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.
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…
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).
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?