April in my area means that after months of snow and ice, things start to get easier. I don’t have to layer up just to step outside, and simple things—like driving somewhere—become pleasant, once more. April is one of those months that make me happy—which is good because the topic we Quills chose for this month is for us each to identify ten things that make us happy. I am excited about this one because I believe that finding joy and expressing gratitude are two of the most important things we can do for our health—physical and mental.
I will start off and then follow with comments from my fellow Quills, Robin and Parker.
Things that make me happy and grateful include ...
1. Grandbaby. The top of my list right now has to be the grandbaby that I am awaiting. She, due in August, will be my first. I am beyond elated!
2. Children Meeting Goals. Great joy comes when your children meet their goals at any stage in life. My middle child will graduate with her dual Masters degrees from the University of Pittsburgh this spring and will then begin in her new position with the Mayo system. No one could be more deserving of the success she is experiencing, and I could not be more proud of her!
3. Family Get-togethers. Like most families, we find it hard to find time to gather. Recently, my son returned from another year of deployment overseas, and my middle child has been living out of state. We did manage to get together for Christmas 2020, and I now look forward to more opportunities when my daughter moves back to the area this summer.
4. My Island Home. I live on an island on the Mississippi along with a couple hundred other island residents. When people ask me about the island, I tell them that there are two kinds of people they might find here any given time: those who live here—and those who wish they did. It is a special place, indeed. (Here's a pic from the island.)
5. Completing a WIP. There’s not much more to be said on this one. Finishing up any writing project—even one as small as this for a blog post—is something to celebrate.
6. Watching a Snowfall. I truly think that every season on the island is more beautiful than the one that came before. Watching a snowfall from inside, while home, is one of the simple joys of life. With spring comes the greening that starts low in the woods at the back of my place and slowly grows upward. In summer, it is a joy to walk down to the river and watch kayaks float by, or to wave at passing bicyclists that seem to grow wings as they make their way around the island. Finally, fall brings the glorious colors of that season in abundance. What joy!
7. Picking a Great Gift. Gift giving is an art. For me, few joys are greater than choosing something for someone that brings them happiness. (Here's a pic of a snowfall from home.)
8. Tax Season Ending. This one is worth some explaining. You see, at tax time I am responsible for, or assist in the preparation of, returns for four trusts (NO—none of them are for me or anyone in my family—unfortunately); my personal return for my husband and I (which includes separate schedules for his proprietorship, my writing “business,” and for details regarding a trust for which I am trustee; and another separate corporate business return. (I think this will be the first year that I’m not also preparing returns for any children.) All this is to say that when I’ve done what I need to collect the details for my returns each year, I quite literally (honestly!) jump for joy.
9. A Great Read. There really is not much more to say here. Don’t you agree?
10. Blue Hair. My hair has mostly grayed, so when I’m feeling like I want to make a statement, I like putting some blue bits in it. With Covid shutdowns, I’ve been out few times in the past year, and thus, have had little reason to do this. Oh, but I am hoping, before long, to schedule an appointment to go blue once more ...
There you have it. The first ten happy things that came to my mind. What makes YOU happy?
Robin Lythgoe is next. Robin?
Thinking of this topic had me humming Julie Andrews songs. Just a Spoonful of Sugar. My Favorite Things. Whistle a Happy Tune. (Am I dating myself? And can you tell I used to watch a lot of musicals?) Happy things—happy thoughts—are like magic. You hold them for a little while, think about how they make you feel and…
Parker, I know those little ones of yours are keeping you happy and busy. What more can you tell us about that?
Stop. It’s Happy Time. Can’t Touch This.
As I alluded to in the intro, when it comes to a list of joy and happiness, the fact that it’s springtime and Easter are going to be somewhere on the list. With that, I’ll jump right in – ordered according to how they came to mind, as opposed to a hierarchical list.
Thanks to all! Stay happy now, and grateful, and WELL!