Tag Archives: happiness

27 Little Things to Be Thankful For

#DailyWings: “”The aim of life is to live. And to live means to be aware. Joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.” –Henry Miller

It takes only a couple seconds to say we’re thankful for our family, friends, neighbors and mentors – not to mention our education, our food and our jobs. But sometimes, when we’re stuck in traffic during rush hour or we’ve received a terrible grade on a standardized test or the garlic toast burned in the oven or our boss has just laid us off even with the gentlest of explanations, it can be difficult to remember to feel appreciative and to remind ourselves why we work as hard as we do. We forget to stop and take a deep breath.

If you ask me what my favorite part about Thanksgiving is, it’s not the Black Friday shopping or the traveling or even the food (though that comes as a close second, for delicious reasons). It’s being able to take a break from all of the stress and anxiety that come with day-to-day life. Sometimes, we just need space for practicing self-care, to spend time with the people we’re thankful for and to find something to laugh about. To remember why we’re grateful.

Whatever holiday stress or little (or big) anxieties or long-term worries you may have, I’m not here to tell you, “Things could be a lot worse” or “In the grand scheme of things, this won’t matter.” Bad days stink. You might even have a whole bad month, and whatever feelings you have are completely validated. But make yourself a promise that today you’re going to take some time and say, “I am thankful for my life, and I love myself.”

Today, I’ve compiled a list of 27 things that never fail to make me smile and remind me to find joy in the little things. I hope they make you feel the same way:

We Are Always in the “Real World”

#DailyWings: The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” -Audrey Hepburn

A couple years ago, when I went home for holiday break, I came across a paperback literary magazine while rummaging through my sister’s old things one night. (I know what you must be thinking: “Oooh, you were snooping around!” I totally wasn’t! Well, sort of. I was browsing her closet for clothes to wear. ;))

The literary magazine was from our middle school, Edward Devotion in Boston. Both my sister, who’s five years older, and I have always loved to write, so it didn’t shock me when I saw her name in the table of contents juxtaposed with the name of a poem, Bubbles. I opened the magazine and flipped to the page that contained her poem. It was a cute rhyme about helping a toddler with dumpling-soft skin take a bath, popping bubbles and exchanging dimple smiles.

I almost fell off the bed when I realized the poem was about me.

An instant wave of nostalgia washed over me like it always does whenever I go through faded yearbooks and picture albums and other tokens of our childhood (I like to do this often, just to remind myself about the other two decades of my life that have already passed me by). Although I couldn’t recall that particular memory of taking a bath, it was easy to remember my little Brandeis blue bath tub meant for small children and the checkered tile bathroom floor. The way my sister shampooed my hair until it stood on the ends.

When Everything Good Happens

#DailyWings: “Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” -Paulo Coelho

A person’s mood is like the waves of an ocean, a cosine graph. It fluctuates in a gradual manner. We all have our bad days, brought forth by a spilled coffee or perhaps traffic. And then there are great days, when everything seems to be falling right into place and we can’t help but smile at the good fortune this world has brought us. 

Lately I’ve been living on a high. Wonderful things have happened, left and right — an editorial internship at Chapel Hill Magazine’s THE WEEKLY, reunion with my closest friends, excellent fall semester grades, beautiful 70 degree weather, a position as Arts & Entertainment Editor for Blue & White magazine, inspiration for poetry, enjoyment of the masterpiece that is “The English Patient”. I can’t help but wonder how I have been able to deserve this good life. (Or rather the past two good months, at the very least!)

After weeks of straight studying for exams that never seem to end and pitching stories and tackling writer’s block, it’s incredible to see what has come out of it all. I feel like I’m moving forward. Then again, it could be that typing this all down will lead to a jinx. *crosses fingers*

To ponder over Paulo Coelho’s words: Last semester, it seemed like nothing was happening. Every day was just about the same, with minor changes such as in pizza toppings or class seating; I didn’t do much about it except keep going. Now that everything has happened all at once, what isnext for me?

