The ocean. One of my favorites then and now, too. The ocean seems to me to be the ultimate metaphor for a good life. It has it’s stormy days and it’s weak days, but no matter how many times the water recedes from shore, a new wave always comes back up. No matter what tragedy or bad day or any worldly happening, the ocean just keeps on washing over the sand, making it new again.
Okay, so in my world, a visit to Costco is delightful. It’s special. It’s exciting and adventurous, and if you’re frugal, it can almost be heavenly. Almost. Apparently, things were a little too divine on my most recent visit to Costco last Sunday. While visiting family in Arizona, we put my membership card to good use, exploring the warehouse’s plethora of bulk items. We also partook of the only thing small at Costco, the samples. Now this was no ordinary day. This sacred day, to my utter (and surprisingly strong) delight, a small booth settled in the chips section, was handing out sweet nectar, or Diet Dr. Pepper.
“Have some,” a kind Costco worker said.
I obliged this heavenly club worker, even pumping a fist before lifting the fine dixie cup to thine lips. Yes, I do love Dr. Pepper, and I enjoyed it immensely as we moseyed down the next aisle. Turning the corner and rounding back up, we found ourselves once again by the beverage of my heart and the angel who served it.
“Since you were a fan, how about you have some more,” my angel in a hairnet said.
“Really?” Could this be true? Better hurry before she changes her mind.
“Thank you,” I said as I picked up the drink. What happened next was out my control.
By that I mean, I don’t what I was thinking. I tipped the glass to her, as if to say, “Cheers.” I winked, and I loudly said in a deep voice, “You’re doing God’s work here.”
The lovely woman was a little takenaback, and I left her immediately with a confused look on her face, a little confused myself. God’s work? Did I really just tell someone that serving DDP was God’s work?
Now, I think that this story has a few morals: (1) I am ridiculous (less of a moral, more of a fact of life), (2) Apparently Costco is a spiritual experience, (3) God’s work can actually happen with only giving out delicious coke, and (4) although it’s risky saying things before thinking about them, it often produces moments of hilarity to be enjoyed as often as possible.
A few more small things that bring me satisfaction.
6. BRUSHING MY DOG. I know what you’re thinking, “I know! I love brushing my dog, too!” Calm down, okay? I don’t really like brushing my dog’s hair. It’s annoying. She flips around for the first five minutes, and I will inevitably be covered in hair afterwards. But, my puppy, Estelle Getty, truly enjoys this, and I enjoy not having black lab hair everywhere. Sometimes (lots of times) satisfaction blossoms out of things I have to choose to enjoy.
7. GOOD WORDS. This could be the writer in me, but I love saying words that pop out of your mouth. They don’t have to be fancy or remarkable in any way other than the way they sound. Words like punctual, crisp, garbanzo, pustule, persnickety, or waffle are a few of my favorites. In my defense, if I’m talking to you about a timely, stubborn pimple or eating bean waffles, it’s probably an excuse to use those words.
8. EATING. This could probably be the list. Food is good and makes life good, too. One spectacular food venture I engulfed recently was the Sonoran hot dog, or Arizona’s all-out attempt at a heart attack: a hot dog covered in bacon with beans, onions, tomatoes, some sort of jalepeño sauce, and some sort of white sauce in a delicious bun. LOTS of satisfaction with that one.
9. BEING OUTSIDE. Man oh man. Sometimes I think I (and everyone) forgets what gifts the great outdoors have to offer. Whether I’m running, planking (that’s a joke), lazily biking, walking my dog, standing on the sidewalk (wish this were a joke), or soaking up the sun, the fresh air and calm sounds of being outside can instantly make the day better. Not to mention, moving around always seems to make the day better. No, that’s not me dancing in my room when it’s raining out. No…
10. PEOPLE. Let’s be honest, sometimes people are jerks. Sometimes I am one of those jerks. But most of the time, with one-on-one interactions when you are positive, people are so cool. From crazies who invite me to their 34th birthday party with a handwritten invitation after just meeting me (true story) to a best friend who makes you belly laugh, people are simply incredible. I like to be alone, but I also love people! And interacting with them, even the “crazies,” makes the day seem real and worth it and satisfying.
I have come to the unoriginal conclusion that it’s the little things. Now, I know that the actual saying continues on: “It’s the little things that count.” But for myself, I’d like to modify that if I could.
I would say, “it’s the little things that make life hilarious.” Take for instance, the pin I found at a knick-knack store in Ventura, CA.
This pin is ridiculous. I mean, for the individual looking to promote feline breastfeeding it’s perfect, but for the rest of us it’s both a little disgusting and a lot of hilarious.
I would also say, “it’s the little things I remember.” Like the first time I watched Marley & Me. It was my first night at college alone, and I’ve never cried at a movie more in my whole life.
