Everything that has Made Me Happy This Year, so Far

I’m a believer in the small wonders, the mundane-yet-beautiful things hidden in tiny pockets of life. Nonetheless, I’ve been quiet on this blog because not everything is simple, no matter how many lovely things there are in life, there are also a handful of hardships. My health hasn’t been too great lately, so it’s hard to be as organized as I’d like to be.

A while back, when my health was slightly better than it is now, I wandered into the book section of Goodwill. I shifted through the 50 cent paperbacks, putting way more titles than I needed into my cart. I stumbled upon a book that made me stop for a second. 14,000 Things to be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer.

Reader, I purchased it.

14,000 Things to be Happy About is exactly what it sounds like. Every page is filled with tiny things to be happy about. From “old-time radio shows” to “beginning a journal in a blank book” to “whales.” The author introduces her book this way:

This book represents 20 years of recording all the little things that make me happy. Beginning in the sixth grade with a tiny spiral notebook, I graduated to larger notebooks and finally to a personal computer that today contains more than a million bytes worth of word-pictures. Words, and the images they create, can be a great source of pleasure and inspiration. Sometimes, on a gray day, I flip through this collection to cheer myself up; often I use it to get ideas about what to cook for dinner or something fun to do with my son on the weekend.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I would love to be like Barbara Ann Kipfer. I’d love to master the art of happiness within gratitude and the art of learning to notice the little sparks of joy every single day. At the turning of the year, during days of low health and high stress, I decided it was my time to start. I pulled out a burned-orange notebook and began documenting every little thing that made me happy. I named the notebook “Cordelia” as tribute to the optimistic outlook of Anne from L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables

I thought I’d make it a tradition to transcribe these things at the start of every month and post it here. It’s already a couple of months into the year, so this list will be a bit longer than any future posts of the same sort. But, in conclusion, here are all the many things that have made me happy this year so far.

  • Hot cocoa
  • Thrift stores
  • Used books that were written in 
  • Ukuleles
  • Icicles stuck to houses
  • The patterns on snowflakes
  • Antique shops
  • Cute little teacups
  • Aspiring writers who get excited when talking about their WIP
  • Pretty notebooks
  • The smell of books
  • Online events
  • Puns 
  • Sunrises
  • Record players
  • Wax seals
  • Ferns
  • Pinecones
  • The green shade of sage
  • Shoeboxes
  • Embroidery
  • Origami
  • Comments on my blog posts
  • Cute aprons 
  • Acquaintances remembering my name
  • Whipped Cream
  • Cats kneading
  • Packages on my doorstep
  • Victorian houses
  • Herbs
  • Puffy cumulus clouds
  • Getting lost in music
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • Sitcoms
  • Baby name websites
  • Hearing stories from the elderly
  • Hank Green
  • Sunset yellow
  • Watercolour paintings
  • Bookmarks
  • Indie folk music
  • Mitski
  • Filling out planners and calendars
  • Goats
  • Fruit smoothies
  • When someone likes the same book as me
  • Unexpected gifts
  • The Enneagram
  • Fireplaces
  • Multicoloured highlighters
  • Dimples
  • Clean fanfiction
  • Disposable cameras
  • Constellations
  • Card games
  • Rabbit sniffles
  • Noises that goats make
  • Making new friends
  • Hair dye
  • Caramel-flavoured coffee
  • Fantasy worlds
  • Cute conversations between newlyweds
  • The colour brunette in my hair
  • Names and their meanings
  • People telling me funny stories
  • Unconditional, hardworking love
  • Kettle corn
  • Bathrooms with blue walls
  • Old farmhouses
  • Cute names for animals
  • Mary Poppins
  • The feeling after finishing a book 
  • Owl City
  • Polaroid pictures
  • Beams of sunlight through windows
  • Starting university
  • Watching plays
  • Philosophical questions 
  • My dad’s dumb jokes
  • People opening gifts on their birthdays
  • Quirky history professors
  • Mac and cheese
  • People praying for me
  • Waking up to snowfall
  • Large, fluffy snowflakes
  • When snow outlines tree branches 
  • Saying “fnow” instead of “snow”
  • World maps
  • My mom’s hugs
  • Watching puppies grow up
  • When cats brush up against people
  • Counting down the days to an exciting event
  • Pressing the “submit” button on an online assignment
  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Recordings of faraway forests
  • Petting my dog on his belly
  • My dad, enjoying his Christmas gift
  • New York Times crossword puzzles
  • Writing poetry
  • Foreign words with beautiful meanings
  • Saoirse Ronan in Little Women
  • Watching people play in the snow
  • Snowmen mysteriously appearing on the sidewalk
  • Chocolate chip pancakes
  • Lovers on Valentine’s day
  • People saying “I appreciate you.”
  • Short films
  • Spontaneous Facetime calls
  • Vanilla sugar cookies
  • Tab Murphy
  • Doofensmirtz Evil Inc. 
  • Weighted blankets
  • Freddy Carter + Kit Young + Amita Suman
  • Getting excited for upcoming TV shows
  • Pizza
  • Wintery drives with frost-covered trees
  • Green-painted cabinets
  • Lavender
  • Chickadees
  • Mobility aids
  • PicCrew
  • Piano jazz
  • Romans 8
  • Campfires
  • When people blush
  • Postcards
  • Being productive
  • When friends accomplish big things
  • Short stories
  • Story plotting tools
  • Quirky typography
  • Pictures from childhood
  • My embarrassing blog from middle school
  • Sentimental mugs
  • New “sparks” of ideas
  • David Bowie
  • Tulips
  • Aeroplanes
  • The “u” in favourite
  • The word “serendipity”
  • The sound of crackling fire
  • Paul Simon
  • Evenings with family
  • House Hunters: Comedians on Couches
  • Mornings when I feel fresh
  • Reflections in water
  • Tea kettles
  • Knitting circles
  • “Grandma” crafts
  • Clive Wearing’s love story
  • New film/TV trailers!
  • Swing music
  • Dogs comforting people when they’re sad

Keep wandering,

TALK TO ME! Comments make my day. What are your thoughts? What are some things that have made you happy lately?

11 comments / Add your comment below

  1. My goodness, Ms Sophia, I may not know you but at your mother’s recommendation I read your list. What a beautiful list it is and I feel as if I’m looking at my own list. People’s commonalities will always be more kind hearted than their differences. I’ve never left a comment on a blog before, but you’ve made me think that it is important to the writer. Thank you!

  2. I absolutely love this list and I can relate to so many of them! Especially Freddy carter and upcoming TV shows 😉 I have been keeping a journal since November where I write down at least one thing every day that I’m grateful for and it has been the best thing!

  3. Hey Sophia! I had just been thinking about your blog when I received your email!! The second I saw your comment about the Shadow and Bone series on Netflix I checked out the trailer…I’ve been waiting so long for it to come out!! I love that you named your journal Cordelia. And I think it’s so awesome that you started this notebook. It’s such a good idea!

    Praying for your health 💜

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this Sophia! It made me happy to read all these and encouraged me to more frequently list things too!
    I was just in Boston for a few weeks and watching the snow fall on the green leaves of trees and just swirling in the air made my heart so happy❤️❤️

  5. Good Morning Sophia. I saw your blog on your mom’s FB page. This is really wonderful. You are a gifted writer and I appreciate your perspective on life. Especially when it is hard. I’m glad you mentioned your new puppy…that would be on my list too, well, at least most of the time. Having him sleep in my arms with a soft blanket over us is just wonderful! I did say a little prayer of thanks the other day when I was cuddling with him. So thankful God made dogs for us to love and enjoy. Have a good day!

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