Well, I don't doubt Ali's peer-pressuring skills in the slightest, having been the (usually) happy victim many times before, but the thing is, I didn't really need that much convincing. It's just that I, unlike the two of them, apparently, had work to do today (something that may actually come up again soon...).
I only mention the way this all came about because I think it is a good reminder of how important it is to focus on the things that make us happy and thankful. Even before she convinced me to write one of my own, Ali mentioned her plan to write a things-that-make-me-happy post, and it got me to thinking about the subject. The thing is, I had a big disappointment yesterday that was making me feel down about the world. But when I put my mind to thinking about things that made me happy--I couldn't stop thinking of new things! Thus, I recommend this practice, and write the following list of things--no matter how small--that made me happy today.
1.Morning swim. A new pool recently opened fairly close to my house and I and a friend or two have been going there to swim a couple mornings a week. This is part of my I-miss-exercising-and-I-should-do-it-more plan. Why should I do it more? Because it makes me happy.
2.Editing the Vietnam Cultural Window magazine proof. This is my favorite part of my job, and it only comes around once every two months. I get kind of upset when I don't get to be the person who does it. Why? Because it makes me happy.
3.Interactions with people. This morning, a pair of men, who turned out to be brothers, struck up a conversation with me in the pool. Even though it started with a question that can indicate the beginning of an aggravating, you-are-amazing-just-because-you-are-a-foreigner conversation, it was not aggravating. Maybe it helped that the one man and I had something in common--we are both editors! Additionally, at lunch today, I realized, for no particular reason, how much I have come to like my co-workers. Thirdly, I went to my new favorite coffee shop to read during lunch, and realized that the workers there know who I am now. Being a "regular" always makes me happy.
4.Reading. When the coffee is so cheap and the coffee shop is so air-conditioned and I have such a long lunch break, there isn't much to stop me from going to the above mentioned coffee shop nearly every lunchtime to read. I just finished Great Expectations, which I enjoyed in the way I might enjoy a 14 mile run--it's great fun and leaves you with a great feeling of accomplishment, but you are ready to be done with it so you can move on to eating and showering. And now I have moved on to a lighter fare: Run, by Ann Patchett. Sure enough, reading it makes me happy.
5.Air conditioning. Weather.com told me that it was 97 in Hanoi today, but that it felt like 116. Or something like that. I think it is obvious why A/C makes me happy.
6.My hair. It looks good today, even post-sweaty bike ride. I'm not going to lie, looking good (which I usually don't in this weather) makes me feel happy.
7.The fact that my co-worker pumps breast milk every afternoon around this time while she sits in front of her computer. After the initial surprise, this has made me happy ever since.
8. I think I eeked a smile out of my host grandma this morning on my way out. This could have been my imagination, but if it was I going to go right on imagining it...why? Because it makes me happy, of course!
9. 2 months. That's how long it is before I get to see you. I will enjoy being here for those 2 months, but I'll admit that thoughts of going home do make me happy.
10. SAPA! Tonight a 9:50 pm, I and a number of my closest friends in Vietnam will board an overnight train to Sapa, a mountainous area near the China border. It's probably the place in Vietnam I've been looking forward to going to the most, and my work is paying for it as a thank-you present for all the free labor. Pretty good deal I think. There should be lots of mountains and gorgeousness and some "trekking" (cool backpacker-y word for hiking) and...can you tell that the mere thought of it makes me...happy?
And now, I hope this has made Ali happy. Why? Because making other people happy makes me happy! :)