50 Things of Happy, Like Tauntauns and Windswept Hair

The thing is, there are way more than 50 things that make me happy.

More like 50 million. There’s something to be said, though, about thinking up 50 things right there on the spot. Once you start, you can’t stop. It comes out like happy bursts of lightning, and it changes like currents. What’s making you happy right now? What’s rocking your world right now? What made you smile today? What is it that makes you smile everyday?

I was tagged in a Twitter post about Authentic Happiness and I decided to rise to the challenge. I’m accepting this challenge to list 50 things that make me happy. And let me know something that makes YOU happy in the comments!

1 – When you’re standing close to someone you love and you’re not even touching but the electricity makes you think that you are. The heat and the hair on your arms makes you imagine the heat and the hair on their arms. It’s magnetic, love.

2 – That jean jackets are always in style, and even if they stopped being in style, we’d still be wearing them, wouldn’t we?

3 – When you grin at a stranger in public and they grin back and there’s a spring in your step, and maybe in theirs after that.

4 – The smell of coconut and how it always smells like beach vacations.

5 – The way the wind and humidity make my hair wild. I used to hate it and now I absolutely love it. The wilder, the better.

6 – Drinking something cold when you’re thirsty, which probably means you’re dehydrated, but it feels so great!

7 – When your fancy schmancy toothbrushing app says you did a 100% brushing job with your fancy schmancy toothbrush.

8 – The smell of lilacs, and how they bloom so suddenly and rampantly.

9 – That I can drive anywhere I want, or take a plane, train, bus or boat ride, if I really want to do so.

10 – Rainbow everything. The rainbow colors in order, or at least the way we put them in order.

11 – When there’s cash in my wallet, and even though it doesn’t negate that there’s money in my bank account too, it still makes me feel like I’m temporarily rich and I dream up all the places I want to go to spend that “found” money!

12 – That I have a secret I’ll get to announce on Facebook next Thursday. I’m really not being secretive to be secretive. You can totally message me or text me and I’ll tell you, but I’ll swear you to secrecy from my kids. Or ELSE. (still not a baby)

13 – When your salted caramel or peanut butter sauce sinks to the bottom of your ice cream sundae and takes the sprinkles down with them. Then the end of the ice cream sundae is as exciting as the beginning.

14 – Late night silly movies with popcorn, or said ice cream sundaes.

15 – Dog parks.

16 – When wit overtakes you, and you keep making yourself laugh with rapid fire text or email responses.

17 – When there’s nothing to do but read a book in the sun.

18 – Reading Yankee Magazine in a bath with bubbles that glisten and shine.

19 – Flannel pants with drawstrings.

20 – Frolicking dogs on a dog beach.

21 – When you’re drinking an iced coffee drink with whipped cream and you put the straw at the top of the drink to get a mouthful of whipped cream and whatever wonderful syrup or candy comes with it. Best first sip ever!

22 – The soft parts of my cat’s belly, and that she lets me pet her belly! I thought cats mostly don’t like that.

23 – The character of Lafayette in Hamilton.

24 – When you’re smiling over the phone, and you know they can hear it. Or vice versa.

25 – The way Athena meets people at the park and then trots to my side as if to say, “This is my person! Isn’t she cool?”

26 – Using Alexa (Amazon Echo) to play Bruce Hornsby while I’m in the shower.

27 – Buying Rice Krispies or Cheerios just to put a splash of cream in the bowl with the milk.

28 – Going to a restaurant or movie alone.

29 – Dressing up for Halloween, or just because.

30 – Feeling physically good, nearly always.

31 – The smell of coffee even if you don’t/can’t drink it unless it’s decaf.

32 – Kid giggles that YOU caused.

33 – Parades.

34 – That Des is still so young that he thinks he’s in love with me.

35 – And that his hair hasn’t been cut in two months.

36 – When you’ve taken a picture and you know it has that IT quality – that pure moment/vision magic.

37 – It’s pretty much the same with writing.

38 – When your heart pitter patters. Even if it’s all wrong or all right, and even if it’s just a trigger or a flash of something else, or something you thought was long buried. Whatever it takes, whatever it is, it makes you feel alive.

39 – That at least one of my kids hears Laurel, like me, even if the other is Team Yanny.

40 – That Scarlet still likes to dress like me.

41 – When you’re out in public and see a local business owner or public figure and you geek out a bit to see them, AND, they know who you are!

42 – When you’re already excited for breakfast the night before.

43 – Oh, the places you’ll go.

44 – When you create your own work schedule and can take off any day, week, or month, within reason, and go on adventures.

45 – That Cassidy and I got each other anniversary gifts that have to do with Dire Straits: “Romeo and Juliet.”

46 – That Des was flattened by the end of Charlotte’s Web. I don’t want him to be sad, but I’m glad he feels things strongly.

47 – That I’m going on a staycation this weekend and have a hotel room in South Deerfield for work. There’s a pool!

48 – That there’s a hierarchy of rainbow sprinkles, and I know where to find the good ones.

49 – That my friend Tara made me 50 Shades of Grey cupcakes for work.

