When people are worried about me, Gentle Reader, they tend to all say the same thing – “I just want you to be happy in life.” Sometimes I wonder if I’m even capable of it, in the long-term – and then, for an hour, three days, sometimes a whole glorious week – I feel alive and fulfilled and exactly where I want to be.
And then the euphoria washes away, leaving me – if I’m lucky – in an easily irritated blasé base state – and, if I’m not, awash in a comfortably familiar vale of self-loathing, fear, and despair. It takes a massive effort and all available energy to be around people at all when I’m in the most frequent, most despised place, and I’m not the easiest person to be around at those times, either.
While a lot of this feels controlled by the whims of the moon and the stars, I nonetheless set out to make myself a sort of roadmap: the following are the things that bring me happiness. I shall try to spend more time pursuing them.
A Different Sort of List:
Things that bring me joy, pleasure, or happiness:
- Writing poetry, but only when it’s inspired, well-formed, and I feel clever.
- Painting, apparently.
- Sewing something fabulous.
- Making pretty much anything, actually, so long as it’s turning out well.
- Being elegantly dressed, in clothes that fit well
- Esoteric knowledge of refined subjects – etiquette, mixology, grammar, etc.
- Elegant entertaining – or at least elegant-aspiring
- Solving a tricky crossword clue and feeling damned clever and smug about it
- Anything that makes me feel clever, actually
- Really fantastic socks
- Being surrounded by fancy things, and also bizarre things
- Intimate friendship with the correct people – the people who I feel a certain je-ne-sais-quoi with. They’re all too rare, and valuable.
- Ridiculous, fabulous, and above all enormous hats.
- Being prepared for any situation that may arise as best I may
- Meeting new people with whom I feel a connection
- Being knowledgable about things
- Really excellent food, wine, and spirits
- Strange or silly curiosities
- Good photographs of myself and my friends
- A well-told story, in print, in song, on screen, or in any other media
- Anything bespoke
- Tending bar
- Making friends with woodland creatures, like Marzipan the Crow and Balthazar the incredibly stupid moth
- Following Whims
- Naming things, actually. Like Arvingdale, my house; Bucephales, my shoulder-bag; Chordelia, my ukulele, etc.
- Having all the accoutrements for and also performing fussy little civilized rituals – like absinthe service, tea ceremonies, straight-razor shaving.
- Spending time in the forest, in company or alone, overnight or on a day-trip
- Honoring the tenets of my private little patchwork faith – full moon ceremonies, communing with the dead, celebrating solstices and equinoxes, that sort of thing.
- Trying new things spontaneously.
That’s all that I can think of off-hand, Gentle Reader, but I know for a certainty that there’s plenty more out there that I’m forgetting. Perhaps you could help – what things bring you happiness?