Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Being Happy

If you've ever wondered why I sometimes dress like a high school punk rocker with lace-up boots and leather jackets, it's because I'm making up for the time I lost as a teenager.  Really, you can blame my parents.  They sent me to a private high school, which meant plaid uniform skirts, knee highs, and so God help you if your shoes aren't black.

And yes, like any self-respecting private high school population, we divided ourselves into very distinct cliques.  Back then, I didn't know which one was the "cool kid" clique... which I realize now meant that it wasn't mine.

My "clique" mostly included four girls (me and my three best friends) and a various assortment of boys that called themselves the "LOB" (league of boys).  The LOB focused primarily on poker, beer pong, Halo, and being generally committed to LOB life in general.  (I believe one of them actually has LOB tattooed on one of his butt cheeks.  That might also just be rumor, but I never asked to find out.)

Before you go thinking that I spent my teenage years gambling and drinking, I should probably clarify why we spent so much time with the LOB: my best friend was one half of a boy/girl twin set, the other half being a member of the LOB.

We were good friends with the LOB, but while the boys played poker, we sat in the corner of the room using Microsoft's text-to-speech robot, Anna, to robotically narrate the game.  (The boys never found this quite as amusing as we did.)  When the boys were playing Halo, we were petting whichever household pet was available.  While the boys were tattooing LOB on their butts, our butts remained untouched.

The point is that my high school experience was a lot different than what I'm assuming is the norm.  The reason for that I believe is that my friends and I were weird.  And not in a cute, Taylor Swift music video sort of way.  More like a running into each other with stability balls for fun sort of weird.

I'm writing about this  because I just recently came across physical evidence of my weird past.  You see, one of our favorite things to do was to write lists of things that made us happy.  That wouldn't be so weird if the lists included things like piƱa coladas, Justin Timberlake, or getting caught in the rain.

But that's not the type of list I wrote.  No, the list I found the other day ended in "general chemistry" and "cream based soups."  (Although I guess you have to give me credit for specificity.)

But despite my oddly specific soup particularities, finding that list made me happy, due both to what was on it and remembering the girl who made it.

So for old time's sake, I thought I'd put together another short little list of things that bring joy into my life.  Maybe in five or ten years, I'll put down that stability ball, read this list, and smile.

25 Small Things that Make Life Happier

1.   Cream based soups  (I mean really, I was right there.)
2.   Waking up on Saturday and knowing you can go back to sleep
3.   Fresh out of the oven biscuits
4.   Snail mail
5.   Driving with the windows open
6.   Getting to the bus stop right as the bus pulls up
7.   Reading a good book by the pool
8.   The moment your waitress comes out with your food
9.   An unexpected "I love you"
10. An opportunity to order something on a pretzel roll
11. An uninterrupted nap
12. An excuse to use crayons (if you need an excuse)
13. Dinner with your family
14. Taking a shower after a run
15. Babies (except when they're crying or pooping)
16. Coming home to a clean apartment
17. Wine with friends
18. Reaching 0 in the inbox
19. Sunday mornings. The whole thing.
20. Someone playing with your hair (even more so when you know the person)
21. That slightly sunburned feeling after a long day at the beach
22. Watching a movie when it's raining outside
23. Empanadas
24. Going to Michael's
25. A good cup of tea, a book, and nowhere to be

Happy Hump Day.
Smile; you'll never be as awkward as you were in high school.

Want more tea? Have a second cup!
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