Weird things that make me happy

I recently read the blog post “Embrace Whatever Makes You Happy (Even If It’s Totally Weird)” on Cordelia Calls it Quits. I love this site and how Cordelia/Kelly thinks. This post talks about reveling in the random, weird things you like and owning those likes. More importantly, it reminds the reader that we all have random weird things that give us joy. You aren’t the only one that likes random, weird things and neither am I.

Here are some weird things that make me happy:

Doing errands

This sounds strange, but I really like doing errands. I like making lists of what I need to get done, then figuring out the most efficient plan of attack to get as much done in as little time as possible. Ticking off all the items and seeing a visual representation of what I’ve accomplished feels good. I like doing errands with Flora or Sean (or both, which is rare), but I like it even better when I get to go on my own. I have very few things that I have complete control over so I think this is my way of taking charge of things going on in my life.

Driving with loud rock music playing

When I’m driving alone, I’m a rockstar in my car. I crank up the radio (this my favourite radio station). I sing along. I laugh at the jokes. I tap on the steering wheel. I am that clichΓ© you see out on the road and I’m okay with that. I love pulling into parking lots playing music that doesn’t scream “suburban mom”. I realize that there is no genre of music called “mom” (suburban or otherwise) but there is some sort of irony of Rage Against the Machine blasting on my radio as I pull into Walmart. This happened to me last weekend while I was doing errands. By myself.

Staring at the lake

I’ve lived either on or near lakes all my life. Gazing out into the water makes me feel alive and centered with the universe. Despite living close by, I don’t get down to the lake much these days. It’s good meditation so I think I need to start.

Tell me about the weird things that make you happy.

What’s making me happy right now

Did you know that yesterday was The United Nations International Day of Happiness? I didn’t either until I got to work yesterday. My office building was celebrating with smiley face balloons and cupcakes in the lobby.

I really love smiley faces. I was the girl who dotted the Is in her name with smiley faces from ages 10 to 12-ish. I still sign cards with my name and a little smiley underneath. When I add Flora’s name, I do a little flower for her. (I still haven’t figured out a symbol for Sean, which feels like unintentional exclusion.)

In honour of yesterday’s International Day of Happiness, here is a list of things that make me happy right now.

  1. Picking up Flora from school.
    When I get to Flora’s school, I can look in a large window and see the kids in the after school supervision room. I love finding Flora in the window and watching her go about her business. It’s gratifying to see who she is when I am not hovering over her. I also love the huge tackle-hugs I usually get when I get to the classroom door. They make me feel loved. (I’ve written about this before. The card I mentioned in that post? Still on my cubicle wall.)
  2. The snow is melting.
    I just wish it would stop snowing so that there was no more snow that needed to melt. This winter has been hard and like most of my North American pals, I’m more than ready for it to be over.
  3. The jeans I’m wearing right now.
    Sounds ridiculous but it’s true. I like the colour, the fit, and the feel of them.
  4. Seeing older couples being affectionate together.
    When I see older couples holding hands, or one half holding the other’s arm for balance, or generally being affectionate, I think “I want that”. I want to part of that couple who sits in their matching rocking chairs cracking jokes with each other. I want to have my hand held when I’m 90. I’ve let Sean know this, and I hope we pull it off.
  5. Seeing the lake on my way home from work.
    My GO train station is near the lake and we pass through parkland and nature right before we stop. When I sit on the south side of the train, I can look out the window and gaze into Lake Ontario. It makes me feel centered and calm. Now that the days are getting longer, I get a better view of the water. It’s a nice way to end off my train ride and move into my evening.

I am grateful for these and so many other little – and big! – things that make me happy. What making you happy these days?

A cure for the November blahs?

When I picked Flora up from school today, I had to sit in my car for an extra minute or two to pull myself together. I’ve got a serious case of the November blahs. Add an exhausting day at work, a busy commute and I had a small case of the sads by the time I hit the school.

I peeked in the window where the kids were playing. I love watching Flora when she doesn’t know I’m watching her. It gives me insight into how she sees the world.

I waited at the door and she soon came running to give me the biggest hug.

I really needed that.

As she was getting her stuff on, she handed me a piece of paper.

20121115-210636.jpg

I made this for you mama.

For those who don’t have kids learning to write and draw right now, it’s a card with lots of hearts. It says “Mom” on the front and the back.

I almost teared up in the hallway of the school.

I thanked Flora for her card. I told her it was just what I needed. And it really was.

I have an awesome kid. I want to be like her when I grow up.

Rainbow!


Rainbow!

Rainbow!, a photo by MPriceMitchell on Flickr.

I had a hard time waking up this morning (it was about 6am), but when I looked out the window and saw this, I perked up quick.

I picked up my phone and snapped a few pictures out my bedroom window. They weren’t capturing what I was seeing, so I ran outside (in my nightgown!) to get a better view.

What a wonderful way to start the day.

What family memories are made of

Yesterday started out as a typical summer Saturday β€” housework, laundry, errands and kid-wrangling. We capped the afternoon off with a delicious barbecued supper of pork souvlaki, peppers with goat cheese and rice*.

By the time dessert was eaten and the dishes were cleared, it was almost time for Flora to get ready for bed. I hate getting her ready for bed right after we eat. It makes me feel like we’ve ran out of time and I’m therefore a bad mother**. It happens more often than I care to admit.

Since I didn’t want to put her to bed just yet, I asked her if she wanted to take a walk around the block in her pajamas. This is not something we do every day.

“A silly walk Mummy? In our pajamas?” (I don’t think Flora has ever watched Monty Python, so not sure where that came from.)

“Yup. Go get your jammies on and we’ll go for a walk. You, me, and Daddy.”

Flora took off to find her silliest pajamas (not sure what the criteria for that was). She asked if I was going to get in my jammies too. I hadn’t planned on it, then I thought “why not?”. So I went and found pajamas that covered all my interesting bits and didn’t look too out-of-place without wimping out and going with yoga pants and a t-shirt, since I knew Flora would call me out and say “that’s not jammies Mummy!”.

When we got out the door, Sean was heading to the car.

Flora was confused. “Daddy! Aren’t you coming on our silly walk?”

Sean’s answer: “Do you want to go and see the lake?”

Our new house is close to the lake. We knew that we could park our car and go down a walkway to get to it, but hadn’t actually done it in the four months we’ve lived here. This was going to be the night we finally got there. Flora and I got our pajama-clad selves into the car.

Less than ten minutes later, we were going down that walkway. There were a lot of people with the same idea, but Flora and I were the only ones in our jammies. (I was doubly grateful that I had left my bra on.)

As Flora ran ahead of us, I whispered to Sean that I wanted to get a picture of the two of them walking together.

My heart could burst looking at them together.

When we got to the lake, we discovered that the park was actually a beach. A beach! I have a beach less than ten minutes from my house! I think I knew this, but didn’t really think about it when we planned our adventure. It was late and we had no sand toys but we walked in the sand, looked at the boats and ducks, and threw rocks in the water. We went home after an hour or so and Flora went to bed without any prompting from us. She was so happy that Sean suggested the trip and gave him lots of big hugs.

Big enough to run ahead.

Score one for Daddy. Unexpected adventure makes for the best family memories.

* Is it possible to cook rice on the barbecue? Has anyone ever had any real-life success with it? Sean has been a barbecuing machine lately and the more he BBQs, the fewer dishes I have to wash.

** We’re doing better on weeknights because I recently shifted my work hours to start at 7:30am and be done at 4pm. I pick up Flora and we’re home by 5:45 where I used to get home at 6:30. It’s easy to get lazy about dinner timing on weekends since duh, it’s the weekend.

 

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.