75. Trampolines. Little is more wonderful than jumping on a trampoline in the cool night air. It is freeing to feel so unlimited by gravity as though one is playing a trick on her. It is like trying to fly away, and almost making it, but gravity, reaches up before I get to far and sticks to me like glue and pulls me back into her rubbery arms…only for me to try the same escape again. For one brief moment, I am not a slave to gravity, but gravity’s friend.
76. Riding grocery carts through the aisles and down the road to the car (when it’s clear!)
77. When people share secret things about themselves with me. Sometimes people don’t share a verbal secret, but rather a secret side of themselves with me. I love connecting with people. I love when people open up to me and let me see inside their minds.
78. My family. I mentioned things that I like to do with them, but I didn’t mention that their mere existence makes me happy and I feel deeply happy to be a part of my mixed-up, crazy family.
79. Everyday superheros who do all they can to change the world!
80. Ice Skating. I learned how to ice skate when I was a very little kid. I love the way that my blade cuts through the ice as I go soaring through an arena that has that very specific ice rink smell and the cool air fills my lungs and the 90’s music fills my ears.
81. Old photographs of myself, family, friends, and strangers. I like the aesthetics of old photographs. I like looking at how the world used to be. I like knowing that the photograph has limitations and imagining how a scene was before someone decided to photograph it, or what happened next, or what lingered beyond the sight of the camera. I especially like looking at people in the background of photographs, people who didn’t know that they were being photographed. I like seeing glimpses of what people are/were like when they thought no one was looking.
82. Riding a bicycle. I taught myself to ride a bicycle recently (it was one of my 43things goals) and I am proud of myself that I am able to do it.
83. Coming to like someone who I used to dislike. And, someone coming to like me who used to dislike me. I like finding that I am wrong. I like getting to know someone, peeling away their layers and seeing who they are and finding that I like them more for it.
84.Accidental masterpieces. I like making a mistake and having that mistake turn out to be something beautiful… I even like the word “serendipity,” which means a happy accident. I love how perspective changes something from an accident to a masterpiece or great fortune.
85. Eating long, delicious meals while having great conversations and not worrying about how much time is passing by.
86. Beginnings. Fresh starts, standing on the precipice untainted and new, a blank canvases for me to create… I like beginnings. I like standing and before that aforementioned blank canvas and knowing that anything is possible.
87. Japanese school children teaching me how to ride a unicycle! Japanese school children and unicycles make me happy on their own but when combined WHOOSH! extra genki happiness points!
88. Bicycling at night in the rain and singing “I’m SINGING in the rain” very loudly whilst doing so. It d makes what feels like a bad situation seem magical and wonderful and great. I didn’t get stuck in the rain on my bike, no, I was lucky to be able to be able to ride my bike in the rain! The rain is refreshing and it’s freeing to be so vulnerable and exposed to the elements and to still be able to sing.
89. The feeling of a bicycle tire slicing through a puddle of water
90. Japanese Enkais (parties) with my co-workers. I like the tradition that you do not pour for yourself—- someone else must pour for you. What a great way to encourage people to get up and walk around the room to talk to one another. It’s the perfect excuse to talk to someone whom you might not otherwise talk to. “Oh, your drink looks like it needs refilling! What are you drinking?” And then the conversation can continue to flow on from there. I got up and offered drinks to almost everyone.
91. That “aha” or “eureka” moment when you learn a new word or phrase in a language and are able to use it in conversation or read it or recognize when another person uses it! The same goes for seeing other people have eureka moments. And, my oh my, it is glorious when two people trying to communicate using two different languages finally understand one another! I like any moment where I feel as though I better understand the world.
92. Pandora Radio—I like that it opens up new music to me based on what I already like AND I like its namesake. I love the idea that opening up one idea leads to another and another. But I do not think it is evil to open up new ideas. On the contrary, I think it’s necessary to make a better and more understanding world for us all to live in.
93. Greek Mythology (and the mythologies of other cultures too!) I think seeing how others see the world gives us great insight into their culture and into ourselves. The past was surprisingly not too different from our present. I like that in Greek Mythology, the gods are quite fallible. They are basically just humans with a lot of power, and so of course, they abuse that power and cause great harm in the process. We are the gods of Greek lore. We have a lot of power and we abuse it.
94. That feeling of experiencing something that is too beautiful to capture in words or in photos. That awe of just being alive and wanting to share that awe. Being so consumed by that awe that it makes you weep. The feeling of standing on a mountaintop or cliff above the clouds and looking down at the Earth below. Or the feeling of love. Or looking up at the night sky. That feeling of being at one with the universe and knowing that even when everything is not okay, when there is terror in the world, there is still beauty in the world. I wish I could capture that awe and put it in a bottle for when I need it.
95. Pushing myself to do something incredibly difficult and then feeling that sense of accomplishment, completeness, and relief when the task is complete.
96. Writing, listening to music, or just thinking in a windowsill high above the city. Poised to potentially fall and thus more alert and aware of my surroundings. The cool wind on my face. The gentle sway of my leg. The sounds and smells of city rushing to tell me about themselves, shouting, “write about me! I’m here.”
97. Absurdist, Expressionism, and Surrealist plays. I love experimental theatre. I think it’s jarring because it’s so strange, yet it tells us so much about who we are. I think it reminds us how truly strange life is.
98. Metaphors. The devices that we use to give meaning to our lives! I love metaphors and other figurative language. I don’t think there is any inherent meaning in the world. I think it’s something we create, so metaphors and language help us create that meaning by helping us to understand the complexity of our thoughts and by creating a vehicle through which we can share the complexity of our thoughts with other people.
99. Vegan pizza and bread. I really like bread.
100. Ichi-go ichi-e. It is a Japanese phrase that translates roughly to “each encounter is a once in a lifetime encounter” or “never again will this moment be the same.” Each moment that we share with someone only happens once and we only have one time to do it right. The concept is linked with the transient nature of life. This is it! We must make each moment count, because that one moment as it stands in time will never happen again. It makes me appreciate each moment and each encounter with someone, because they are all special. Each moment was forged in the primordial ooze and shaped by each and every moment that would follow. The moment before us came to us through years of toil and we must not throw it away with the hope that another will come along. Each and every time we encounter someone, that encounter is a living breathing being that will die away as soon as the encounter ends.
Now that I’ve completed this list, I can look back at all of the things that make me happy. It took me longer than I originally intended, but now it has touches of Japan, so perhaps waiting was not such a bad thing after all. This list will always be growing (I hope!), so it will be shaped by all the wonderful people and places and experiences that touch my life. 2 months ago