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Friday, December 19, 2008

Six Things That Make Me Happy.

I have been tagged by Suz at 30 Before 30 List. The rules of the game? List six things that make me happy. Having had such a difficult time lately attaining happiness, this exercise couldn't have come at a better time for me. I really tried to dig deep and remember just what it is about life that brings me joy. Here is what I came up with.

1. My Family

One thing that was consistently stressed to me while I was growing up is the importance of family. As a result, throughout my life I have had a deep sense of family loyalty. Some of my most cherished memories revolve around my family. I can truly say the members of my family have supported each other through thick and thin, whether or not we have agreed with one another. I think family is crucial in learning to accept ourselves and others, as well as in learning how to love unconditionally, and I am hopeful if I one day have a child, I am able to instill this value in him/her. Without my family, I would be lost.

2. My Friends

Throughout my life, I have been extremely blessed with absolutely wonderful friends. While the rule of my life has always been quality over quantity (I have always had a few close friends rather than a large group of friendly acquaintances), I have never been left wanting when it comes to friendship. I have the best group of friends a girl could ask for, who love me unconditionally yet are willing to tell me the truth when I need to hear it, even though the truth at times can be harsh. I have a best friend who probably knows me better than I know myself, and around whom I am completely free to be me. I am also extremely fortunate to still be in contact with several of my childhood friends. (As John Leonard once said, "It takes a long time to grow an old friend.") My friends keep me grounded in this crazy and hectic world. :-)

3. My Boyfriend

From the very beginning of our relationship, Brent has made me feel completely comfortable and like I can be myself around him. What is even more amazing is that in social situations where I would normally be a nervous wreck (someone once used the term "socially awkward" to describe me, which I found to be highly accurate and fitting), I am much more calm simply because he is with me. In the past, I have always been apprehensive about introducing my boyfriend to family and friends (especially family, because my father likes to embarrass me) - but with Brent, I have never thought twice about introducing him to anyone. He is one of the most kind and generous people I have ever met, and I cannot say enough good things about him. He is definitely my better half. :-)

4. Tradition

My love for tradition can be traced back to my childhood. I think tradition provides a framework within which one can begin to identify himself or herself, and it also instills a sense of togetherness and belonging that over the years I have found difficult to duplicate. Although I have always been a creature of habit and I have an extreme dislike for change, another great thing about tradition is that it has the capability to evolve over time depending on the situation and the needs of those involved. As I said earlier regarding my family, some of my fondest memories are rooted in tradition. While many traditions have come and gone in my life, I greatly look forward to continuing those old traditions that do still exist, as well as creating new ones in the future.

5. Giving

One of the things that brings great joy to my life is being able to give to others. I love finding the perfect present to put a smile on someone's face, and I would much rather buy for others than buy for myself. As a result, I go overboard sometimes (mostly when it comes to my nephews and nieces), and my budget goes out the window, particularly at Christmas. Giving to me isn't solely about material items, though. While a present can be meaningful, I find it much more deeply rewarding to give of myself. I have always been the type of person who puts others before myself, and there is no length I won't go to for my loved ones. Most people would say this is one of my greatest flaws, but I personally feel it is one of my greatest strengths.

6. Hockey

One of my biggest passions in life is the great sport of hockey. Unfortunately for me, hockey is not the most prominent of sports in Indiana. I have been lucky enough to travel to several nearby cities (as well as a couple of cities not so nearby) associated with NHL franchises, the most important of those being Detroit, Michigan! :-) One of my goals in life is to attend an NHL game at each of the 30 NHL arenas. So far I have been to six NHL arenas, however there is one team I will have to travel to watch a second time - the Phoenix Coyotes. When I visited Phoenix in March of 2003 for the 2002-2003 season, the Coyotes played at America West Arena. Shortly afterward, the Coyotes started off the 2003-2004 season in October of 2003 playing at their new arena, Jobing.com Arena. If only I had waited seven months to see the Phoenix Coyotes! :-D

7. Christmas Lights

I decided to include an extra item on my list, what with Christmas being less than a week away. One of my favorite things about the holiday season has always been driving around to look at Christmas lights. On my way to work this morning, I contemplated taking a different route until I quickly remembered the house I pass by each morning that is entirely decked out in Christmas lights (unfortunately, I do not have a picture of the house - I would feel weird taking a picture of someone's house without their permission). Even though I drive past this house every morning and evening during the week, each time I pass by it I am just as excited to see it as I was when I first saw it. It's a shame that more people don't decorate their houses for the holidays.

Since there are less than six people that I know of who read this blog, rather than tag six people I am simply going to encourage anyone who happens across this post to complete the exercise. And of course, leave me a comment when you do so I can read your list! :-)

1 comment:

Liam said...

I resolve not to make any resolutions for the year... oh... dammit...