Monday, October 17, 2011

What Makes Me Happy

1. Writing. When I write, I don't feel lonely because my characters have become real to me. I get to step into their world and eavesdrop on their conversations. In their world, I don't feel angry, stressed, or tired. I just feel happy because I'm doing what I've always wanted to do.

2. The possibility of finding a way to program the televisions of all my neighbors who think it is okay to blast their TVs at top volume so that their televisions won't blast anymore and will play nothing but Beavis and Butthead (why oh WHY are they bringing that show back?). Then it will be all Beavis and Butthead, all the time.

3. That "a-ha!" moment students get when they finally understand what I've been teaching them, which makes me think that all my efforts are finally paying off and maybe they'll finally start reading something other than reality stars' Tweets.

4. The possibility of finding a way to hack into the profiles of all the guys who pulled disappearing acts on me, and writing stuff like, "I love watching romantic comedies and totally won't mind if you make me watch them with you," and "Who doesn't want to shop for shoes?"

5. Sitting by Lake Michigan and watching the water move, which always makes me feel peaceful in a way that the rest of the city does not.

6. Writing in coffeehouses. Even though I prefer to work in silence when I am at the library or at home (because really, I don't want to hear my neighbor yell out, "I rule! Yeah!" every time he and his girlfriend "get together"), I don't mind the music, the sounds of the baristas making coffee, or the chatter of the other patrons. Maybe all that coffee and chocolate temporarily dulls my senses so that I'm less likely to shriek, "For the love of God, SHUT UP!" I've gotten some of my best writing done at cafes.

7. The possibility that my school will say it is okay for teachers to wrestle their students' cell phones away from them and fling the phones out the window, so that the students will yell, "My cell phone! NOOOOO!!!"

8. Reading a really good book, the kind that I finish in two or three days because I can't put it down. Reading good writing also makes me feel less lonely, because occasionally I'll read a line that makes me realize that I'm not the only one who feels that way. And then it feels like I've made a connection with the writer, even if I've never met him or her.

9. The possibility of finding a way to get ahold of all the iPods and iPhones of the people who think it is okay to blast their music through their earphones, so that everyone else on the train can hear it, and programming the iPods and iPhones so that they won't blast anymore and will play nothing but Rebecca Black's "Friday", over and over again.

10. The idea of finally finishing graduate school, which consumed my life for the better part of my twenties and now is threatening to take over my thirties, and finding a full-time teaching job at a good school in a different state. Then I can finally earn a good living without having to work three jobs and begin living the rest of my life.

What about you? What makes you happy?


  1. #1 and #8 for sure. And lately as I've sent out ARC's of House of Diamonds it has been getting back reviews from readers who have loved it. A review like this makes me happy for a really long time!

  2. Hi Karen,
    Getting a good review would definitely be nice. I think it would be nice to know that your writing makes other people happy.

  3. I most definitely agree # 1. Other things that make me happy include hot chocolate, good yarn, feeling productive, and probably complements.

    I love your blog by the way. I've been reading all of your posts on online dating and it inspired me to edit my OKcupid profile, which I created while highly intoxicated at a friends going away party.

    That being said, writing sometimes makes me feel lonely too, cause you know, I am hearing voices in my head. How many people do that. Reading blogs makes me feel less lonely cause the answer is a lot.

  4. Hi Sara,
    Aw, thanks! :) Reading blogs makes me feel better too; before I started blogging, I never realized there were all these people online who were sharing their ideas about writing and books. It gave me the opportunity to "meet" new people that I might never have met otherwise.
    It took me a while to write my profile, because I wanted to figure out the right things to say. A lot of guys do make an effort to make their profiles interesting, which makes a difference.

  5. Ha! I really enjoyed this. I like writing because I feel less lonely, too, and I think no students should be allowed cell phones at school. No exceptions!

  6. #10, for the win. I almost typed wine. It would still have been appropriate.

  7. Hi E.R. King,
    What bothers me is when students keep taking their cell phones out even after I tell them to put the phones away. I do like having a Blackberry, but on the other hand I wish cell phones didn't have all those extra features on them. Then maybe people wouldn't be so attached to them.

    Hi Anna,
    I think the last day of grad school will be a good day, because it means I'll never have to be a student ever again. I always tell people to think it over before they apply to grad school, because it takes so much out of you.

  8. I read an article the other day and it made me think of you. Well, you and all the other single woman I know. Its really well written, and researched, although she makes some scary scary points.

  9. Hi Sara,
    Thanks for the link! I thought it was particularly interesting when she brought up the question of "settling for a 'good enough' mate". Often women (including myself) are criticized for not being willing to settle, but I think that settling wouldn't be fair to the women or to the men.

  10. I do love those 'aha' moments when you're teaching. You can see the comprehension slide across students' faces!

  11. Hi Talli,
    The aha moments are great because then they become more interested in what they're learning; it makes me feel like I'm finally getting through to them.

  12. I can relate to so much of your list, especially 1, 3, 7, and 8.

  13. Hi Theresa,
    I thought that for a change I'd make a list of the things that make me happy, since I spend a lot of time writing about the things that drive me up the wall.