In no particular order:
1. Lipstick. I heart a bold lip, tho.
2. When the sun shines and the trees bud. All seasonal change is magical.
3. The ability for humans to change. I’m now in decent shape, I eat more vegetables, I spend more time reading than on social media, and I’m hopeful for the future. All of this demonstrates enormous change on my part. People can change, when they decide to. Whoa! Also, huzzah!
4. Being in one’s forties. It’s the best kept secret, guys. I feel like a true grown-up. I’m done with pregnancy forevah. My children are growing into cool, less neurotic people. Everyone sleeps through the night. I know what I like. (And I like being 40 *gasp*).
5. Mint brownies from Kneaders. I am powerless against them. If you eat one, you can’t ever go back. Because now you know they are crack and you’re doomed.
6. Overcoming grief. Not the “having to experience grief” part, just the “overcoming it” part. Learning that grief is the worst, but I’m nevertheless capable of dealing with it is a bit empowering. Having survived the twelve-month- grief-cluster-cuss and emerging from it as a pretty happy person makes the concept of grief slightly less scary. I’m bigger than the worst things that have happened in my life (this is a thing I wouldn’t mind shouting from a hilltop while spinning and wearing a dirndl).
7. My students. I love them. They are so darling. Teaching university students about writing is energizing and so much fun. At the end of every semester, I decide I will never love another group of students like those in my current classes. And then somehow I do. It’s not unlike how I feel about books. I love them all and I want more because I will undoubtedly love them too.
8. Having another driver in the family. It’s just freeing, you know?
9. A Man Called Ove. I just finished it and I’m feeling pretty great about humankind, rn.
10. Experiencing a light, frothy, bubbly feeling while driving on a Tuesday afternoon and wondering what this rare emotion is and realizing it’s…happiness. I like happy. It’s effervescent.