A “Betty” follower got me to thinking this morning. What does happiness mean to me? We all have good days and bad days, but what makes me; personally happy? What brings a smile to my face? Of course there is the deep down philosophical “true meaning of happiness”, but I am referring to it being on a simpler level. What turns my day around? What makes me smile when it seems the day is done and all is lost?
So here goes, I am going to shoot for 20 things that turn my day around. Maybe some of them fit into your ideals of a happy day, maybe not. Hopefully you can at least relate with a few of them.
20. A structure fire. Being a firefighter you would think this would rank a little higher up on the “smile” scale. But the fact is someone is having the worst day of their life because of it. If we have done our jobs, we will have saved a majority of the house and belongings. Sometimes there are things beyond our control, we can’t save the house, someone is injured or a dear pet is lost and well that just makes for a horrific event all the way around. But if you see firefighters at the scene of a structure fire and they are smiling, it’s not because they think it is funny. It’s because they have done their jobs very well and are proud they were able to save someones life along with their belongings.
19. Anything Free. Nothing makes me happier than receiving something I need for free! It can turn a crappy day into a very happy one quickly. It also leaves me more inclined to “pay it forward”. Which in turn makes someone elses day “happy”.
18. 10 cents off my fuel at Safeway. At the price of fuel these days (I drive a diesel) 10 cents is always a nice little surprise.
17. When someone holds the door for me at the store. It is a simple courtesy that seems to be fading into history. Gone are the days of being polite in our society out of fear. Fear of being labeled sexist or discriminatory. It is sad really that common courtesy has taken a back seat to societies ideal of being politically correct.
16. Beer on sale. Enough said…..
15. Getting to sleep in. With our very busy lifestyle, sleeping in is a rarity. We are up at 5:30 every morning and I can’t seem to fall asleep until after midnight. My schedule at work is not much better, where I can run two-five calls between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am.
14. Watching my friends laugh at something stupid I have done. It doesn’t matter who you are if you can’t laugh at yourself then you need therapy.
13. Picking my kids up from school. Some would say this should also rank a little higher, but the fact is, stopping everything you are doing to drive 10 miles into town and pick up one, to then wait 45 minutes to pick up the other three can be tedious. Yet they always greet me with a smile. I always ask them about their day, and we always end up laughing in the truck as we drive around running errands.
12. Kids art. I love, love, love it! When one of my children spends time to draw something just for me! It shows they were thinking about me while I was gone, and their expression through the almighty crayon never ceases to amaze me.
11. A clean house. A clean house can completely turn my day around. An hour or two in the morning of hard work and organization feels very rewarding when you are finished. It doesn’t matter that is will be completely destroyed when everyone gets home. It’s just nice to know it looked that way for a little while.
10. Fishing. I used to spend a lot of time and effort tournament fishing. It is fun and very rewarding! The time spent alone on some of the most beautiful waterways known to man is really quite energizing. Catching a few fish as well is like icing on the cake!
09. Attending any school, sport or after school activity that one of my children are participating in. I love watching my oldest play in the high school band. The middle child amazes me at his horsemanship skills, they are rapidly improving and to see him handle multiple animals with ease has to empowering for him. The youngest boy and girl are starting baseball/softball this year! There is going to be one proud father in the stands cheering for his littlest people!
08. That very first hot cup of coffee in the morning. The second one is never as good as the first.
07. When my kids tell me dinner was great! I love to cook and nothing brings a smile to my face faster than four happy little bellies.
05. My Horse Cassie. My horse is an extension of me. She is who I hang out with on my days off. She takes me places and allows me to ride her in competitions! She likes to work hard and play hard too. Our family has five horses I like them all but I look forward to seeing her everyday! She makes me smile. There’s nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse. – Ronald Reagan
04. My dogs. Jack, Blitz, Cooper and even my oldest sons dog Cricket. Dogs are the true goodwill ambassadors for the human race. It doesn’t matter how crappy of a day you have had, your dog is always over the top happy to see you!
03. A hug. The power of the hug is highly underrated in my book! If I am having a horrible day a hug almost always turns it around. I am not talking about one of those patronizing hugs either. I am referring to a good old-fashioned I am there for you my brother type of hug!
02. Chocolate chip cookies. Oh hell chocolate of any kind! I crave it and when I don’t have any chocolate during the day I can become rather grumpy. But one cookie or even a piece of chocolate candy and I am singing in the rain like Gene Kelly!
01. Watching my wife sleep. There is something primitive about wanting to watch over your spouse. She doesn’t need the protection, we aren’t out in the wild, but there is something very gratifying about knowing you are there in case she needs you in the middle of the night.
So there it is, 20 things that make me happy. They may not be in the exact position of importance, but they are close. Writing this made me happy? HHMMMM where does that fall into line?