Over the summer, I was dragged down by work, writing, and school all at once. I couldn't see through the haze because there were so many things that required my attention and I was in Power On mode 24/7. Even my sleep was full of nightmares about missing deadlines (don't you hate that?). To counter some of the stress, I started making a list (because I'm me) of little victories, of small loves, and tiny things that happened throughout the day that made me happy. It was a little ridiculous, but I was grasping at straws just to get through each minute, let alone a stretch.
The news has been grim lately. Everyone's been down with sickness, and the frigid weather (East Coast, I feel your pain), and the winter blues. My fingers turned purple last week while I was walking home with groceries! I thought I'd share my list. I hope it brightens your day a little bit--I know sometimes even reading it makes my heart feel a smidge lighter.
When all the dishes are done.
The way it feels to be on a boat on the water on a summer day.
Seeing an amusement park from far away, full of lights, delighted screams and the smell of funnel cake.
Taking out your contacts after a long day.
Belly-busting laughter at outrageous stories.
The way a burrito tastes when you're starving. Or pizza. Or french fries.
Meeting new friends.
The way it feels to wear a bathing suit and not be conscious of your body.
The scent of peppermint eucalyptus.
The way your skin feels after a sauna.
How a pool feels after you're hot.
The way uncontrollable laughter aches in your belly.
The first bite of cookie cake.
Finding a love note written by someone you don't know in a drawer at a restaurant.
That perfect photo moment you actually capture.
Ocean breeze. Salty air. That smell of fish that is unacceptable anywhere but a beach.
Cold water on a hot day.
A beautiful view.
The moment you feel emotional weight lifted off your shoulders.
When people share a secret with you.
When an old friend tells you a story about themselves that you never knew.
The way your skin feels after exfoliated and shaved. Especially when you run your legs along satin bedsheets.
A flowy dress that makes you feel pretty.
When you're photogenic and Instagrammable AF.
When you get a genuine compliment.
How it feels to see an email that changes your life.
A good meal when you're really hungry.
The way cobblestone paths make you feel like you've transported in time.
Knowing you've overcome a battle from your past.
The sound of water.
When your favorite song randomly shuffles on.
Sunshine on your face.
A time limitless nap.
Kudos from a supervisor at work about a job well done.
Feeling like you're making a difference in the world.
Iced tea on a summer day.
A fully charged phone or computer.
Marking a new place on a map as 'done'.
About halfway through yoga class when you're in the groove and no longer wonder why you showed up.
Your muscles after a good stretch.
Finishing everything on a to do list.
Cute animal videos on YouTube.
The first time you light a new candle.
Finally falling asleep after a long day.
The sound of rain and thunder.
Finishing a great book.
A small achievement like reading a few books in a week.
The way an improvement feels when you've been working at getting better.
Finding an old, happy photograph of family or friends.
The phone call you’ve been hoping for.
A really good kiss.
When you take your makeup off at the end of the day and look in the mirror.
A fire on a chilly night.
Hot chocolate on a brisk evening.
Catching a Harry Potter marathon on television.
Dancing your heart out.
When you make a perfect meal.
When new clothes are delivered in the mail.
The smell of cookies baking.
When you go grocery shopping and you realize your pantries and fridge are full of all the good things.
When you feel capable of anything.
A really good grade on an exam, assignment, or class.
Making an impact on someone who has less and deserves more.
The feeling of accomplishment when you fix something that’s broken.
Seeing a historical sight and knowing how many people, famous or not, have walked the same path.
The way a good cry empties your tank.
A freaking good playlist.
The way your nails look after a good manicure--self-done or at a salon.
When someone sends you flowers and you're completely surprised.
The way an "I love you," fills you when it comes from your person.
When you catch yourself smiling because of something that happened years ago.
Warm clothes right out of the dryer.
The best little indulgences--reading a magazine, using a face mask, watching a TV show.
The first day you are back in the game after being sick for a few days.
When you catch your favorite TV show on television by chance.
When your underwear and bra match and you feel like you're the most put together adult ever.
When it's snowing and you are warm under a blanket, in front of a fire, with no need to go outside.
A splash of your favorite perfume or shampoo on your hair.
Reading something that resonates with you so well, you actually think someone read your soul and put it into words.
A good hair day.
Not needing a coat when you go outside.
A call for an interview at a job you really want.
A day where you get to do whatever you want.
Seeing two old people hold hands and hobble down the street, even in their old age.
When someone quotes a movie and you go back and forth and recite at each other.
A premiere of a show you love and have been waiting for.
Watching a meteor shower.
The first glimpse of fireflies on a summer night.
A last second basket, touchdown, goal, or run to win the big game.
A surprise sweet love note or note of gratitude.
The excitement before you board a plane to a new place.
Snuggling with a pet. Or a loved one. Or both.
The innocence of a child and all the questions they ask without reservation.
Forgiving someone after being unable to for a long time.
Seeing an ex and feeling nothing but the best for them--and knowing you're doing great now.
Seeing a picture of yourself from a tough time and loving how far you've come since then...and the fact that you survived.
A fully stocked bookshelf. Or a fully stocked bar.