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’m content in never being satisfied. Let me explain. Life moves, constantly. At each victory, there is a new mountain, and this cycle is beautiful. But it’s also tedious and daunting and exhausting. I think, then, that it’s important to savor the tiny moments of satisfaction peppered, or even hidden, in the daily. These things make me feel accomplished when the bigger dreams are so far from complete, and they make the journey fun.
And let me just say this. I’m in my twenties, and this has made me think it’s entirely natural to feel discontent and far from where I think I need to be. But I think I’m probably always going to feel a little like that no matter my age. After all, this isn’t our final destination. It’s a gift to never be done, isn’t it? I mean, in some ways taking that on, makes me more at rest and more satisfied than when I actually accomplish something I perceive to be huge. Therefore, I’ve created a list, my friends, of daily things that give me, and I hope you, too, satisfaction.
1. AN EMPTY EMAIL INBOX. This is an amazing feeling! Note, you can find all of your unread emails by searching “is: unread” in gmail. You’re welcome. Outlook is a different beast, and I’m not doing to dwell on my 82 unread emails lost somewhere in the recesses of the internet. Surely, they’re just advertisements, right?
2. A NEW JAR OF PEANUT BUTTER. You’ve got a new container of pb. Congratulations! You now have enough goodness to last you a few weeks’ worth of PB&J’s (or PB&B(bananas)) if you’re hilly now, or you have enough creamy goodness to last you a single afternoon of Grey’s Anatomy if you’re hilly from freshman year of college. Self control issues concerning the Kryptonite that is peanut butter aside, I think we can all agree that taking the first scoop out of a perfectly smooth surface of manufactured deliciousness is one of the true joys in life. For the record, I am fully supporting of you almond butter lovers out there, but you Nutella people, I think you’re getting greedy.
3. TEETH FLOSSING. I understand a good deal of us don’t floss. Gross. I used to be in that category. Gross. We had to stick it to the dentist, right? Wrong. Let me tell you, flossing is one of the best, most satisfying parts of my day. Yes, that’s right. Flossing=good. Repeat.
4. LAUGHING. I’m going to put this twice because I want to. First, let’s talk about the physical act of laughing. Laughing is completely satisfying. It’s cathartic, it lightens everything, it makes you feel like you got a good ab workout in, etc.. When I heard about laugh therapy, I began a habit of taking a few minutes when I’m alone (I would suggest doing the same :)) and laughing. This means fake laughing until something real comes along. It’s actually really fun and silly and stupid, and who doesn’t like that combination. Quiet down, robots.
5. LAUGHTER. More abstractly, it feels good to be able to laugh at myself. I do a lot of dumb stuff. The person who stupidly cut you off in traffic or stood in the middle of the hallway doing nothing but unknowingly blocking your way or even the idiot who forgot to return a movie for a month and now owes twice the movie’s retail value? Those people are probably all me. I don’t mean to do any of this, and it’s pretty easy to get angry at myself for being dumb. But, I try, and I’m so happy when I succeed, to just laugh about it. It’s harder with the traffic, but the hallway thing, that’s how I make a work buddy! One that hates me to begin with, but hey, I’ll win them over.
These moments are affectionately referred to as “Bridget Jones” moments in the Miller household (possibly only by me). An example? I ordered a coffee named, “The Annihilator” this morning, and no joke, I said, “May I please have The Ann-hil… um the- this one,” having to resort to pointing after I botched the pronunciation of a simple word. The barista helped me out; I explained that I can’t read, a joke that I gave a little to dryly, and now will never go to that coffee shop again for fear he will give me a pack of Biscuit books. But the really special part, was how I laughed for five minutes afterwards about it. I know I’m not actually dumb, I hope. No, I’m not a genius, but hey, I like that I’m not. I’m happy with that. I played a spelling board game once, and one of my friends said that it was sad I couldn’t spell an “easy” word since I want to be a writer. Well, guess what, I’ve never been good at spelling even though I read and write a lot, so give it a break. Give yourself a break. I’ll give you a break. I want a kit-kat. This is getting off topic. The point is, laughing at yourself is a relief, and it’s one that I hope to share, not in a cruel way, but with compassion, to everyone I meet. We’re going to mess up, and it’s okay. It’s okay to be you, even if you’re a decently smart, bad spelling, peanut butter loving laugher like me, and it’s okay if you’re not any of those things. I’m glad I’m me, and I’m glad you’re you, and I’m glad to have little moments of satisfaction for us all to enjoy.