In one of my very eary posts on this blog, I mentioned that I was never one for soul-searching. That said, it doesn’t hurt now and again to take a step back and look at your life. But, be warned, it can go either way, depending on the mood you are in or the day you’ve had. You can end up slumped on the sofa, tissues in one hand and a drink in the other wondering how you managed to get into this mess. Or you can find yourself brimming over with enthusiasm for life, wondering how you got to be so lucky.
When Lisa from the beautiful blog Into The Glade tagged me for the 50 Things That Make Me Happy list, I was honoured that she thought of me. But I had my doubts about finding 50 things that really make me happy. To be honest, I had visions of reaching no. 31 and then having to resort to cliches, really scraping the bottom of the barrel to make the list up to 50.
When I sat down during a spare five minutes to put a few thoughts on a page recently, I was surprised to make it to 37 absolutely effortlessly. I only stopped writing because my brief window of peace and quiet ended (see no. 38. Brief windows of peace and quite in which to do my own thing, guilt-free). In the end, I didn’t have to resort to my bottom-of-barrel, generic, greeting-card-happiness list at all. For the ultra-curious among you, this list would include:
Babies’ feet (incredibly cute, I admit, but not top 50 material for me)
The smell of cut grass on a sunny day (the preceeding drone of a lawnmower kind of ruins it for me).
So here, in all its glory and in no particular order, is my list of 50 things that make me happy.
1. My husband, The Bavarian, (most of the time)
2. My children, by their very existence
3. Cherry blossom, apple blossom or any other blossom apprearing in Spring.
4. Removing the teatowel from a mixing bowl and seeing that my yeast dough has risen nicely
5. Being in France
6. Being in Holland
7. Enjoying a beer with The Bavarian on the patio on a sunny evening
8. Going to the outdoor pool after work with the kids
9. Chatting to my mother
10. Having a pint of Guinness with my dad in Bennets Pub, Ardcath, Ireland
11. Being in the Alps on a sunny day
12. Being home in Ireland
13. Turkish delight
14. Walking into the bathroom and seeing all three laundry baskets empty (a rare ocurrence, but not unheard of during a bout of good weather)
15. How my windows look after they have been cleaned. (The actual cleaning of said windows is not one of my favourite activities)
16. Waking up feeling rested and ready to get up (again, this seldom happens but I love it when it does)
19. Salvaging furniture from skips or rubbish collections
20. Reading books on social history
21. The fact that my children eat most fruits and a good selection of vegetables by choice
22. Cheese (buying, eating and cooking with)
23. Snowdrops, bluebells and tulips appearing
24. Crisp autumn leaves in the sunlight
25. Hearing son number 2 say “skoo-il” (school) and “fil-im” (film) as if he was born and raised in Ireland.
26. The fact that son number 1 picks up on Irish turns of phrase and uses them in the right context, for example “left, right and centre”, “that yoke” or “I’m only after…”.
27. Arriving in Dublin airport to be greeted by my father and hearing the boys ask “Grandad, will you buy us some Tayto?”
28. Marzipan fruits and animals
29. People being nice when there is nothing to be gained from it for them, like someone offering you their day pass for the tram when you are in the queue for the ticket machine and they are not using their ticket any more
30. Windy walks on the beach in Ireland
31. Watching The Bavarian pet and play with every dog he meets
32. The fact that my parents get on as well as many a married couple despite being separated for the past 16 years
33. Spending time with my nieces and nephew
34. Spending time with my siblings
35. Going to the theatre, especially The Gate in Dublin
36. Pre-theatre drinks
37. Sparkling wine
38. Brief windows of peace and quite in which to do my own thing, guilt-free
39. The Smiths (my wonderful extended family, not the band)
40. Having a garden full of herbs, fruit trees and a small supply of summer vegetables
41. Sincere praise for something done well
42. Weekends away with The Bavarian, my sister or my friends
43. Cooking and baking
44. The fact that certain school and uni friendships that have stood the test of time and survived my living in a different country
45. Hearing that someone I know is engaged, pregnant or has just had a baby
46. Shopping in foreign supermarkets while on holiday or a business trip
47. Learning a new craft or discovering one I used to know well (current favourites are crochet and sewing machine embroidery)
48. Being comforted by The Bavarian when things go wrong
49. Planning holidays and short trips
50. Writing, even if it is just a to do list
What would feature on your list? Would you have trouble making it to fifty? Now that I’ve started, I feel I could go on and on.