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


(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


  • 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


  • 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?

How to Survive a Road Trip

Hubbie and I hit the road last weekend to attend an economic summit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. (I know, you’re supremely jealous.) Having driven this stretch of road before, I knew I could expect miles and miles of boring scenery–cows, barbed wire, more cows, weathered barns, did I mention cows?

Packing for a road trip can’t be taken lightly. You’re basically stranded for 5 hours with nothing to do. Sure, I could talk to my husband–but I can do that at home. So I do things I don’t usually indulge in, like:

  • Eating bags and bags of Twizzlers, Swedish Fish and trail mix. (Well, I also eat those at home, but because I’m traveling at 65 mph, the calories don’t stick.)
  • Reading trashy magazines. I usually persuade my hubbie to take the latest Cosmo quiz: Test Your Sexual IQ, Is He Devoted To You?, Are You Way To Good For Him? This usually ends up in a fight before we get to the freeway, so I just answer the questions for him. It’s easier that way.

quiz(Great way to initiate divorce proceedings.)

  • Catching up on sleep.  I forget that sleeping in a car is worse than dozing off on a plane. On a plane, you don’t  have to keep braking for cows, slow RVs or pedestrians. (I stopped braking for pedestrians when it was my turn to drive.)
  • Jammin’ to my tunes. Here’s where hubbie and I disagree.  His choice for traveling music: Kenny Loggins (Who?) My choice: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Tiesto and anything with a beat. (We sat in fuming silence for several dozen miles.)
  • Stopping at local diners for fresh fruit milkshakes, greasy onion rings, homemade burgers and Tums.

diner(Red Baron Drive-In, Afton, Wyoming. Where your gastrointestinal system goes to die.)

  • Getting to know local law enforcement. Officer: “Can I see your registration?” Me: “Nope. It’s stolen.” Officer: “Whose car is this?” Me: “I don’t know. The guy’s in the trunk. Ask him.” (Highway patrol officers have no sense of humor. Just sayin’.)
  • Using sagebrush as a toilet. (Self-explanatory. And gross.)

When someone says to you, “Getting there is half the fun!” Slap that person and book a flight for the return trip.