But mostly I’d say, “it’s the little things that make life alive.” It’s the way mustard squirted on my white t-shirt in front of people I just met. It’s the fact that between the last sentence in this one I had to clean up a dog mess. 😦 It’s the new panoramic function my brother found on his camera phone. It’s all of those things and so many more that make life so full of life. And, I stopped making sense before this blog started, so sorry. Deal with it.
“You’re supposed to enJOY it. All of it. For the rest of your life.”
I begin this post with a quote from Soul Surfer because I’m going to talk about JOY, swimming, and for unknown reasons, am set on including this picture from Oahu. So…
Let me be clear, I usually try to enJOY life. I enJOY the people I am around, even if they’re out of their minds. I enJOY myself, even when I’m out of my mind. I try to be intentionally JOYful.
However, JOY is also something that I often realize is missing from my days: the way I interacted with the cashier, the tone I had with my mom on the phone, or even just the way I let the day be less than mediocre for no reason at all. It seems that as I get older, things that I enJOY are threatened by… grown-up bad attitudes, mostly.
Take swimming. I LOVE to swim. Always have. Ask anyone (mainly my family) about my “dolphin show” I put on in the pool, and then maybe you’ll understand. Let’s just say I’m pretty good at multiple dolphin-like noises and belly finishes. Moving on… When I joined the swim team in high school, something I loved slowly slipped away from me, from no one’s fault but my own. I became stressed at practice and angry at my performance. And it was my bad attitude clouding my enJOYment of swimming, making me dread practice, and actually hindering me from getting better. By the time I got to college, I couldn’t even experience how cool it was to be on an NCAA Div I Swim Team (although it was just for my gpa, so don’t get too impressed). Instead, I was too embarrassed and disappointed in how slow my times were. What?! I look back on that now (only three years ago), and I can’t believe I let that amazing opportunity go by. An opportunity to get better at swimming, yes, but mostly an opportunity to enJOY the experience. To relish swimming in an Olympic-grade pool with future professional swimmers and Olympians. Seriously, why could I not just chill out and enJOY?!
I say this now because I think that the experiences I’m currently going through that threaten my JOY are very much the same. The world comes crashing down, trying to rain on my parade. Oh, how it tries. But guess what, ugly part of the world? You can’t stop this attitude (the good one)! I still love swimming, but it took a while to get back together. We’re still working on things. And there are things I treasure, things I do, and ways I think that I refuse to handle with anything but JOY. So cashier, I’ll make your day next time. And Mom, feel free to call. I’ll be nice. And day, you’re going to be spectacular, or at least full of laughter because laughter is my favorite way to live with JOY.
EnJOY your day, and I’m sorry for the annoying caps. (But not sorry enough to change them.)
I’ve been told that using the word “awesome” as a writer is lazy language; however, this is a moment when the word is entirely appropriate.
10 Reasons My Dad Is Awesome
1. He once ran over our cat on the way out of the driveway on vacation. This fits with the fact that Dad approaches vacations like Clark Griswold, and Clark W. Griswold is awesome!
2. My awesome dad dressed up as Harry Potter for the midnight premiere of Deathly Hallows Part II.
3. Dad brought me home after getting my wisdom teeth pulled, and he didn’t make a video about it or ever mention the crazy stuff I’m sure I said, instead he got me a milkshake and drove home. Which reminds me, Dad will impulsively add milkshakes to drive-thru orders, and it’s awesome!
4. Dad will give you advice on or talk to me about anything; he genuinely wants to be interested in whatever I’m interested in. Awesome dad work!
5. When I got a B- in the fourth grade, Dad wasn’t mad. Thanks, Dad. You’re awesome.
6. Dad knows a lot about everything, and that’s awesome.
7. Once on vacation, we had to pull over to a hotel for the sole purpose to watch an IU basketball game. IU awesomeness.
8. Dad has these incredible chewing muscles that flex in his forehead. Yes, I know everyone has these, but Dad’s are like The Rock’s biceps in his forehead. It’s awesome.
9. It’s because of Dad that I know the storylines of Tremors 1, 2, 3, and 4 and of most Steven Segal, Chuck Norris, and Bruce Willis movies. Awesome.
10. Dad makes it clear that he is proud of his kids and loves them no matter what, and that makes him the best dad in the world.
Happy Birthday to my awesome daddy-o!
Well, here’s to the start of something… blig. (Note: blog and big do NOT combine well. FYI, I wouldn’t ever try to get away with using the word “blig,” especially in something as classy as your personal blog.)
My kids have hounded me about starting this blog and sharing with the world the delights of my days, like the time I spent a month crocheting non-stop or the giant burrito I ate last week. So for the happiness of my children, here’s to blogging. (cue glass clinking or High School Musical or both). Oh, and by kids, I mean my dog, Estelle Getty.