Where is happiness? Where do you find it?
The $7 coffee pot we bought the day we moved in together–because we knew that functioning properly as a team might require adequate dosages of caffeine in our morning routines.
Stretching my toes against the curb while waiting for the light to change.
High-fiving the blinking walk sign's red hand, just because I want to jump up and smack something.
The strange satisfaction from deconstructing cardboard boxes and stacking them neatly in the recycling pile—and the way the open-faced scissors run against the tape and snap—split!—open the box.
Running my hands under hot water with basil-lemon fragrance, and then doing it again just because I enjoy the feeling and the scent. Cooking food in a pot and stirring it, without doing anything else. No phone, no thoughts, just delighting in the tomatoes. Watching the skin of the tomatoes shrink, shrivel and curl under the heat, and the center seeds ooze out into a sauce.
Sunlight streaming in through a window and running over like a cat (what? run? I mean strolling deliberately without a care in the world) towards the sunny spot, closing my eyes for a few moments. Yes, a catnap...
The sun shifts. Back to work.
Squeaky chairs and creaky old apartment doors and fixing the whines with magical cans of WD-40 (that stuff is amazing).
This is it, isn't it? These are the little blisses.
These are the moments that are worth it. These are the parts and pieces. Happiness isn't a victory, a destination, or an achievement. It's not something I've won or owned; I'm not sure it's something I can ever capture. But when I start to look around for it, it shows up in the smallest ways, in the minutiae of moments, in the collection of pieces I often forget.
Life isn't felt in summation or as some frozen awkward final pose. It isn't a grade, it isn't a race, and it isn't something you can buy. Life is a series of moments, and is experienced as that—a series of simple moments. Change is hard not because ideas are hard to have, but because mastering the little moments is tremendously challenging. It's inside of the little moments that lies all of our life.
Life is a series of simple moments, one after the other. Life is about finding the bliss in the moment right now.
Licking envelopes closed and sealing them, addressing piles of cards and notes to send to faraway friends across the world. Writing positive postcards and telling your friends that you love them.
Calling people randomly because scheduling all of your phone calls becomes slightly neurotic. Catching up ... just because.
Tape, and all of its goodness. Tape tape tape. The sound of tape as you say it. TAPE.
A do-it-yourself at-home sauna treatment after you've had a cold for a few days: sinking your head into a bucket of steam and eucalyptus oil and praying to the sinus gods to let you get better quickly.
A classroom full of some of the most intelligent, talented students you've ever met who all let you take a short break and even send you get-well messages when, like this week, you run headfirst into a cold and don't know how to slow down.
Flying across the country to see my Grandpa and have him meet my man. Watching the two of them talk, and hearing stories of growing up hungry and skinny during the Depression. Him saving 10 cents and skipping lunch so he could spend that money on new chemicals for his chemistry set. Watching this smarty-pants have his eyes get wider as he looks at my mom and mock-whispers to her, "These here are some smart ones, aren't they?" about the work that we're doing in the world.
People who write back to my newsletters and posts, taking the time to share a part of their world (and their wonders and struggles) with me.
A seat opening up on the subway so you can sit down and sink into your book.
Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury, and his reminder to feel the aliveness of being alive. ALIVE.
The kindness of strangers. Old people who still joke about love and sex. The beauty of medium-sized. New friends on Twitter. Honest conversations. Handwritten words on the internet. Hitting publish. Audacity and courage.
A small glass of wine on a Friday night, resting up. A glassy of bubbly lemon water with fresh ginger.
The little blisses.
What are your little blisses? What are the moments that make you pause, lift the corners of your mouth a bit, or crack up in a smile?
Coming soon! The Writer's Workshop and Content Strategy for Thought Leaders, as digital self-guided courses. Available in the Fall. Early-bird registration will be shared first to my private email list.