Following a prompt I saw in several places in my early-morning web browsing, I decided to write my own list of what makes me happy, in exactly 400 words. I hope you enjoy it, and then take 30 minutes to write your own.
My first cup of hot tea, milk, no sugar, in the morning. Eaten with toast spread with peanut butter and home-made jam.
Making home-made fig jam (and prune, and apricot, etc.) in spring and summer to enjoy in the winter.
Walking my four dogs up the hill, then back down through the fields.
Watching the new puppy find her place in the "pack of four".
Going upstairs to my office and sitting down to do yoga, meditate and write.
Being alone and being with others, in balance.
Being in the countryside and being in Rome, in balance.
Trying new recipes, finding one we all love and making it often.
Doing word games and jigsaw puzzles.
Discovering a new blog where the writing and content are both terrific.
Online courses, tutorials, youtube and Kindle books.
Amazon.uk.co and .it
Book club with an international group of women and books I'd never have discovered on my own.
Long, easy conversations in English. Speaking in Italian, and being understood!
Traveling, with trusted house sitters.
Finding some money squirreled away in a pocket that I had forgotten about.
Being a mother, being married. Having hear-to-hearts with both. Eating nearly all our meals together.
Discovering new music and ITunes music downloads.
Radio over the internet.
Winter: The fireplace, knitting and a great movie. Hot soup. Cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, spinach and broccoletti, brussel sprouts. Reading a book while snuggled under three blankets. The reflections the Christmas tree lights make on the wall and ceiling when they are the only lights in the room. My son's presepio, with figures from Naples and painted cardboard boxes. Baking cookies...and licking the beaters. Then eating the warm cookies. With a cup of tea, milk, no sugar.
Spring: The promise of planting seeds indoors while it's still cold outside. The pruned olive tree branches dancing in the wind. Bulbs blooming, and roses too.
Summer: Digging in the warm earth to plant seeds, bulbs, seedlings, trees. Picking a vegetable or fruit from the garden and eating it within minutes.
Shooting stars. Italian beaches...lounge chairs, umbrellas, snack bars and the Mediterranean Sea. Thinking: OK, in that direction is Greece, in that direction is Africa. Artisanal gelato. Home-grown tomato sandwich with mayo on white. Salads and BBQs.
Autumn: Berries, wildflowers,and mushrooms. The smell of burning wood. New oil bruschetta. New wine.
Being retired so I can notice and appreciate this all more easily!