#13 Being able to work in my underwear
I’m self-employed and work at home. While I often think that I should get an office job just so that I have somewhere to wear all those shoes I buy, the fact is that I enjoy not *having* to worry about getting dress etc. to go to work. Not to mention the time it saves. Plus, working in your underwear is green since I don’t have to set the AC so low.
#14Watching the boys play laser tag in the yard
Now, it is entirely possible they have been exposed to a little too much Command and Conquer and other military strategy type games. Also, possibly, more than a healthy amount of Indiana Jones on the Wii. It does, however, bring a highly amusing element to all their pretend play which amuses the hell out of me even if I am still (and almost certainly will continue to be indefinitely) annoyed with DH for introducing that game (and all it’s sequels…) to my pre-teen boys. Their play vocabulary is liberally sprinkled with all manner of technical, strategic, military-type words which they may or may not use correctly in context. And they bring enthusiasm in spades to the game. So while I don’t, in general, feel that living in the boonies is worth having a huge yard, watching them utilize all 1.5 or so acres in their laser tag strategies and listening to the banter and watching them from inside with their various maneuvering / sniping / hiding does amuse to greatly. I should probably just install a whole yard surveillance system to get some good footage of this before they all grown and gone. Just to amuse me in my old age.
Of course, this also gets them good and tired out so it goes without saying that adds to my happiness.
#15 Tangible, measurable results
I think at this stage in my life seeing tangible results of my efforts is particularly happiness-inducing because, as anyone who’s maintained a house in which they are raising kids and the raising of those kids, this phase of life involves a lot of work – 90% or so of which just has to be done again and if there are any tangible and measurable results they are fleeting (think housecleaning, laundry, cooking, not to mention the entire scope of baby care – an era that I think I’ve more or less blocked from my active memory after the twins).
A year ago I had my annual physical and the one # that wasn’t so great on my bloodwork was glucose. About the same time I did my 101 Things list so, since it was fresh on my mind, I added lowering this # to my list. Today I had my physical again and the # went from 94 to 84. It’s a little embarrassing, actually, how pleased I am about that. It’s just so concrete and quantifiable.
I suppose “The Things That Make Us Happy” is yet another area where the differences between our 40-something years and our 20-something years are vast. I’m quite certain I lived all of my life up to about 35 w/o ever once giving a moment’s thought to my blood glucose #’s. Or, really, any blood numbers.
Then there are the push-ups. I started this 100 push-ups program in January. Now, I will admit that the fact that I am still working my way through the second level of week 4 nine months later does *not* fall into the “happy” category. However, my “exhaustion test” number is now closing in on 4x where I started. Again, results that can be expressed in numbers. Just what I like. It makes all that 5:30 am exertion while thinking I’d rather be sitting on the couch, enjoying the peace and quiet and waking slowly with the aid a cup of coffee with hazelnut creamer (which I gave up – for the most part. A fact which is likely a large contributor to that glucose thing) seem worthwhile. Then there is the near elimination of the “jiggle quotient” of the back of my arms (come on, girls, you know you do this… right?). Now that is a tangible result worth getting out of bed for.
#16 That first early evening in September when you realize it is actually pleasant to be outside.
The first signs that the (deeply hated by me) Florida summer is on the way out. Of course, that first evening is usually 2 months or so ahead of actually pleasant weather and the routine wearing of jeans w/o dying. But it’s a benchmark and it makes me deliriously happy to know that the first cold front won’t be long
#17 Thick, soft, plush, luxurious, over-sized towels.
I was reminded of this when shopping for beach towels. Which, unless you’re willing to spend a fortune (which I am not given that they will be alternatively be used to give rides to brothers up and down the hall and only G-d knows what else), cannot be so described. But, really, there is nothing like a towel that fits the criteria above.
#18 Reconnecting with a long-lost friend and realizing you had that truest of all friendships – the kind that you can pick right up where you left off regardless of how many years, marriages, births, deaths, moves, divorces, changes of fortune etc. have occurred since you last spoke.
#19 My new Droid phone. It is no overstatement to say it has changed my life. The automatic syncing of the google calendar and task list. Well, OK, for me it’s calendars and task lists. About 9 of each at last count. See #10 on this list – same idea. Then there is the voice dictation – once you get over the self-consciousness of dictating into your phone while going about your business it is so much more awesome than using the keypad. Even more so, I would think, once your kids get tired of asking you what you said every time they are near when you are using it. This is an assumption, in my part, though, as we are not there yet. Presumably, sooner or later they *will* get tired if this. I think their need to know comes from their idea that I am talking into the phone about them. They are right about that as often as not. Luckily, it is very accurate even when speaking very quietly.