i have some

and I love to share

Getting to the Good Stuff

Getting to the Good Stuff

The power of positive seeing

July 8, 2023

The last year has been rough. Really rough. Tiny-boat-on-the-giant-wave-from-The-Perfect-Storm rough. I never doubted I would survive it, but I also didn’t know how. By choice, I blew up my life. I don’t regret it, but some of the challenges have been greater than expected. Some I’m still smack in the middle of, working my way through by following a poorly lit path. My heart is broken and battered, and I feel more than a little abandoned by people I love and trust. But! I’m also feeling a bit like the Little Engine That Could, and I’m hoping I’m near the top of the hill. When I get up there, I don’t think I’ll speed right down. It will be worth it to stop at the top, hold up train traffic a little, look behind me, and say, “That was a seriously fucking huge hill. I’m pretty awesome to have made it up.” I believe in myself. I don’t think I can - I know I can.

I always carry notepads with me. Always. Big ones in my backpack. Little ones in my purse. Extras in my luggage, in case I encounter a note-taking emergency. Yes, I could absolutely use my phone - but why, when I have decent handwriting and the gliding of pen on paper is so satisfying? I’ve been trying to work in self care to manage my way through this season - being horribly lazy and watching movies, retail therapy, trying to learn new things - and one thing that helps me stay focused instead of letting the hurt overwhelm me is my list of good things. I very creatively call it The Good List. Anytime something makes me smile, or makes me say, “Let’s do that again,” or makes me want to share myself with the world again - I pull out a notepad and add it to the list. And maybe sharing the list with the world could make someone else’s day.

So, in progress, incomplete, in no particular order, evolving - here is The Good List so far:

cocktails with ingredients I can’t pronounce garnished with edible flowers
yoga that’s basically just almost taking a nap
bejeweled shoes
seamless underwear
noisy keyboards
endless card games
merino wool yarn
cookies that are soft and gooey but don’t fall apart as soon as you handle them
slightly undercooked scrambled eggs
gossiping with older women
places that trigger memories
eyelash extensions
the warm spot on the counter above the dishwasher while it’s running
concert tickets
hair ties that haven’t been stretched out yet
vacuumed floors
the view of downtown from my bed
the smell of my shampoo
the arrival of packages for preorders I forgot about
lemon Oreos
recipes that let me use boxed ingredients
jacket potatoes
negotiating the price of Brie at the cheese shop
the anticipation before the beat drops
wine carafes
comfortable headphones
being a regular at the neighborhood coffee shop
limited-edition vinyl records
a carry-on that matches my suitcase
tasting menus
getting lost in a pile of pillows
cat memes
noticing how my plants perk up when I remember to water them
new glasses
making a tank of gas last long enough that I can’t remember when I last filled it
obscure emojis
used cookbooks with handwritten notes in the margins
escape rooms
awkward dancing
fresh movie theater popcorn
cracking jokes with my gynecologist while she replaces my IUD
painted toenails
park swings
freshly washed bedsheets
the click of the work laptop closing on Friday afternoon
finding my way without the GPS
matching sets of underwear
more than one kind of whiskey on the shelf
books in a series
faint tan lines from my sandals
the heat outside after leaving a grocery store that’s slightly too cold
sporting events with friends
birthday texts
doubling the tip
obi belts
fancy lemonade
eye contact
surprise compliments
the worn-through paint on my WASD keys
thin tortilla chips that don’t break when you dip them in guac
warm white lightbulbs
rumbly bass I can feel in my chest
shirts that go with jeans or nice pants
pulling a weed out and getting the root on the first try
stickers on the light switches
fresh corn tortillas
pin locks
sushi rolls without cucumber
wearing my hair curly
H Mart
sound baths
Zoom calls with my favorite 11-year-old
perfectly cooked rice
playing music in the car excessively loud so I can’t hear my own scream-singing
strawberry milk tea with lychee jelly
walking to the grocery store
biking to the grocery store
strangers who follow me to give back the phone I left on the park bench
bike lanes
turkey pastrami
worn leather couches
closing my rings
having the same thought at the same time as someone else and saying it in unison
chili-cheese queso
coming down a hill and seeing water in front of me
leave-in conditioner
comfy pants
leftover bbq