Janet (j4) wrote,
Janet
j4

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you've got to smile

This is an interesting "meme", for a change; it's hard to think of things that make you happy while you're feeling tired and stressed and washed-out, but I've been told in the past that it's a useful exercise. Anyway, it didn't exactly make me happier, but it made me think about what I like and what I want, which made me feel more focussed.


50 things that make me happy (in no particular order, and I'm sure I've missed lots of things that really should have been on this list). NB I haven't included individual people, because they're not things, and because I don't like lists of people.

1. Mountains.

2. Singing harmonies to other voices, especially just making up harmony parts ... when it works it's just wonderful.

3. Badgers. (Of course.) Even the word just makes me smile.

4. The sound the Apple ][ makes when it boots up.

5. Lying on my back in a field in the sunshine and not needing to be anywhere else any time soon.

6. Trains.

7. Thunderstorms. They make me feel elated, they make me want to go and stand outside in the rain with my face upturned to the sky.

8. Wings.

9. Shiny shiny SHINY things.

10. Lingering over coffee and cakes with a friend.

11. Holding hands.

12. Railway stations. Though they sometimes make me sad as well; all the waiting halfway-to-somewhere people...

13. Shoes! Especially my almost-sensible-sized New Rocks, now. I ♥ them so much.

14. Instantaneous (or as near as...) text-based communication. IRC, ytalk, email, SMS.

15. T. S. Eliot

16. Music. So many different types and styles. I can't identify a single unifying factor in the music I like except that it's Good, and I'm sure that's purely subjective.

17. Producing order out of chaos; especially sorting things out, making things work properly, for other people.

18. Candlelight, firelight. Flickering flames.

19. Things that remind me of other things. Smells or sounds or slants of light that suddenly take me back to specific people or occasions or feelings from years ago. Even when the remembered feelings are sad, the memory-connection is usually a good feeling somehow.

20. Driving (or cycling, but it happens less frequently for me on a bike) when it all just flows, when the gear-changes are smooth and seamless and the effort & movement are in perfect equilibrium, and the weather/temperature is just right.

21. Being able to buy nice things for other people.

22. Good food, especially when cooked by someone I love.

23. Making cakes. Decorating cakes, when it works.

24. Being in love as if for the first time.

25. Words, words, words.

26. Poems, song-lyrics, writing of any kind which is just so perfectly constructed that it makes you unable to sit still with excitement, that it makes you want to read it out to anybody who'll stand still long enough.

27. The hush and darkness just before a play starts.

28. The sea.

29. Glacier-fed rivers. (I'm getting a sense of déjà vu with these memes.)

30. Talking to my parents and my sister... sharing irritating family in-jokes.

31. Sex! Everybody seems to concentrate on fluffy innocent things in this kind of "things that make you happy" list, but good sex (physically good and with no emotional trauma attached) makes me happy, dammit. Not going to list specific sexual practices though because it's more about who than how.

32. Those days in spring when you're sure it's nearly summer, and it's warm in the sun but freezing in the shade, and the air is crisp and clear and everything feels like it's about to happen.

33. Finding things I'd forgotten I had (or thought I'd lost).

34. Bouncing up and down to a favourite song on a not-too-crowded dancefloor.

35. Random kindnesses and amusing conversations with strangers.

36. Puns and innuendo (this isn't really cheating by getting two items in one; they're strongly related).

37. Good design, in any context; whether it's fonts that are Just Right, kitchens that are shiny and perfect, cartons that open easily and fold shut sensibly, cars that are just perfectly car-shaped, or whatever. It's all about lines that go in the right direction.

38. Finding points of shared experience, shared cultural context, etc. Somebody else finishing off that obscure song-lyric quote for me, or spotting that reference I made and making another tangential reference. This is a big happy-making thing for me. Makes me insufferably bouncy. "You know that song too!!!! It's my favourite!!!!"

39. Intersections. (Of lines, of experience, of time, of place, of EVERYTHING. Intertwingularity. Lines and lines and lines.)

40. Links between things. Intertextuality; hypertextuality. Interstices. Nodes. Crossroads.

41. Breasts. (Again, it's a curves and lines and good design thing.)

42. Cool water on hot days.

43. Spectacles. (Of the eye-enhancing variety, not the "making a spectacle of oneself" variety. Although a combination of the two might well make me happy.)

44. The words "You have new mail."

45. Well-put-together adverts (the only thing left worth watching on TV).

46. Churches, cathedrals. Vast arches and spires. Ruined abbeys and castles. Particularly when they share a skyline with vast Victorian monuments to the Industrial Revolution: railway stations, chimneys, factories. (Those should probably be another category, but I'm running out of spaces in this list, so I'm cheating.)

47. Masks. Both metaphorical and physical.

48. Rules and limits (because they can be stretched, and broken).

49. A place to call my own; not so much a place I own but a place where I feel at home, a place which I feel can reflect my sense of self (such as it is).

50. Lists.
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