My happiness abounds! All is well. One of the things I’ve loved to do for years is make “Top 10 Lists.” It’s okay if they have more than 10 things on them or—in an emergency—fewer. Here are the ten things that are causing my joy to peak at this moment:
1. My house is crazy clean and organized. From our trip, we returned to the maid-cleaned home, which was awesome, and we easily sorted as we unpacked. But then I had All The Surprise Jobs to do, and a big fat virus in my body, so our space got disorganized again, and the dishes went undone. This morning I woke free and clear, and by noon everything was ship-shape again. Yum!
2. Flowers! Only this summer I figured out that it feels critically important to me to live in a green oasis within a dry climate. Winters, I continue to be surrounded by bright green grass and coniferous trees, which continually boost my spirit. The missing colour of deciduous plants I bring back with a bouquet of cut flowers. In a tiny house, one small bouquet easily fills the space.
3. Releasing. I removed a number of items from my walls that I was no longer needing to reference, and filed them away under ‘Journal.’ All releases increase my sense of breathing space, of relief.
4. Solitude. For the first time in days, I have an hour alone. My son is out for a walk with one of his favourite friends. I am gifted.
5. Books! I seem to be reading all of them?? Before I took up advocacy work, I used to fill my days reading. It’s been many years. I am back to my voracious self, twelve books in three weeks. Thank you, all writers! You create gems.
6. Social plans. A favourite aspect of my trip was being “alone with others.” With others talking, resting, eating, or singing on nearby couches, I read or napped. I often joined in, too, but gosh it fills me to be with others, even silently. This week has been packed, so I’ve opted out of some social opportunities in favour of rest. Tomorrow, though? A day-long “party”, with lots of my favourite social introverts, fellow INFJs, extroverts, and so on.
7. Boundaries. During the peak of crazy stress last week, a neighbour asked how I was. When I told him the truth, he became profoundly silly and dismissive. My anger flared, and I pulled my hand away from his patronizing petting. When I’d processed how his response had impacted me, and how this had been true in similar moments with him, I made a commitment: no interacting with him when I am stressed. He is “nice” but also lacking either in empathy or in an ability to support a person who is experiencing stress. That’s okay! And it’s also okay that I am now choosing to keep our interactions to the polite and superficial. Every time I develop a necessary boundary, my happiness increases.
8. Connection. Through blog comments, visits, emails, shared activities, emailed voicemails, texts, and books, I find so many places in common. People who feel the way I feel, think the way I think. I place a very high value on hanging with people whose beliefs and feelings I don’t share, but boy do I also love me those places of resonance!
9. My kid. He started out great, but I swear that person just gets better and better with time. While he certainly has his moments—just like his mother—he is generally so gentle, peaceful, kind, helpful, and enthusiastic. What a little gem. Hearing his soft speech—his eagerness and his mature effort to stay connected—fills my whole body with peace and gratitude.
10. My bed. My bed journey has been rather involved. My body often prefers sleeping on a hard floor, but my current space isn’t always conducive to that. Yet, my room is so tiny that a normal bed in there frustrates me. A little while ago, I found a cot and decided to test that. It’s GREAT! It puts me at the minimum height I need, is narrow enough to create space in the room, and in a second folds right up into a vertical, rolling device that Roomba appreciates. Best of all, it’s crazy comfy. Through my virus and beyond, I’ve been having ridiculously wonderful sleeps.
Guess how much all of the above has cost me? $10. Ten bucks! For so much happiness! A skookum deal.