10 Things That Make Me Happy

Several weeks ago I underwent major surgery, which left me healthier than before but also with six to eight weeks of recovery time.  Here at the five-week mark, I have consumed more popsicles than imaginable, formed an unhealthy attachment to Pinterest, read nearly all of Augusten Burroughs’ books (thank you for clueing me in, Leslie Griswold!), and become officially addicted to a plethora of reality television shows (the names of which shall remain secret in order to spare myself any undue embarrassment).

One program I hadn’t seen until this afternoon was called “Ten Things That Make Me Happy,” which highlighted two celebrities’ ten favorite things.  Sooo, being that I am a sucker for lists—as well as things that make me happy—I thought I would give it a whirl.  As I am currently under doctor ordered house arrest, I looked right here within the confines of my home.  Of course, I instantly found at least thirty – forty things that make me happy, but I trimmed the list down to ten…for today.

Buddha statues

I am not an official Buddhist (Catholic by birth actually, “spiritual” if I had to classify myself, though I cringe that it’s become almost cliché to say so), but I have read scores of Buddhist writings throughout the years and gleaned much wisdom from their words.  I have also always adored statues of Buddha.  Quite simply, they make me smile and feel comfort and peace—even Buddha would be happy about that. 

Dandelions on my wall







Retro bathing beauty    Just look at her.  Who wouldn’t feel pure delight and joy over displaying her in front of a DVD collection?    



This corner of my bedroom     A figurine bought on the Amalfi coast.

Giraffe painted by my mother.

Turquoise stones.      

My books  Solace.  Learning.  Adventure.  Calm.  Joy.

Mary statues   One of the only things from my Catholic upbringing that still offers me peace and comfort rather than issue and conflict.

An old rusty red teapot  My mother always placed this in her flower garden back home in North Salem.  Now it sits on my balcony and conjures up happy memories of bluebells, iris, and fireflies.     

Big Boy

If you have never stopped at a Big Boy (“Home of the Original Double Decker”) on a road trip through America’s back highways, woods, and truck stops, you have quite simply missed out.   My Big Boy figure (many more in storage) instantly takes me back to many a happy summer drives to Grandma’s house in the backwoods of Elk County, Pennsylvania.           


An unexpected gift  There is no blessing greater than an unexpected gift from someone. Large or small, such a random act of kindness instantly lifts one’s spirits and spreads love. This original painting is one of my most special possessions, a gift given to me randomly one afternoon in Asbury Park by someone just as special. It hangs on my wall and continues to make me very, very happy.