I felt like a making a list of things that make me happy. Random, huh? Mainly because I think I need a reminder. Here are several things that make me happy, in no particular order:
Chocolate. I think I eat a little bit of chocolate every day. Usually dark or semisweet, rarely milk or white. But recently, my father got some chocolate as a present from the church for Father’s day… it’s some really sweet milk chocolate that has strawberry yogurt as filling. It’s rather too sweet for me, but I love the strawberry yogurt. It’s a very nice touch.
I have many fond memories associated with chocolate. During my freshman year of college, some kind person left a box of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate truffles on the table in the student lounge of the music department. According to the chair of the department, food left unattended in the music lounge is fair game. Apparently, whoever left it must have meant to leave a small treat for the hardworking musicians and professors, because no one ever came to look for it.
Lots of other people in the department are chocolate lovers, as evidenced by the speed at which the chocolate disappeared. I had several truffles myself, and became really hyper.
Books. Especially authors who have the power to use their words to inspire, encourage, and captivate readers. My favorite genres are fantasy and science fiction, and I greatly admire the imagination that goes into really good world-building. (Star Wars, anyone?)
I also have a special softness for retold fairy tales. A new favorite is the German fairy tale Maid Maleen (princess is locked up in a tower for refusing to marry the man her father wants her to marry because she loves someone else) as retold in Shannon Hale’s Book of a Thousand Days. The characters are well drawn, and Hale puts an unique take on the story by setting it somewhere in Mongolia instead of Europe. The story is told from the viewpoint of the princess’s maid, first person, and set in diary entries. Shannon Hale illustrated the book herself. The ending has a unique twist.
I enjoyed this book very much, even though I wanted to wring Lady Saren’s (the princess) neck throughout it. I loved Dashti, the maid’s, practical outlook on the situation, her loyalty to Lady Saren even though her lady was a much weaker person, and her courageous efforts to remedy Lady Saren’s depression and discouragement. And the romance? So perfect.
Good food. Recently, my mom has been trying to make me learn how to cook. I’m all open to it and everything, but I feel so dumb and clumsy. A few years ago, I badly cut my pinky finger when trying to chop broccoli, and the trauma was enough to make me avoid big knives and vegetables for a good, long time.
I have cooked two full meals, and I am happy to say that I have been successful. I have not cooked myself, cut myself, or spilled anything on myself. My family has eaten my cooking, and they have not died. In fact, they have enjoyed it, without the aid of any extra “sauces” or “seasonings” to enhance the eating experience. (Hey, this broccoli actually tastes awfully good with this mustard!)
I like eating good food that has been prepared well.
I just hope that my family does not get tired of eating chicken.
That feeling of getting something right after struggling over it for a long time. When I write or play the piano, I occasionally run into blocks. My fingers cannot play a complicated passage of music, or I cannot find a way to say something so that it doesn’t sound stilted, and I get frustrated. However, if I keep trying, I might just get it right. It might take me a few days or a few weeks, but the feeling when I finally get it right is wonderful. It might take simply leaving the piece or the essay alone for a while, or it might take reading it over and over again and practicing it over and over again. Either way, whichever works.
Hot chocolate on a cold day. Ahhh…
What makes you happy?
To be continued…