{small things} happy lists

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If you’ve read around here for a bit, you probably know that I have a love-hate relationship with lists. I don’t think I’ll ever really get rid of them in my life and a big part of me loves the satisfaction of crossing things off lists. I usually make a list for each week with items to complete by the day as well as a list of things to finish over the weekend. *insert sheepish smile here* Yes, that’s me. However, lately my weekend lists have been taking a new form.  One Friday while at work recently, I was mentally making my to do list for the weekend (because generally I find myself less distracted if I write out the things that randomly pop in my head throughout the day) and while item after item came to mind, a question came to mind as a shield:
“What do you need to do this weekend to be happy?”

It’s super easy, especially in our busy culture, to feel like a) we are failures if we don’t accomplish things; b) we are lazy if we’re not doing something productive; and c) we must constantly be living in the future/preparing for the future. Once I started asking myself this question, what do you need to do to be happy, I started to feel a lot better about my lists overall and about crossing items off my list.

Lately my lists have been comprised of simple things. 1) Do laundry. 2) Make homemade buns. 3) Write 2 article drafts.  The end. 1) Order Christmas cards. 2) Make chocolate chip cookies. 3) Clean bathroom. 4) Write for fun. 5) Work out. The end. After I finish the few items on my list, I feel happy. Not accomplished, not necessarily productive, but just happy to be living in the present, enjoying my life where it’s at, and taking care of what needs to be taken care of as things come up.  Sometimes I don’t even finish all the items on my happy lists, but then I realize that they weren’t necessary.

On to other simple matters and small things…last weekend we were gone for the weekend and so I didn’t post any small things.  This week’s will include the last couple weeks of events for us…

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Putting Up Christmas Lights – We haven’t done much for decorating, especially since we’re in an apartment and constantly house hunting, but we put up Christmas lights on our balcony, around the top of our cupboards, and along our bar set up and it makes the whole apartment pretty cozy.

Our First Christmas Cards – We looked and looked and finally found exactly what we wanted in a Christmas card. Those came in the mail this week and our plan is to tackle those over our long Thanksgiving break coming up.

Homemade Buns – I made homemade buns this past weekend and they definitely turned out the best so far.  It’s the third time I’ve made this recipe and after this last go around I feel like I’ve learned quite a bit and think I finally have it down.

Last Minute Trips – Last weekend we ended up heading down to J’s mom’s for the weekend.  I got to catch up with my sister-in-law (always good conversations, with coffee or wine – this time both!) and we stopped in to see my aunt and uncle as well. It was all time well spent. Holiday seasons are good reminders of the importance of making time for family all year long.

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What have been the small things that have made a difference for you lately? I’d love to hear about them! Rue would, too.  Isn’t she cute?  Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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