Darling Barry over at Queercincinnati.com asked around for people to share for his new feature "Ten on Tuesday" - this week on the subject of "Ten Things That Make You Happy."
So here's ten - in no particular order:
1) Hitting the wall during exercise. As much as I'm hating confronting that I can not immediately succeed at every leg press or lift as much as I'd like, or hold the plank for a full thirty seconds yet -every time I hit the wall and get angry about it I wind up very happy a few minutes later. It's either some delayed euphoria or the gratification of accepting these limitations. They're why I'm going to the gym again now -- to overcome them. They're pure encouragement.
2) My niece. A picture in the mail or an anecdote about her brightens up my day. The trip I have to go see her in a month --and meet the nephew who's on his way -- is keeping me going as all else falls around my head. Pure sunshine.
3) The feeling of achievement I get when I solve a problem at work -be it for a customer or a coworkers, for whom I fix more mistakes before they go "on stage" than my employers would likely be comfortable knowing- the satisfaction of a job well done always gets a smile on my face. I need to turn this to greater success -- somewhere perhaps where I feel a tad more appreciated (a sentiment which makes me in no way unique). That satisfaction is about all I have right now that's tolerable.
4) My friends. We laugh. I feel supported, unselfconscious, and safe. I wouldn't trade 'em in for the world.
5) Lost in a good book. How can people not read? It beggars my imagination -- there are worlds beyond worlds out there to explore, all yours for the choosing. Pick up a book and join me.
6) Lost in a so-bad-it's-good movie. I do loves me my trash -- and when you find me mesmerized in some schlocky story of zombies or bad girls or go-go dancing ninjas just let me be. I'm getting my grin on.
7) Getting flirted with. It's immensely validating as I still carry around all the insecurities that were cemented into place over 20 years ago. Being found cute or charming goes right to my head like bubbles in champagne. What others take in stride can have me feeling like the most valued man on earth. That keeps my heart open and, much as it hurts, I'm not sure I'd ever want to change it.
8) When I figure something out by myself. I figured out what was leaking on the toilet the other day. It took a couple hours and new parts, but it's all fixed. I cut my hands up, nearly blew a blood pressure gasket, and swore far too much -- but it's fixed. And I did it all on my lonesome too... thanks to four different home repair guides helping me!
9) On vacation. I do love me my mini-breaks -- 10 quickie trips out of town do more for me than one or two long vacations a year and -although my neighbor gets awfully tired of feeding the cat every other weekend -it's another thing I don't want to change. I think a lot of it lies in the travelling, actually. Open road with some loud music or a book on tape, hopefully with a window down, is where my head clears out. I get some of my best thinking done this way.
10) Feeling hope. My job has me feeling trapped. The doom'n'gloom in the news is near-overwhelming. Don't bother to mug me as there's no cash to take. But, I know others have it worse, we're all in it together, and a hundred other aphorisms... right now I still have hope. Hope at least that I'm getting me together. It's a good thing.