I’ve barely even started

I’m going to slightly diverge from my usual format today to share an idea that my friend Laurel Winter posted in her marvelous blog Winter in Asheville. Laurie always has suggestions to her readers for things to do instead of reading blogs, and her most recent idea was to make a list of seventy-five things you appreciate.

So here, in no specific order, are the first seventy-five things that come to mind: My friend Laurie. Spicy chai. Rain. Pigeons. Shakespeare in any form. Poetry. Catcher in the Rye. Tolkien. Stand-up comedy. Wet sidewalks. Water fountains. Navy beans simmered until smushy. The company of writers. Libraries. Architecture. The buzz of urban spaces. Blue glass. Family. Sparkly things. Doo-wop music. Square dancing. Country music. Funky words. Cowboy boots. My fingers. Hats of all sorts. Serendipity. Walking. This blog and the people who read it. Classic cars, especially the 1955 Chevy Bel-Air. Buddhism. Emptiness. Quiet places. The sounds of nature. The sounds of the city. Windows. Drizzle. Overcast skies. Pierogis. Cannolis. Pizza. Chrome. Design. The internet. My friends. Seattle. New York. Minnesota. British culture. Crossword puzzles. All dancing. Bright colors. Art supplies. Office supplies. Musicals. Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Merry-go-rounds. Chuck Taylors. Arm warmers. Chain mail. History. Film noir. Mystery novels. Conversations with strangers. Bubbles. Toys. Soup. Relaxing with a book and a hot beverage. Roller skates. Tea. Bicycles. Origami. Scented flowers. Cats. Window displays.

I could keep going, but that’s seventy-five, or close to it. I didn’t want to count it more than once, because I don’t think precision matters here. I was already in a great mood when I started the list, but now I feel even more joyful. How cool is that?

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

183. Sit down and make your own list, just picking the first seventy-five things that come to your head. How did it feel? Was it easy or difficult? You might want to keep the list around as an inspiration to yourself.

Link, should you desire it:

If you want to check out Laurie’s list, it’s at:



Not just for turkey day

Today is Tuesday, and it is a day of gratitude. I enter this mood today not in service to a religious obligation, but merely as a matter of reflection. I have a lot going on right now, and I’d be sunk without all the help I am getting from family and friends.

I have friends who are helping me move this weekend, and I appreciate them more than I can say—you know someone cares about you when they help you move. I’m not looking forward to all the lifting and carting, but thanks to my friends I won’t be carrying books up the stairs alone. One of these friends has a problem with his printer, and he needs a little help from me tonight. I’m glad to assist, and it’s great to know that none of us has to face our little crises alone.

I’m visiting family this summer, and we’re all getting together in North Carolina. I’m thankful for everyone who helps to make this happen. It makes my family stronger, and we’ve all got a lot of shared memories around this yearly vacation together. I’m also grateful for all the moral support I get from the people who care about me. I’ve had a couple of stressful events in the last few days, and my friends checked in with me to make sure I was surviving and thriving. It makes all the difference.

This may sound sappy, but I’m not trying to veer into Hallmark sentimentality. I think it’s important to stop once in a while and appreciate all the little things that people do for you. We all flourish because of the little kindnesses that happen around us every day. My mood lifts a tiny bit each time I notice one, and I try to give as much to the universe as I receive. Thanks for reading my blog!

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

132. What are you grateful for? Who supports you in your daily endeavors? Take a moment to appreciate your blessings and to give thanks.