go with it.
  36. Falling leaves! I love, love, love when the leaves start to change color and fall from the trees. I love the sound they make when they crunch under your feet and the smell in the neighborhood when people pile them all up and burn them in the yard. I know that it is the beginning of the end because the winter is not far behind - but for a few weeks there is color and beauty everywhere you look.
  37. Learning something new .... I recently went back to school. I had forgotten how much I enjoy learning. How much I like reading the text and writing the papers and taking the tests. I know, I am weird - but as an adult I appreciate the actually process of learning much more than I did the first time around!
  38. Spending time in the kitchen! I am not talking about making a quick dinner during the week. I am talking about some quality time hanging out in the kitchen. Baking a cake from scratch because you have the time. Letting your home fill with the smell of something baking or stewing or roasting. It is about the measuring and the tasting and the experimenting. And when you are done .... yummy!
  39. Curling up on the couch on a rainy day ... I love the sound of the rain on the windows. I love having an excuse to not do anything but watch television under a nice comfy blanket. It can't happen all the time, but when it does ... ahhhhhh.
  40. Massage day! At first I thought it was a little creepy. But now it is something that I look forward to. Usually it refocuses my energy and gives me the ambition to face my to do list for another month. Brilliant.
  41. Buds on the trees .... There comes a moment every spring when you wake up and all of a sudden every tree in the neighborhood has buds on its branches. You know that spring has finally sprung. That is a couple of weeks you don't have to worry about random 30 degree days or the chance of snow.
  42. The ocean ... I love the smell and the sound of the ocean. The rhythm of the waves, the sound of the seagulls, the beauty of the shells lined up along the shore.
  43. I love not wearing shoes! Once the weather gets warm enough the shoes come off. I don't just mean I like wearing sandals instead of sneakers ... I love walking around in bare feet. The feeling of grass between your toes, or warm sand at the beach, even the rough pavement. Unless I am working I am pretty much shoeless from May until October.
  44. When a great song comes on the radio ... this is way better then when you play a song you like because it is a surprise. A song that you loved back in the day that you completely forgot about until you hear those first couple of notes .... then you crank it and sing at the top of your lungs!
  45. The end of a semester ... I have worked in academia for a very long time, and ever since I was an undergraduate student there is a satisfying moment when all the papers are turned in (or if you are teaching grades are turned in) that you literally breathe a sigh of relief. It is a beautiful moment!
  46. Cadbury Mini Eggs! These are my favorite candy in the world! This year there was Easter candy in the supermarket on Christmas Eve (don't ask what I was doing food shopping on Christmas Eve). So I have had months of mini-eggs! See #14 for instructions on how to really savor a Cadbury Mini Egg!
  47. My strawberry patch! It isn't very big - and I am ok with that. My husband built me a planter when we lived in an apartment so that I could grow a small strawberry patch. When we purchased our house I brought the planter with me and now they have taken over a section of our front yard, I am ok with that too. There is nothing better on a beautiful summer night than a bowl of vanilla ice cream topped with fresh picked strawberries (the only problem is getting to them before the squirrels and/or bunnies). 
  48. Sleep! I can't even believe I haven't mentioned this one before. Living with Lupus has really made me appreciate sleep and what it can do for an overworked body. I love the deep sleep that revives you, both mind and body - the kind I don't get very often.
  49. Clean sheets! Going with the sleep theme, I love climbing into a bed of clean fresh sheets. especially when it is warm out and the sheets are cool. It really helps create that deep sleep I am so fond of.
  50. Crossing things off my to-do list! There is nothing more satisfying than taking a pen to something you have accomplished and crossing it out! While I have an electronic calendar connected to my phone to keep track of all the places I need to be when, I have a paper to-do list. Occasionally I will add things to the list that I have already done ... I know it is cheating but it gives me the ambition to finish the other stuff on my list.
  51. Adventures with my kids: my children are 12 years apart so I have been having adventures for a long time. It could be a simple walk in the woods, a visit to a new museum (or a favorite museum). Recently my older son (now almost 21) took me on an adventure w/his little brother and taught me to ocean kayak! It was awesome!

No comments:

Post a Comment