Best Things

So it’s finally summer. Traditionally in the summer, I try to cram a year’s worth of writing into a couple of months. As you can see from the horribly few posts here the last few years, that may not be the most productive plan. Having published a couple of things this year, which is really all I hope to do, I’m trying to change things up a bit this summer.

I’m going to have more fun.

I deserve it. It’s been a tough year. I’ve lost my remaining parent, ended a relationship, and survived the first year of a new job. And the universe is telling me it’s okay to relax.

I’ve picked up my guitar a lot more lately (one of not a few changes I’ve made for the better), and as I was plundering in my case for my capo yesterday morning, I found an old piece of paper. On it, aside from some really cheesy lyrics that prove I wasn’t meant to be a songwriter, was a list just titled “Best Things.”

I don’t have any idea when I wrote it. Based on the song lyrics, I’d guess more than twenty years ago. I used to be a list person, even when I wasn’t writing, so that seems to be the right time frame. Regardless, the items on that list are some I still consider to be the best things life has to offer. So here they are, in no particular order:

  • Laughing children
  • Sunshine
  • Tuned guitar strings
  • First kisses
  • Running through sprinklers
  • Lazy Saturday morning cuddles
  • Shared sunsets
  • Getting mail
  • Watching someone you love be happy
  • Talking without talking
  • Warm baths
  • Wind chimes

By no means is this a complete list. And, at this age, I’d make some notations. Like–the age at which you experience these does not diminish them; lack of money is not a barrier, but time can be; Saturday is arbitrary and cuddles are good any day; long, lingering kisses that make you feel wanted can even trump those first ones; or listening can be as essential as talking, when you do it right.

But the list isn’t really about a twenty year list. It’s about the reminder that the time can slip by without joy, if you’re not careful. That these small joys are not always easily come by and often taken for granted. That we are too often struggling so hard to survive that it crushes our ability to live. That we need to struggle against that as fiercely as we can.

So I am. Things are finally getting easier, and I’m going to take advantage of that, filling my life with all the Best Things out there. Join me.

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