Friday, June 3, 2011

100 Things to Be HAPPY About

Now that I am a full week into my self-funded sabbatical, it is time to reflect on my year teaching 8th grade Language Arts in a large urban district.  Rather than rant and rave about how challenging this year proved to be (because if you've had the "pleasure" of talking to me over the past 7 months, you know how I truly feel), I have decided to focus on the positive.

I started counting down the days pretty early in the year and when I realized there were a mere 100 days remaining back in December, I began to compile a list.  Inspired by a former teacher/current friend and mentor, I borrowed from the book 14,000 Things to Be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer and created my own version.  (Perhaps I should credit Oprah and her gratitude journal or whatever it's called...but she gets enough press as it is.)

I'm not going to share my complete list of 100, just a smattering of ideas.  Like the actual book, my list ranges from serious to frivolous.  The common denominator, however, was that I was able to think of at least one thing that made me happy after a day of frustration.

So, without further ado...100 Things to Be HAPPY About (in reverse order--I was counting down, remember?):

98.  The glow of Christmas lights in a dark room
91.  Checking things off the to-do list
89.  Perfectly ripe bananas with a hint of green on the top
83.  Scoring 66 points in "Words with Friends"
76.  Not being made to feel guilty about plaque at the dentist
74.  Jon's homemade beer
66.  Thinking of Dad
60.  Spontaneous dancing in the kitchen
58.  Library book sales
52.  Not feeling like a tourist
50.  Random Friends references
42.  Wearing flip flops
36.  Bad puns (which are actually good puns)
31.  Going to the grocery store, leisurely strolling down every aisle
27.  Food prepared near the street
20.  Listening to NPR in the car
17.  Jon and I "out-awesoming" each other
13.  Shakespeare in the Park
7.    Tap dancing
1.    Being DONE and DONE!

If for some reason, you are interested in the whole list, I would be happy to share.  However, I think the point is to think of your own list, profound or random as it might be.  I found it helpful to reflect on my blessings even in the midst of a crappy situation.  Insert clich├ęs here:  every cloud has a silver lining, always look on the bright side of life (try to get that song out of your head), Little Mary Sunshine, Pollyanna, etc.   

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