I wrote this post before Christmas, but I never got around to publishing it. The holidays went by in a whirl of chaos, but one night I was baking and listening to Christmas music. My Favorite Things played and, being alone in the kitchen, I was able to pay attention and reflect on the lyrics.
2015 has been challenging for me and my loved ones, and I appreciated the message of this song. When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when shit hits the fan, remembering our favorite things is a way of practicing awareness and appreciation for ordinary miracles that usually get taken for granted. It’s about gratitude.
I’m going to list ten of my favorite things and encourage other bloggers to do the same. I won’t tag anyone. I know most of you are busy, but if you have time, take this idea and have fun with it. Most of us are grateful for our families, food on the table, roofs over our heads. Let’s try to dig deep for the minutiae. It’s harder than you think!
10 of My Favorite Things
- Dog ear smell. It’s gross, but addictive and strangely comforting. Dog paws smell great too. I sniff my dogs regularly for the soothing effect.
- Flushing toilets and Running Water. Life can be rough in Panama. Once we were without running water for two months. Luckily it was during the rainy season and I set buckets under the gutters to collect rainwater for flushing toilets and washing dishes. We had to drive 12 km to my mother-in-law’s house every few days to bathe. I can live without power, but living without water is hell. Don’t take your level of sanitation for granted.
- Pine needles. My house is surrounded by tall pine trees that sway in the wind. Sometimes it sounds like ocean waves. Sometimes it’s like a round of applause. Hundreds of thousands of little pine needles slide upon one another and crash together to make that sound. Like Siddhartha at the river, I feel like if I listen closely enough, the pine needles will tell me the secrets of the Universe.
- Dirt, I love you. We always gush over beautiful flowers and trees. We depend on our fruits, vegetables, and grain to survive. Rarely do we ever admire dirt. Without dirt, all the botanical beauty wouldn’t exists. Neither would food. Neither would us. Thank you dirt!
- Chicken Abortions. I heard this term for eggs in a bad horror movie. I eat eggs every morning. They are a nutritious, cheap source of protein that keeps me full. Thank you chickens for your lovely eggs. I think they just might be the perfect food.
- People Who Smile. Has a stranger ever looked directly at you and smiled? A real smile with teeth? How do you feel when that happens? Once in awhile, I’ll make eye contact with a cashier or old lady on the street and they’ll smile, and I realize how seldom people do that. It’s sad. So thanks to all those people who smile. I will try to remember to pass it along.
- Change in Acceptable Nail Polish Color. Remember when the only socially and professionally acceptable nail polish colors were in the red, pink, coral, and nude spectrums? If you wore green or black you were a freak. Now women can wear funky colors at any age. I’m rocking a muddy purple today. Loving it!
- Arm and Hammer Baking Soda Toothpaste and Whitestrips. There is nothing more effective for wine lovers and coffee drinkers than Arm and Hammer Baking Soda toothpaste along with the occasional Whitestrip treatment. It’s rare to find these products in Panama, so I stock up whenever I go back to the States. I’m a toothpaste smuggler.
- Baroque music. Having a crappy day? Put on Baroque music. I swear you can’t take the daily drama to heart when listening to Bach or Vivaldi. Behind the lurid beauty is a haughtiness that allows you to scoff at your problems–bitchslap them with your white glove, if you will. Such trifles! You will not deign to let any nonsense to upset you.
- Charming Men. My grandfathers were charmers. I snagged one of these old-school type charming men for myself. They are more prevalent in Latin America, but I don’t encounter many of them anymore. Are they going extinct? These are the handsome men who wink, who flatter, who flirt. Call me crazy, but I wonder if political correctness and sexual equality have prevented the new generations of males from growing up to be good old-fashioned charming devils.
So these are a few of my favorite things.
What are your favorite things?
Leave them in the comments section or post them on your blog and link back to me. I’ll tweet it out for you!