50 – So there’s a Tauntaun in our house. I knew it was coming. We don’t like animal heads/busts on our walls, but figured mythical or science-fiction creatures would be ok. It took forever to come and Cassidy didn’t tell me WHEN it was coming. So I brought home the kids and Scarlet’s best friend from school on Wednesday and Des had to poop. Badly. Scarlet and Ella thought it would be funny to race into the bathroom ahead of him and slam the door. Poor kid had to go! So he went upstairs to use our bathroom and came running back downstairs. Apparently he had found a “monster” in our room lying on the floor staring up at the ceiling. I went back upstairs with him to dispel the monster myth, but happened upon a Tauntaun.

Cassidy said it couldn’t have gone better! Poor Des could have pooped his pants.

What makes you happy?

10 Things You Might Not Know, But I Want You to Know

I fear it’s going to get a little weird in here today, but what else is new, really?

I put that photo at the start of the blog by design. Of course it’s ALWAYS by design but those dark eyes (much lighter in real life) have something to say today. Also, the REAL reason is because it’s my anniversary with Cassidy of when we started kinda/sorta falling in love. That was the first photo I sent him. This was before social media, and we lived far from each other. So I sent that photo, and you know how the story goes; is going. It’s a bit of a song and dance, isn’t it? All of it.

10 things

(I don’t even look like this in real life, but we’ll go with it)

I have done these things before – these listicles – these “Ten Things About Me”. I once did a “25 Things About Me” and it took all night to write! I didn’t have kids yet so I had all the time in the world. I wrote my list of this week’s topic, “10 things most people don’t know about me.”, while in the car. Don’t be scared. It was hands free. I thought about it all and then used voice command when I got to my destination. It’s super fun. Join me, and tell me if you knew any of these things?

Or tell me if I stumped you! 10 things most people don’t know about me:

1 – When I was in high school and college, I thought the Madonna song, “Live to Tell” was the most ME song in the world. I feel everything about it. I’ve also felt that way about R.E.M.’s “Try Not to Breathe” song for quite awhile now:

2 – I have always wished I could sing, dance, or play piano, despite zero training in any of these things! Even in my 30’s, I still have numerous daydreams that I can do these things – and in front of people – and I’m not even awkward in them!

3 – The older I get, the less I want to be around people, but I’m not getting older and crankier. (I am getting older, though) It’s that I have less tolerance for my anxiety these days and sometimes I feel trapped when I’m around people, and that’s one of my anxiety triggers. Yet, I also love people so much that I need to recharge in their presence, and then recharge alone. A true ambivert, I say! Luckily I don’t think I’ll be one of those cranky old women yelling, “Get off my lawn!” But I absolutely yelled that at a squirrel the other day. Those exact words. And I shook my fist! He/she totally ran into the woods.

4 – I used to have a phobia of being in love with more than one person at once because it happened to me in my mid-20’s, and I thought about how horrible it would be to happen again, when things are more complicated. And yet now I fear the opposite. I’m afraid of not caring enough. There’s no backup plan. I shouldn’t think about life without Cassidy but since my father died young and that scenario happened to my mom, I can’t help myself. Then I wonder if my phobia of not feeling at all is actually a self-defense mechanism of the fact that I do/could/might feel too much. Is it possible to feel too much?

5 – I have absolutely no work balance. When I’m busy, I’m stressed about being busy. When I’m not busy, I’m even more stressed about not being busy. Carrie of “Our Potluck Family” voiced this perfectly the other day. That’s me too! Breathe.

6 – Once in SF, I was having bad anxiety for months, and the only thing that really helped was to write down my list of head grievances, read it to my therapist, and then watch her write them down and dissect them. It was like she took on some of the burden but didn’t have to fall under the weight of it. She made it her job to dissect and relieve. Rinse. And repeat.

7 – I’m currently growing my hair really long. Think like Luna Lovegood in the 5th Harry Potter movie. I want long waves down my back. I don’t make light of this but I know there are conditions in which people think they aren’t tan enough, and I will never think my hair is long enough. Whenever I cut it too short, I can’t let it go. Even though I know it grows back, I still stare at women with really long hair in envy. I sometimes feel so plain and ordinary and invisible and overlooked that when I was in high school I grew my hair really long and started wearing bright colors to combat the feelings. I don’t want to feel that way. Sometimes I still feel that way, but I am logical enough to know that I’m not perceived as invisible.

8 – I will never be able to go scuba diving, most likely, because anxiety affects my breathing. What if I had an anxiety attack underwater? I bet I wouldn’t, though. I bet I would be just fine, but I’m ok not exploring that avenue.

9 – I don’t know why so many of these things are about my mental states! It’s that I feel like you already know so much about me. You know I love jean jackets and sundresses and cookies and moose and northern lights. And that I want to travel the world, but I’m afraid to travel the world, and that I’m obsessed with roller coasters because I’ve only been on four in my life and all four were in the last year and a half! Believe it or not, I’ve been on scarier ones than this one:

10 – When I think about my kids growing older, I can’t breathe and I feel dizzy and start to sway. I can’t avoid it. I have to rise up to meet it. And I really want another baby but I also really don’t. I keep thinking: “That’s it! We are definitely having another baby!” And then I think: “That’s it! There’s no way in heck that I’m having another baby!” And I don’t have frivolous years to waste. I sort of have to make a decision soon, and indecision isn’t doing Cassidy any favors. (he’ll deal)

*Bonus one. The Bowman Family is about to expand, we think. It’s not a baby. It’s not a chicken. Wait and see!

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “10 things most people don’t know about me.” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE.

What would you say?