Monday, December 17, 2012

The Best Things In The World

Around Christmas I find myself a bit panicky at the amount of STUFF that comes into this house. There are four of us, three of which are grimly determined pack-rats, and our house isn't very big. The result is that I live in constant clutter, and that makes me a bit crazy. So I try to focus on the things that I really like, that make my life happy. And most of those things aren't things at all:

  • SLEEP. Man, is there anything, anything better than going to sleep? There's the drifty, floaty feeling after putting your head down on the pillow, the rolling over in the middle of the night to realize you still have hours, or the Sunday morning dozing where you slip in and out of conciousness while surfing the contents of your head. Sleep is my number one drug.
  • BABIES. The smell insanely delicious, their skin in like the warmest, softest satin and they have little corn-niblet toes that are the cutest things ever made. Plus, when they smile, that's your day, right there.
  • HOT SHOWERS. I think the single greatest accomplishment of the Twentieth Century is indoor plumbing, and hot running water in abundance is the greatest thing about indoor plumbing. Being clean is one of the best feelings ever (note: the shower you take after a camping trip or a day at the beach.), but the delight of stepping into that steamy shower is not to be taken for granted.
  • YOUR OWN BED. Really, doesn't everyone want to be home? And isn't home what's familiar and comfortable and safe and cozy? And isn't your bed all those things? I love to travel, but snuggling down into my own bed after a trip has to be one of the best things ever.
  • A GOOD BOOK. I love it when I get a book that is so good that I think about it when I'm not reading it, and can't wait to get back to it. (Preferably IN MY OWN BED.) No matter what is going on in my life, I can always count on a good book to give me perspective, make me think, educate me or simply entertain me long enough to forget my own problems. Books are indispensible.
  • SUNSHINE We live in a part of the world that gets a fair bit of cloudy weather, and boy oh boy, when the sun does come out? It's like everyone got a shot of Happy. You can see the collective mood lift and it is a serious game changer. Sunshine is nature's Prozac.
  • LAUGHTER One time, a client remarked on the Christmas decorations in the salon to the Mister by saying "I really like your balls". Which, at the time, made us all run into the staff room, where we laughed so hard I thought I might pass out. And then one of us would catch the other's eye and we'd be off again like a bunch of lunatics. We laughed all day about that.  A good, gut-busting, loud and honest belly laugh is one of the best things ever.
  • HUGS. Last year, when my father was very ill, and things were at their worst,  my good friend Big Liver Girl came over with some homemade soup and bread and gave me a full-body, rib-cracking, back-and-forth swaying hug. It was wonderful. It was comfort and care and acknowlegment and sympathy and  love, all in one package. How can you beat that? My friend Blair could hug as her day job, she's so good at it.
  • MUSIC. Few things in this world are as remarkable as music. Happy? There's a song for that. Sad? We've got that covered. It's a particular season or occasion? No problem. The possibilities are, literally, endless. And I'm willing to wager you have a song running through your head right now.
  • TAKING OFF YOUR SKI BOOTS. If you ski, you'll know exactly what I mean. If you don't, let me explain....You put on your ski boots in the morning out for a day on the slopes, and you dont' take them off until you are finished. Ski boots are heavy, and they don't bend at the ankle, so you clomp around all day in the equivient of bowling balls on your feet, looking and sounding like the Incredible Hulk. When you take those heavy, sweaty, rigid boots off, it feels like you are walking about 3 inches above the ground, and you are about to float away altogether. Plus, your ankles bend now, so getting something off the ground is not the production it was earlier.
  • CLEAN I hate cleaning, but man, do I love stuff clean. When I clean a closet or a room, I have to go back into it a couple of times and just admire my efforts and how fabulous it looks.
None of these things are particularly remarkable or out of the ordinary, but they make me the happiest. And maybe because they are not particularly remarkable or out of the ordinary, that's why they make me happy.

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