Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Happy List

Also known as ... The Grown Woman's Everyday Christmas List.
I got this idea from a friend whose husband asked her this simple but puzzling question:

"What do you want?"

We 50+ moms have spent decades pushing that question to the back, intent as we've been at meeting other people's needs.  Some women are quite good at knowing their own happy lists and keeping happy things close to hand. Things that calm, things that remind you of who you want to be, what you want to do when all those other responsibilities are quieted a bit.

My friend's list included:  "Quiet when the electricity is off, a new book to read, hot creamy tea in cups and saucers, newly sharpened pencils, the smell of turpentine and hot tar (but not together), potting plants, the fragrance in the kitchen after I've ironed, vanilla and lemons, the soft chattering of my chickens, hot fudge sauce, that look my husband gets on his face, rain, dancing in the kitchen with the lights off, bare feet on hot pavement, long skirts, Birkenstocks, shortbread, Chinese food, lit candles, open windows with the curtains name a few." (I hope she doesn't mind my quoting her.)

I second her list, but could do without the pencils, turpentine and tar, all ironing, and hot pavement. Otherwise, she and I could live together harmoniously. In fact, I've often thought that if my precious husband died early (which I hope indeed he does NOT), I could perhaps live with another lady friend, someone about my age, relatively quiet and settled, with similar but not identical interests. Someone not too chatty, and not at all bossy, independent like me. Just a companion. If she liked ironing, and I do like dish-washing, that might be a good combination.

I digress. I do want to shift slowly toward wearing long skirts. Recently I was sitting squirming on the couch, trying to be comfortable in a pair of short. I realized a nice long skirt would be so much more comfortable, so I changed. I plan to cull snug shorts and pants out of my closet and move in more long farm skirts. Like this one:
And to her list I'd add knitting and crocheting, of course. Mexican food instead of Chinese. The feel of a little dog asleep on the couch next to me. And evenings on the couch with Adam watching Rumpole and other BBC favorites. Brisk afternoons on the river in the sailboat. Rows of newly canned preserves. Bike rides too. I adore rainstorms. Candles, books, tea, chickens. Yes -- that's quite a happy list.

What think you, ladies? Are you to an age when it's time to draw your happy things about you? What would you add to your list?


  1. I would add clean sheets, fluffy towels and a cat on my lap.

  2. Absolutely don't mind you quoting me, and enjoyed your list. :) And about the long skirts... so attractive, and what I do all the time. My husband told me years ago he preferred me in skirts and dresses, and I'm happy to oblige.

  3. Most of what is on your list M.K., but add to that my daughter and her tribe, a little cat cuddled up, the sound of bird song, puddling around in my kitchen creating something good to eat, and then eating it of course, with a glass of wine :-) Coming home along the Freeway and crossing the river, which is the demarcation line of the Central Coast ("I'm home"). Walking in through my front door....... I could go on for a while.

  4. I hope you do not lose Adam any time soon.

    It's 31 months since my dear husband went to be with God, and I've been gathering and arranging happy things around me. My little cottage is too tiny to have another lady to live with, but if something like that came my way, I might consider it, for right now, I'm content here in the little haven that we created, from the crazy world that surrounds me.

    Have a lovely weekend with Adam ~ FlowerLady


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