A Few of My Favorite Things

Periodically, I find myself giving in to one of those crazy human peculiarities to complain.  About my hair.  About my kids.  About my weight.  About the fact that the world seems to be going to Hell in a handbasket.  You know, that sort of thing. 

It used to be I really didn’t notice when I was getting on one of these kicks.  My husband was the one who finally woke me up to the fact that I was pretty miserable to those around me during one of my “moods.”  Guess what?  Now I have a teenage daughter and the tables have turned. (Mom, if you read this, let me just tell you now: I’m incredibly, deeply sorry.)

It may seem simplistic and trite, but I have a couple things I’ve started doing to jolly myself out of “the mean reds.” I either think about folks who have it way worse than me (such as children with life-threatening diseases or the poor people in the fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico) or think about or do something I love.  Today, I prefer to dwell on the latter. 

Now if only I could get my teenager to understand this….

So, here are a few of my favorite things, not in any particular order, just as they occur to me.

 Reading.  There’s nothing better than reading a book.  It can be an escape or to learn something new.  Kind of obvious for someone who aspires to be a novelist, I know.  But this is my list.  If you don’t like it, go make one of your own!  Right now, I’ve been on a Charlaine Harris streak.  I started out with her Sookie Stackhouse books and I only have the latest one left to read (sigh), so I’m pacing myself by trying her Harper Connelly series (not as good, IMO, but interesting in its own way).  I’ve read most genres over the years, but my main love is something with the paranormal or magic or parallel universes or something like that.  

Getting away with my husband.  Just the two of us.  I really, really like that our kids are old enough now that we can do this.

Spending time with my family.  I like going places with my family: day trips or even just shopping.  I don’t have a job outside the home.  I do the bookkeeping for my husband’s auto repair business and I write.  Solitary pursuits, obviously.  And because my husband’s business is on our property, customers tend to stop by at anytime (I’m not complaining, it’s just the nature of the business).  All good reasons to get outta Dodge once in a while. 

Writing.  Well, ok, sometimes it’s NOT my favorite thing.  But there’s something about it that has wrapped around my heart and mind.  If I don’t write, I think about it.

People with a good sense of humor and love of the absurd.  The two things that first attracted me to my husband.  Later, it was his confidence, and his stories, and his beard (I’m a sucker for facial hair), and… 

Halloween.  My absolute favorite holiday.  I love the fun of the scare, the creepy, the macabre.  I had to tone it down for years for my kids, but my older daughter now shares in this love.  A few years ago, I started a yard haunt that we add to each year.  My husband joined in and his fabricating expertice has added immensely to the haunt.

Watching movies.  Particularly movies that take me to some far away place and/or time:  Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Sound of Music, Gladiator, Lord of the Rings, Pride and Prejudice (has to be the Colin Firth version), Star Wars (the original trilogy), The Fifth Element, etc. etc.  Honestly, we could be here all day. 

Listening to Music.  I love music, no matter what mood I’m in.  Rock, classical, celtic,  big band, some country, latin…

Watching the sky.  Sunrises, sunsets, clouds, the moon, the stars, good weather and bad.  It calms me.

Lightning bugs in the dark.  I used to love to chase them when I was a child.

The sound of cicadas on a summer day.

Thunderstorms.  The light show and the earth-shattering booms and me tucked up with a good book.

Cats.  I love their independence, when they “bump” up against you, when they just about drool and fall over when you find “the spot,” and I can’t help but laugh when they get in a snit and flip you the tail.

Fruit pies.  While I like cake and cookies, pies are my all-time favorite, particularly sour cherry, apple, raspberry, lemon, blueberry…..

The smell of the air when the seasons change.  Maybe it’s just me, but I love the smell of the air summer turns into autumn and winter turns into spring.  Of course, I’m also lucky enough to live in an area that isn’t polluted (I don’t think).

Flowers.  Give me a wild, naturalized garden and I’m happy.  I may be sneezing, but I adore the colors and textures. 

Being near water.  There’s just something about the sound of water running in a stream or a river or lapping at a shore that gives me a sense of utter peace.

Ok.  I see where this is going (into the sunset and beyond, I’m thinking…), so I’m going to cut it off here. 

Come on, play along:  What do you do or think about to shake off the blues?  What are some of your favorite things?


8 comments on “A Few of My Favorite Things

  1. Much like you, I turn to reading, writing and watching movies to shake off the blues. My cats are wonderful at cheering me up, too. And I’ve found when I turn to my “I’m Thankful For…” journal page I’m able to get centered and focused on what’s important and what I have instead of whatever started to darken my day. It’s all in our perception and how we choose to react. Great post!


  2. Diane says:

    Mmmm! Mind mapping? I love reading good books with a positive attitude and hope for the future. And writing, of course. 🙂


    • ekcarmel says:

      Good ones!

      I need to do more mind mapping than I actually do – I’m realizing quite a bit of my plot lately seems to be made up of cliches.


  3. Thanks for posting on my blog, and thanks for this post! It’s always good to be reminded of the little joys in life, particularly when you’re feeling down.


  4. amkuska says:

    Aww, I’m the only big grump in the group. I harumph my way to a coffee shop and settle in with my bad mood and a good notebook. I thrash it all out in a notebook, and leave. Sometimes better, sometimes worse. >_>


    • ekcarmel says:

      Hi, amkuska. I’m all for whatever works. There are definitely times when I’ve found that vomiting all the nastiness into my journal kept me sane and saved my marriage in the process. But then there are other times when it just seems to make me angrier. I hate those times. Usually, I end up apologizing when the dust settles. And on that pleasant thought…

      Thanks for stopping in!


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