10 Things That Make Me Happy

It’s no secret I haven’t been doing great lately. The ole depression is kicking me really hard in the head lately, and I’ve been struggling a lot with feeling “normal”. As I’m trying to learn, “normal” is really only a dryer setting, and should never be used to measure one’s own sanity.

In order to work on the positive in my life, as opposed to wallowing, I made a list. 10 things that made me happy, or provided tiny joys in my life. Here we go.


#1 – Sunflowers

Lord have mercy, I love sunflowers. I’ve determined that the sunflower just might be my favorite flower on the whole planet of earth. Sunflowers make me feel fresh and clean and hopeful. I want to press them to my cheek and close my eyes and drift. Far far far away. I think of clean white dresses and sunhats and laughing. Swinging on an old wooden swing under a huge oak tree, the wind whipping my hair back and forth, back and forth.

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#2 – Books

Specifically books by Jamie Wright, Lisa Gungor, and Rachel Held Evans. I just finished Jamie’s book, The Very Worst Missionary, and I laughed my head off, cried a bit, and then laughed some more. Growing up as a missionary kid, I found her book so refreshingly accurate. I just ordered Lisa Gungor’s book, The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Seen, and I’m so excited to read it. She talks about her life, struggle with God, being a mom, and social justice. After listening to an interview with her on the Liturgists about her book, I’m smitten. Enveloped. Itching. Desperate to read it.

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#3 – Baking

Baking makes me happy. Specifically cookies that come from old recipes. There’s a recipe I have that was my grandmother’s. Her Sugar and Spice cookies were to die for, and whenever I bake them, I think about what it would have been like to bake them with her, side by side in our aprons. I think about how we would talk about life while we waited for the cookies to come out of the oven, and laugh together as we sprinkled each cookie with powdered sugar. I think about her often.

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#4 – Fresh Dyed Hair

I’ve realized, working at camp, that I love talking about hair dye. People end up asking me all kinds of questions about hair dye and how to take care of it. And I can talk for hours. I love dying my hair and others peoples hair, and there’s something incredibly calming about taking someone’s hair (including my own) and transforming it into a beautiful rainbow. I love having dyed hair. It takes me from being a plain Jane and turns me into a mermaid or a fairy. I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked if I’m a magical creature by a random kid in Goodwill or Walmart. It’s the best feeling in the world.

#5 – Plants

Basil and mint and sage and rosemary. And succulents and cacti and aloe. I want all the plants. SO. VERY. BADLY. But as it was pointed out to me recently, I’m going to be moving soon, and it would be unwise at this time to go on a plant rampage and buy a whole slew of new ones. So I am impatiently waiting until a couple of months from now when I can get some new plants and some fun planters. And I’m planning on planting sunflowers wherever we move to next (refer to #1)


#6 – Abandoned Buildings

This should be no shocker. There’s something about searching through an old building that makes me feel like I’ve stepping into a completely different world. Like I’m stepping into a time machine and get to see and feel and touch the things that used to be so beautiful and perfect so long ago. I’ve already done three posts on abandoned buildings, and I promise there will be more to come.

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#7 My Bullet Journal

I’ve talked about it before, but my BuJo is the best. I feel more in control of my daily life (I promise I’ll be writing a post about my problems with control soon…. I just need to get my thoughts onto paper-errr I mean screen…), and have a chance to incorperate a little bit of art into every day. I feel organized and smart and aware of everything from planning my week to keeping track of my spending.


#8 Getting Mail

Even if it’s a subscription product, or something I ordered myself, I always love getting things in the mail. It brightens up my day so much. I subscribe to a monthly makeup bag, and getting that bag (even though I’m the one who ordered it) is the best non-surprise ever! I also love getting handwritten stuff in the mail (which I’ve talked about before here). I get emails all the time, but they don’t match up to getting real, in your hand, out of your mailbox, mail.

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#9 Fun Mugs and a Good Cup of Tea

Sometimes you just need a good cup of tea. Or caramel hot chocolate. And drinking it from a odd shaped mug is the best. Some of my favorite mugs are the weird ones; the fun ones. I’m also just obsessed with fun teas. I love steeping tea leaves, and I feel fancy when I get to use a teapot instead of just a electric kettle. I have this glass teapot that I just adore. It makes me feel fancy.

#10 Musicals

Specifically Next to Normal, Hamilton, and Wicked. If you ever take a trip with Chesh and I, we will play all the musicals. There will be no place for you to run, no place to hide. And we will sing ALL. THE. SONGS. at the top of our lungs. Including the falsetto in ‘Defying Gravity‘. I’m a huge theater geek (fun fact: I was this close to going to KSU for a theater major) and the stories and characters of Broadway make me so incredibly happy.

Well. There you go. All ten things. This was actually rather hard to stick to only ten. Here are some honorable mentions that didn’t get into the list:

  • The works of Johannes Vermeer, specifically The Milkmaid
  • Swimming
  • A heavy rain
  • Buns (bunnies not butts)
  • Hammocking
  • Having a clean house/kitchen
  • Wearing my mermaid tail and having small children asking if I’m a mermaid. (This one actually should have made it onto the list. I love using it as a way to talk about how important it is to take care of our lakes and oceans. Also having a little girl staring at you in awe is just magical.)


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