This was harder than I expected it to be. There are so many things that make me happy.
- Singing. Singing almost anything. Singing keeps me sane.
- Seeing a flock of goldfinches at our bird feeders (finally, after years of having the seed eaten and scattered by sparrows and squirrels).
- Writing something that really nails what I think and feel.
- Sunlight streaming in the window, perfectly highlighting my peaches-and-cream tiger cat.
- Seeing a beautiful landscape out the car window as we round a curve. “Hark! A vista!”
- Having dinner with my husband—delicious food plus delicious conversation.
- Petting a purring cat.
- Solving a problem, especially a sticky problem that seemed insoluble.
- Listening and watching a live early music performance by superb musicians.
- Launching a website I’ve designed and hearing the client say “Oh, WOW!”
So…what makes me happiest?
Learning. Encountering a new idea or concept or technique and making it mine. Streeeeetching my brain so I can feel it expand.
As a kid, my favorite day of the year was the first day of school. Trips to the library made me ecstatic, because I knew I would come home with a book about something new, a topic I didn’t know anything about yet. In college, I always tried to make time in my schedule for a new course, a subject I hadn’t studied yet. At work, I was always volunteering for new projects, or asking a more experienced colleague to show me a new technique.
Learning makes me happy. It doesn’t have to be anything profound, although that’s always fun. It doesn’t have to be anything useful, although I’m always grateful for that. But a day when I haven’t learned anything feels incomplete, unfinished, wasted.
Last month, I learned that one of my cats likes key lime yoghurt.
Last week, I learned a new technique for incorporating a Twitter feed into a blog.
Not profound, but quite useful.
Today, I learned that the waterproof mat that I put under the poinsettia plant on the piano isn’t really waterproof, and the moisture raised and warped the finish on our 1903 Steinway.
Learning isn’t always pleasant, but it still makes me happy to know something today that I didn’t know yesterday.
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