40 Things I Love
It wasn’t easy.
I mean, I can come up with a list of 40 things I hate in my sleep. But a saccharine-sweet catalog of happiness? Blech.
I put the challenge off for a few days before finally jotting down some ideas. And I have to admit, once I tackled it, I felt grateful. I suppose it’s nice to reflect on the good stuff now and then.
So, here’s my take on the latest listicle going around. In no particular order, 40 things I love are…
1. My mom. Technically this one is in order. Since she, you know, made me and all, it’s only fair she gets top spot on the list.
2. My husband, for being the most insanely cool, supportive guy in the world. And he’s a pretty kick-ass father, to boot.
3. My son and his unique observations.
4. Ani DiFranco’s music, which has kept me sane for 25 years.
5. Hysterically funny, completely random, unexpected texts from my girlfriends.
6. A hot cup of tea with milk and sugar.
7. Reading — books, magazines, whatever I can get my hands on.
8. Writing. At least, when it goes well.
9. Reading about writing.
10. ‘80s music — the cheesier, the better.
11. Smart, witty, poetic, so-good-they-make-it-look-easy song lyrics. (One of my favorites: The early cars/Already are/Drawing deep breaths past my door/And last night’s phrases/Sick with lack of basis/Are still writhing on my floor)
12. See’s Candies butterscotch squares.
13. My husband’s cooking. He loves to cook, I hate to cook. He’s great at it, I’m terrible at it. He hates doing dishes, I’m happy to do them. If ours isn’t a perfect union, I don’t know what is.
14. Binge watching great TV — the kind of TV where it’s so good you wish the scripts were novels so you could highlight each delicious piece of dialogue. Shows like Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, The Americans, Mad Men, The Wire. Shows you watch multiple episodes of in a row because stopping after one is just not possible.
15. Having my cat Fredo (named after a Corleone brother, obvs) curled up in my lap while binge watching great TV.
16. Date nights with my husband. Getting out of the house now and then to reconnect without screens in our faces is kind of important.
17. Snuggling on the recliner and watching a movie with the kiddo. It’s only a matter of time before he’ll be too big to fit on my lap, so I have to enjoy it while I can.
18. Almond butter smeared all over apple slices. It’s the late night snack that keeps me from eating too much of #12.
19. My journals, which have seen me through every up and down since the age of 9.
20. That amazing high brought on by tough, sweaty workouts — especially the ones I really didn’t want to do but pushed through anyway.
21. Live concerts. I don’t go to many nowadays, though I still manage to see Ani DiFranco (see #4) every time she rolls through town.
22. Post-it notes. I don’t think I’d remember to do anything without them.
23. Fat, fluorescent yellow Sharpie highlighters.
24. Checking things off my to-do list.
25. Deleting emails from my In-box.
26. Baking cookies, cupcakes, muffins, and cakes, which I don’t do much of because I’m inevitably the one who ends up eating all of it.
27. Watching the Kids Baking Championship with my son, which is a healthy alternative to actually baking.
28. Family vacations with no emails or calendar reminders or even writing on the agenda.
29. Upstate New York sunsets.
30. The opening day of our backyard pool.
31. Slow, lazy Sundays with no plans.
32. My migraine meds, without which I probably wouldn’t be writing right now.
33. Christmas morning.
34. The end of August through early January, a time of year that includes my favorite holidays, a whole slew of family birthdays (including mine), autumn, winter and, most importantly, the start of the school year.
35. The amazing writers on Medium.com.
36. This song, which makes me nearly bawl every time I hear it.
37. Hot, slow, stretched-out summer days that start with no real plans and end with dinner cooked on the backyard grill.
39. Salads. Veggie salads, Caesar salads, fruit salads, you name it.
40. Not knowing what’s coming next.