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Definition: The Origin

January 3, 2010

When I was a senior in high school, my friend Anna and I (yes, she shared my name) each created a list called “Things That Make Me Happy.” That year, we couldn’t get enough of adding to our special inventories. The items ranged the spectrum, from people we loved, quotes, TV shows, bands, songs, books, all the way to feelings we were experiencing in that time. The list existed only as a creative activity to occupy our time. That year I took a 5th period sculpture class. My classmates Kristen, Amanda and Patrick would also take an interest in the list while we sat working on our slab boxes and relief sculptures. Occasionally, I would grant them guest writing privileges. We would sit around our rectangular table and think of things to add. With our childhoods fading and our lives now just coming over the horizon, everything felt new and exciting. The world was full of beautiful things to be happy about and thus adding to the list was so easy. Eventually though, the list lost it’s newness and charm and adding to the list wasn’t of sustained importance as I was growing up and moving on. Recently, I found the list and read through it. It was written on several loose-leaf pages in varying pen colors, double-sided with two-columns and held together in a three-ring binder. While reading, I couldn’t help again experience the happiness I felt about each item, the atmosphere and sensations of writing them, when, how and why I did.

I am sure I will get around to posting the entries from the old list at some point but I think the idea of the list is even more profound than the items themselves. Taking the time to consider that which makes you happy is such a simple idea and yet, at the same time, such a profound one. Life can become so overwhelming with schedules, finances, short-term and long-term goals, work and other duties that breathing can feel like a luxury. We must stop and realize that while we’re so busy achieving and looking toward the future, life is still happening right now.

So, this blog is my exercise in trying to take time to live in the moment. To appreciate the wondrous, glorious, simple beauty in the everyday world around me. It is my hope that it may help others to do the same.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2010 5:29 pm

    Getting to know you and Gary makes us happy! – Jeremy

  2. January 5, 2010 8:09 am

    Yeah, I really really like your blog! The concept is wonderful.

  3. January 6, 2010 11:43 am

    Yay! Congrats. I ❤ you!

  4. January 7, 2010 1:31 pm

    I appreciate the comments, friends. You all make me very happy! Stayed tuned for more to come!

  5. Mom permalink
    January 13, 2010 5:00 pm

    I love this idea!!

  6. January 20, 2010 12:13 pm

    I love that idea!! And being that I am currently in a slump (sounds something like what you were experiencing before quitting your old job), I just might actually start my own list. I wanted to share a website with you that reminded me of your “Things That Make Me Happy” list- maybe you’ve heard of it- it’s called “1000 Awesome Things” http://1000awesomethings.com/

  7. January 20, 2010 2:29 pm

    Start your own list! Great idea! That will definitely keep you focused on the good things in life when you’re going through hard times. Hopefully, my blog can help a bit too. And 1000awesomethings.com is so good! I like #594 http://bit.ly/7WMz8Z

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