August 11, 2009

It's All About the Small Things

The following are things that bring small bursts of satisfaction in life, thus making the world better:

1. Finishing a book. Oh sweet mercy. I just love reading and getting to the point where you've read more of the book than you've not read, and then you've read three quarters. And then you can see the end in sight. And I love when I get to the last page and I have to use a sheet of paper to cover up the rest of the text on the page, so I don't accidentally see the last sentence before I get to it. And then, and then, I read the final sentence, close the book one last time, and it's finished.

2. Wearing new shoes. Don't you just feel more confident in a new pair of shoes? You walk taller and even the shirt you're wearing, the one you've owned for five years, feels newer and brighter. It's like on the first day of school, when you're loaded down with a new backpack, notebooks and pencils, and the all-important new outfit. But the outfit would not be complete without the new pair of shoes. Shoes that are so white they hurt your eyes to look directly at them. Or ballet flats that are still a little stiff, but totally worth the blisters.

3. Getting to your destination faster than Mapquest or Google said you would. This one is certainly silly, but don't you feel like you've accomplished something when it takes less time than Google said it would? It's like you've stuck it to The Man in some small way. Ha! You said 90 minutes and it took me 80! Take that computer-generated directions!

4. Super friendly employees. This is another random one, but I just love going to a restaurant or grocery store and the wait staff or cashier is friendly and talkative and seems to enjoy their job. It's just rare to meet people like that and it makes me wish I were super wealthy so I could give them an enormous tip.

5. Remembering a musician you'd forgotten. There's just so much good music out there (and no, the radio is not playing most of it―so turn it off and start scouring the internet. Start with All Songs Considered on NPR.), so I occasionally completely forget about a musician or group until I randomly see something about them. For example, I completely forgot how much I enjoy Elbow's music until I saw they opened for Coldplay a week or so ago. Or I'll put iTunes on shuffle and suddenly be taken back to college and my love for one of the Bens (Ben Harper, Ben Lee and Ben Kweller). Love it.

6. Great weddings photos. I love weddings and everything about them, but especially the photos. My friends own their own photography business and every once in a while I'll go to their site to see what's new. A couple weeks ago my friends got married and their photographers did an absolutely amazing job. I was blown away by their photos. I just love seeing two people completely in love and their friends and family that have come to celebrate with them. With so much unhappiness and restlessness in the world, it's always nice to take a break and look at unbridled love.

7. Unexpected phone calls from friends. I'm kind of forgetful sometimes about how many great friends I have. This usually happens when I've spent too much time by myself and haven't had enough person-to-person interaction. So whenever I'm feeling this way, it's always a pleasant reminder to receive a phone call from a friend who just wants to see how I'm doing. I should be better about calling people just to talk, but I'm as awkward on the phone as a cat at a AKC dog show.

What about you? What are some of your bits of happiness?

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