Things That Make Me Happy

I’m a pretty happy person. I’m realistically optimistic and usually expect the best. But I can also be a bit moody (“What the hell does THAT mean?”) and can get gloomy if I find myself doing the same thing over and over again.

I’m also pretty good at cheering myself up. I have lots of go-to activities that lift my spirits because sometimes it’s the small things that make life worthwhile. (That wasn’t a sex joke.)

Along with a box of See’s toffee, snuggling at night with my hubbie, stargazing and doing yoga, these things always bring a smile to my face:

  • Opening a new book by a favorite author

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(But I’m not sure if I’m emotionally ready for this book.)

  • Browsing the selection of pastries at a local bakery
  • That pins-and-needles feeling when my foot falls asleep
  • Watching someone singing out loud as they walk down the street
  • Dropping the f-bomb
  • Watching drivers stop to avoid a family of ducks
  • Plugging into my iPod at the gym
  • Leaving the gym
  • Kicking off my shoes after work and blasting music as I drive home
  • Practicing my Oscar/Pulitzer acceptation speech
  • Surviving the latest Armageddon scare

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  • Eating Twizzlers during a road trip
  • Watching a lightning storm
  • Getting hugs from my grandkids
  • Napping so hard I wake up not sure what day it is
  • Clean sheets
  • The sound of ice cubes cracking when I pour Coke into my glass
  • A perfect margarita
  • Stepping on crunchy leaves
  • Walking Ringo in the morning
  • When toddlers swear
  • Remembering how my mom always flipped people off
  • Watching young girls try to walk in heels
  • This stop sign in my neighborhood

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  • Hot fudge sundaes
  • Wrapping up in towels warm from the dryer
  • When my jeans still fit after a long weekend of eating crap
  • The phrase “interpretive dance”
  • When I send a finished article to my editor
  • Getting a package or handwritten letter in the mail
  • Hearing that crackly noise when my vacuum picks up dirt
  • Watching parents discipline their toddler in the mall
  • Laughing at work
  • Trying something new
  • Munching on movie theater popcorn

What’s your go-to happy activity?

Top 5 Reasons to Be Happy Today

Society tends to be pessimistic. Global warming, higher taxes, the New York Jets and Mitt Romney cause dark clouds to form in our brains. But, look at the bright side! Cheer up! Turn that frown upside down! Spoonful of sugar! Blah, blah, blah!

Here are some reasons to be happy today:

1–It’s A New Beginning: So, let’s say you’re a serial killer. Have you killed anyone today? Probably not. It’s a great day to start over and move on to better things. Murder is SO beneath you. Or, perhaps, you had an argument with your husband yesterday and spent $2,000 on mall crap. Today’s a new day! Forgive yourself and vow to spend half that much next time.

Moral: Every day is a new chance to be a better person.

(Bury the hatchet on your old habits. So to speak.)

2–You Have More Than Enough: Have you looked in your closet or pantry lately? Chances are they are both overflowing with stuff you never use, such as Healthy Choice soup you vowed to eat for lunch every day, or the cheetah-print high-tops that went so well with your jeggings. Find pleasure in what you already own.

Moral: There’s nothing you need RIGHT NOW.

3–You’re Not Dead: If you spent Easter weekend drinking Peep martinis, you might FEEL like you’re dead–or even WISH you were dead. But chances are, you’re not. You can spend the day not being dead. That involves things like eating Mexican food, watching mindless TV shows and surfing YouTube videos until your brains fall out. But. You’re still not dead.

Moral: Enjoy being alive.

(What being alive is all about.)

4–Today Could be the Best Day of Your Life: The only problem with this statement is that, from now one, every other day you’re alive will suck. Unless you can figure out a way to make every day even better than the one before. But that’s freakin’ stressful.

Moral: Resign yourself to having a GREAT day, but not the BEST day.

5–Follow Your Destiny:  As every feel-good guru will tell you–you can do anything! Want to hunt unicorns while riding a T-Rex? Done. Ready to win the lottery so you can solve world hunger? Not a problem. If that’s your destiny, all will be well. Unfortunately, most destinies involve working at a low- to mid-paying jobs, hating your co-workers and living from paycheck to paycheck until you die.

Moral: Keep your destiny realistic. Then you can’t be disappointed.

(Hey, little unicorn. We’re not going to hurt you. . .)

There. Don’t you feel happier already? It’s like magic.