Today has been an emotionally trying day. It didn't have to be. I just decided to be family doctor for my family and attempt to coordinate the care for my hospitalized grandmother thousands of miles away (still in the continental United States, yes...this darn spacious land of ours!). Mentally and emotionally, she's in the throws of dementia but otherwise, alhamdulillah, she's doing okay. I need to sit on my hands and let her attending physician do her job, though I let my mother (who spent the day in the hospital with Grandmother today) know exactly what I consider standard of care to be...
I'm day float tomorrow so I should be heading to bed soon so I can be ready to go (as ready as I'll ever be) tomorrow. In the meantime, I was watching Hey Arnold! (yes, a carry over from the last entry) and realized how much it's pretty much my favorite cartoon from the 90s. (My favorite cartoon from the 80s was Muppet Babies, hehe). My favorite part of the HA! cartoon, like many of its other fans of all ages, was the Arnold and Helga storyline. Something about unrequited love really strikes a chord...we've all gone through that before!
I did this exercise once where we were to write down all of the things that we love. It was a little bit difficult for me because love is not a verb I use often for things...or people for that matter. It feels forced. I didn't grow up with it. So as I scanned through some old fanart, some from back in the day and apparently some still being generated (I can't believe it still has a fandom!), I thought, this makes me happy...
And I'm much more likely to recognize things that make me happy than to call them things that I love.
So, in no particular order (or, order of association)...things/people/places that make me happy.
--requited love (once unrequited)
--remembering a crush and feeling almost the exact same way as you remember it
--the anticipation of unrequited love becoming requited
--"Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder
--the notes in two bars of "Overjoyed" that hold almost all of the emotion in the song
--singing (especially well)
--those old school CD commercials for 80s music from the 90s
--the blue screen at the end of those CD commercials with the number (no website!) to call
--nostalgia fests in general
--YouTubing old commercials that remind me of a better time
--the Tyrese Coca Cola commercial
--the 90s Coca Cola commercial with the red circle and the flashing designs
--the "Holidays are coming" Coke commercial with the Christmas semi
--the old McDonald's characters and their commercials
--remembering when all the network stations were blocked off for that drugs special including all the cartoon characters of the time
--the theme song to the old America's Funniest Home Videos
--remembering the thunderstorm while watching AFHV and running between couches and jumping on them in the living room of our old house
--our old house
--remembering how my family used to be
--how my brother calls me "Dr. Sister"
--how my brother remembers things from our childhood when he was not yet verbal and not yet engaged
--remembering my childhood
--thinking of my own (future) babies, and children, and adult people
--my large, crazy, sometimes happy extended family
--our memories recorded on VHS and now DVD
--VCRs and VHS
--"O Trem Azul" by Elis Regina
--"Redescobrir" by Elis Regina
--"Aguas de Março" (especially by Elis Regina, but also by Tom Jobim and João Gilberto)
--remembering how it felt to learn about Tom Jobim
--"As" by Stevie Wonder
--"Sa Marina" by Wilson Simonal
--"Flor de Lis" by Djavan
--"Una mulata en la Habana" (if only because it was inspired by Aguas de Março)
--Confissoes de Adolescente
--learning how to swim
--my father's ability to whistle in two tones
--my father, his history
--speaking Spanish fluently
--seeing a prayer realized in real time
I could go on for a long time. Right now, what's making me the most happy is knowing that I have more than 8 hours to sleep before work tomorrow, sitting comfortably in a quiet apartment with only the sound of my new window fan blowing in the background, finally having an apartment that is a reasonable temperature (71 degrees) and feeling deliciously sleepy.
Loud fans make me happy. Fan wind blowing in my face makes me happy. Cool summer breezes make me happy. Good sleep makes me happy.
And for all of these things listed that make me happy, I am grateful for them. I am grateful to God that they exist, that they make me happy, and I know what happiness is.
I've thought of instituting a gratitude practice of sorts. My prayers tend to be a little lighter on the gratitude and heavier on the request. I think doing gratitude exercises outside of prayer will help enhance my gratitude within prayer and help me take that gratitude with me everywhere.
I am grateful for all of these happy things in my life.
I could go on...
--writing great characters
--reading old stories I've written
--"Weak" by SWV
--great dialogue I've written
--songs I've written
--singing songs I've written