by thea marie
Just a list of some things in life that bring me joy.
A Few of My Favorite Things
I was having one of those days at work where I was feeling put upon for no reason other than it was spring, the sun was shining outside, and I wanted to be anywhere other than where I was, stuck in a mandatory Wednesday Staff Meeting.
Bored to tears, I had tuned out the latest attempt to justify someone else’s job, and my mind had turned to more negative activities, such as coming up with the proper adjectives to describe the presenter's not quite blonde, straw-like hair. Looking at her, I began wondering where trim ended and washed-out and drained began. When I got to the place where I was trying to form a mental picture of her bony frame and skeletal face in the throes of passion and with what possible whom, I knew I had to redirect my focus.
I have gotten into the habit of keeping a journal with me at all times. It comes in quite handy at such moments. Using a prompt that I had seen earlier in the week, I began to jot a list of my favorite things. It took the edge off, and I was safe in doing that; it appeared as if I were taking notes.
Later that evening, going back over all I had written that day, I found that list and I decided to flesh it out some. I find that when I do lists of these types, I discover things about myself down between the lines of what I’ve said on paper.
And so, I share with you my list of favorite things and the reason why they are favorites, in no particular order. Along with my list, I hope to share with you a little bit of myself.
White grapes: I love the globe variety, but the pearlettes are good, too. White grapes are at their best when they begin to get that slightly golden tinge to them and the vines have withered just a bit. So sweet, and so juicy, I enjoy them most when they are sweaty- cold from having been refrigerated. They are my favorite late night treat.
Beads: I collect them to make jewelry. The different shapes, colors, and textures are fascinating. It doesn’t matter if they are cheap acrylics or Swarovski crystal, if they’re attractive, I am drawn to them. My own handmade polymer clay beads are my favorites. I control the colors, shapes, and textures. I am in charge of the design. When I make the beads, there are endless artistic possibilities before me, and nobody to tell me what’s right or what’s wrong when I’m done. The call is my own. Even when they don’t come out the way I started, it’s still a usable work of art to be incorporated into something larger, functional, and beautiful.
My computer: It’s the endless possibilities, period.
Hart to Hart: My all-time favorite television show, even though it went out of production in the mid-eighties. The Harts were a handsome couple, happy and secure with their lives and themselves. Both were accomplished people, but still curious about the world around them. They had the money to do exactly what they wanted to do and to pursue their dreams and desires without having to worry about who they weren’t going to pay when all was said and done. They had a mature, loving relationship in which they remained faithful to each other. It was TV, I know, but it was nice to fantasize for an hour every Tuesday night.
Lisa: My younger sister. She is funny, and she is very smart.
Intelligent people who are also fun: Because they are.
Writing: It provides me with so many avenues in which to go my own way. I am empowered by the many different genres to say the things I wouldn’t dare speak of orally. I can be whoever I want to be through my writing.
Scented candles: Calming, sensual, soothing. I believe that my sense of smell is somehow directly attached to my soul. I write and I create by scented candle or simmering potpourri. Soaking in a fragrant bubble bath with a glass of sweet, cold red wine in a bathroom lit only by candle is the ultimate relaxing experience. Sandalwood, Jasmine, and Ocean are for me, the most inspiring scents.
Summertime: The inviting warmth, open windows and soft breezes at night, green everywhere, cleansing summer rain, being able to be outdoors without having to wear a whole lot clothing, summer fruit, especially Santa Rosa plums and Georgia peaches, working in the yard (until it gets too hot), the singing of crickets in the night, summer kisses from someone special….
Traveling: Seeing new things is refreshing and enlightening. It expands perspectives, vocabularies, and mental inventories. I most enjoy historic places, old homes, crumbling mansions, cemeteries, sodden, fishy old waterfronts. I lie awake sometimes imagining things in yet unexplored places, wishing I could afford to just take off at will, wishing I had the nerve to just do it.
Reading: I haven’t done a lot of it lately for pleasure, but I do like to get lost in a good book. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was my last excellent excursion.
Weekends: I can do what I want to do, and sleep as late as I want to sleep. I can get up as early as I want without having to worry about where I have to be in a little while. I can stay up as late as I like without thinking about having to get up. Best of all, I can write as long as I feel like it. Whatever I want to do, I can do it. I am very protective of and particular about my weekends.
Planes: As a passenger, I am exhilerated by the speed of taking off and comforted by the bumping and catching of the wheels touching down upon landing, and then by the brakes gradually slowing the aircraft. Standing on the ground,I watch them take off and land like huge, graceful birds, so majestic and awe-inspiring. It is really something to stand there, knowing that one man is in control of all that machinery. I gaze at them going out and coming in, wondering where they’ve been and to where they might be going, and imagining who is on board and about what they are thinking. In my head, the stories just come and come.
Belle Isle Park in Detroit, MI: It has a unique smell and feel, which defies written explanation. I can still remember the comforting, secure feeling of being there as a kid with my family. Those were some of the best days of my lives, before I could see the flaws in my parents and in our lives. I’ve always loved that place. In reality, it is an island, but for me it has been an oasis of peace and tranquility in times that I needed to pull away from the turbulence of my real world.
People: Not necessarily always interacting with them, I enjoy my personal space and my own company, but I do love just sitting and watching them. I enjoy talking sometimes, but the conversation has to have a point and be meaningful. I have never been one for small talk. I like listening on the edge of other people’s conversations, and reading between their lines. Even more, I like to sit and watch and wonder about the people around me, their backgrounds, their experiences, all of the things that have made them who they are, and that influence how they think and what they do.
Coffee: Straight-up Columbian, not the gourmet kind. It is an absolute must first thing in the morning. I like it very warm, not steaming hot, sweetened with real sugar, not that artificial stuff, and lots of cream. And it has to be good. Nothing is worse than a sorry or weak cup of coffee the first thing in the morning. That will mess up your whole day.
A good laugh: I’m talking about the kind that makes me cry and makes my gut cramp. It’s cleansing for the mind, the spirit, and the soul.
In a while, probably at another down moment, I can pull this out again, and view it with another eye. From that more objective perspective, I can be reacquainted with the person who lives her life between the lines of these favorites.