I’m a list maker. A note taker. A sometime journaler. A writer in the margins. Scraps of thoughts. A wisp of an idea. The tinkle of a phrase or whisper of a word. I write them all down.
This is the summer of new adventures. I’m driving down roads I’ve never been down before. Exploring. Growing. Getting down to the basics of living a full life. Good health. Gratitude. Beauty. And happiness there for the noticing. Ah. The noticing.
Happiness, I’ve discovered, is not some designated point on the timeline of my life, some ultimate destination, or final achievement. It arrives in single moments – simple moments – and I’ve learned how important it is to be paying attention.
What makes me happy in the course of a single day?
Depends on the day of course. The season. Me. Responsibilities. What happys me one day is circumstantial to the life I’m living right there and then. Such moments pass quickly, easily-forgotten, and replaced by the next, newest, present breath, vision, or feeling.
Which is why I’m keeping a list.
For me, happiness is all wrapped up with a bow of gratitude, so maybe a happiness list is a lot like a gratitude list, but whatever I call it, I want to be sure my days, my newest adventures, and the smallest, happiest moments of my life are recognized and recorded.
Like a child emptying my pockets of treasures at the end of the day, here’s the happy list from just one afternoon in Vermont:
- the lush green of trees bordering a hiking trail
- the sound of rushing water
- still pond reflections
- a forest floor full of ferns dappled by sunlight
- the smell of just mowed hay
- sun on my face
- Vermont’s state colors: verdant green, the deepest sky blue, barn red, and crisp, white clouds
- the curve of fence posts up toward the horizon
- baby sheep
- curtains billowed by the breeze
I want to live a wonder-full life, awestruck and gratitude filled. Celebrating the regular alongside the unfamiliar and unexpected. Using all of my senses to experience the day I’m living right this very minute. Breathing deeply. Smiling. And satisfied.
What’s on your list?