Go Walden

Question of the Day: What is your stance on global warming?
There is something about nature that always produces a calming effect on me and makes me feel at peace with the world.
Whenever I am feeling particularly angry, impatient, melancholy, or other sensitive human feeling, taking a nice walk outside always helps me calm down and find happiness again. Next time you feel the need for some alone time, go Walden. Take a drive and go out to the countryside. You will find a beauty in nature that you cannot find anywhere else, for nothing else can be more pure or genuine.
We owe nature so much. It has provided us for years with medicines, shelters, and other essentials needed for survival. There is so much we can learn, for nature holds infinite more secrets than your own ears can. All aspects of nature contributes to a process that repeats itself throughout the course of history. It is consistent. It is dangerous, and it is beautiful.

If we all took some time to truly heighten our senses and take a good look around us, we might find personal insight, motivation, and happiness in nature by simply knowing that nature is good and pure. And real. How could you not be awed by the magic of life?


Question of the Day: Home is where the heart is. Where is your home?

Although I love North Carolina and have been living for the past ten years, the only place I have ever really felt at home is Massachusetts. When I am there, I feel completely happy and at peace. My heart is settled and I think that there is nowhere else in the world that I would rather be.

My favorite time of the year is when I get to visit my home. I have the time of my life there, and it is always a sad day when I must say goodbye to all the things that I am most familiar with. The days that I spend reminiscing, I have only sweet memories to take me back to “yester-year.”* Here is a poem I wrote in 2009.

A Fantastic Friday

I have come to realize that there is an opposing force for everything in the world and in life; there seems to always be something on the opposite end of a spectrum, complementing the other and balancing the scale out. An antonym for all. You’ve got men and women, positives and negatives, love and hate, black and white, rich and poor, beautiful and hideous, beginning and end.

Like all of the above, there is a also an antonym for having a bad day. Obviously, that very antonym is, of course, having a good day! :) Now there have definitely been times when I had an absolutely awful day on earth that seems more like a night in Hell instead; on those days, nothing goes right and I am stressed out of my mind. On those days, it seems like there is no such thing as a good day. Nonetheless, it is on those days when I wish and hope for a good day…like today.

My favorite type of good day is the kind when good, little things occur and slowly build up into a really good day, or rather (excuse my cheesy analogy) a “mountain of happiness”; there I stand at the very peak, my stomach swelling with excitement as I look down at the rest of the world with a positive attitude. In my own strange, silly mind, each little happy event is considered a stone, which makes sense if you think about it. As the stones build up, a mountain is created. :)

My New Favorite Saying, Loving the World, Sneak Peek.

Bliggity Blog- simply another word for blog.

I discovered this word while reading the latest blog post on 350 Lights by M.M. and it made me giggle just reading the word in my mind. Then, when I tried to say it out loud, the alliteration made me fall into peals of laughter.

It’s amazing what the little things in life can do to make you feel absolutely j o y f u l* in just one day. I love that feeling I get when something totally unexpected can make me feel sooo happy all of a sudden…it’s like an early birthday present! :)
These are other situations that have made me want to embrace the world and hug it and thank it for being so awesome:

The Truth About Happiness

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” –Fredrick Keonig, German inventor of high-speed printing press

There is a woman that I know very well. She grew up in Wisconsin and now resides in the same town I do in North Carolina. Although she never went to college, she studied to become a realtor and also attended nursing school. She lives with nobody but her one cat and one dog, both whom she loves very dearly. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and taking care of her chestnut/apple trees, gladiolas, and the other beautiful plants that are so dearly tended over in her backyard. My friend absolutely loves food, especially ice cream. She is a playwright, nurse, and founder of the Recovery Room Players Christian acting group. She is the most religious person I have ever met.

On Wednesday, the doctor told her that she has a brain tumor. A few days beforehand, she discovered a lump on her temple and immediately scheduled an appointment with her doctor. After taking X-ray after X-ray and scan after scan (“Every organ in my body has been searched!” she exclaimed), it was confirmed that my friend has a brain tumor. The doctor will remove the tumor by surgery within just a few weeks and study it for any malignancy. When she told me all of this yesterday, she had a genuine smile on her face.