Sunday, April 24, 2016

Motivation Kickstarter Day 1: 10 Things That Make Me Happy

As part of my quest to find my motivation, I've accepted the 30 Day Writing Challenge.  Each post will be added to the main post HERE.

10 Things That Make Me Happy

1. Watching my son test his self-imposed limits.  He's a cautious, careful kid.  I know the feeling.  Pain sounds like a bad idea to him, so he's not too apt to do something he thinks might get him hurt.  I don't have to remind him to wear his helmet when riding his bike.  He's all about the padding when he rides his scooter.  Nobody has to tell him to zip up the screen around the trampoline.  That's all great with me.  However, I am slightly saddened when I see him give up on something because he's once been hurt.  After his first bicycle fall, he didn't ride again for weeks.  Sad.  I mean, I get it, but still...  Like I said, he's cautious.  So, when I watch him riding along lifting his fingers off the handlebar, then momentarily lifting his whole hand, until he finally takes one hand off his handlebar all the while talking to himself quietly about what he's doing and how cool it is, my heart soars.  It's little, I know, but it's joyous.  He's gaining confidence in himself, breaking free of the shackles he's put upon himself, growing right before my eyes.  It's glorious and it makes me endlessly happy.

2. Making things.  Sewing, crochet, woodworking, building any number of goodies small and large - it all just makes me happy.  I love creating.  I love most creating things for others.  

3. Fixing things.  Self-sufficiency and independence are qualities I value highly.  Why have someone else do it for you when you can do it yourself?  And that sense of accomplishment when you do it is magnificent!  There's a whole learning process that goes into this that I find supremely satisfying.  I didn't know how to change a tire until I did it.  I didn't know how to change my oil until I did it.  I didn't know how to rewire and install lamps until I did.  I was born as ignorant as the next person, but I have spent my life curious, open to trying, and willing to fail and that has made all the difference.

4. Watching my son have fun.  Right now, he plays tennis.  He loves it.  I'm not sure which one of us looks forward to Wednesdays more: me or him.  He gets to play the sport he enjoys.  I get to watch him play the sport he enjoys.  It doesn't get much better.

5. Travel.  It's been on hold lately, because funds are tight, but I do so love to explore new places and experience new cultures.  I'm not big on traveling to the bigger, more popular tourist areas.  I prefer to wander off the beaten path and see the world as it really is.  One of my goals in life is to travel to every continent with my son and husband and share the world with them.

6. The sound of my son's laughter.  Kid cracks me up when he cracks up.  His laugh is the ultimate in ultimates.  I'll do most anything to help create that beautiful sound.

7. A clean house.  I get a sense of peace when my surroundings are clean, tidy, and organized.  The opposite gives me genuine anxiety.  My husband is, well, to put it mildly, a slob.  My son is a 5-year-old, so I'll leave that to your imagination.  When I can wade through all of that to give myself a nice little area all seems right with the world.

8. Watching my students grow.  I got another college graduation announcement today from one of my former high school students.  It was heavenly.  I keep in touch with many on Facebook, so I get to watch them learn, grow, fall, and get back up.  It's tremendous.  Watching as they develop greater understandings of the world, learn to see shades of gray instead of the adolescent black-and-white, follow their dreams, deal with fall-backs.  It is remarkable.  I am forever proud of who they were, who they are, and who they are becoming.

9. The happiness of those about whom I care.  An ex-boyfriend who I loved very deeply recently became a dad via adoption.  I'm so thrilled for him and his wife!  An old friend and her husband are finally pregnant after struggling through several IVF cycles.  Spectacular news!  Two husbands of friends have recently gotten promoted.  How fantastic for their families!  I read these studies about social media depressing people, because they see the highlight reels of their friends and I simply cannot relate.  If I care about someone, I hurt for their hurts and I am genuinely happy for their happiness.

10. Conversing with my son.  My best friend is a 5-year-old.  We talk about everything.  I don't just mean he talks and I listen, because that's all he's capable of understanding.  No, we both talk.  We converse with each other.  We listen, we connect, we engage.  It doesn't get much better.

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