100 Things That Make Me Smile

Have you ever caught yourself smiling, without at first being aware that you were?  That happened to me recently, so I thought it might be a good idea to note what it was that made me smile, in spite of myself.  Here’s my list of things that usually make me smile, even when I feel down.  They’re in no particular order:

  1. Listening to music that is unexpectedly good
  2. Producing music that turns out exactly the way it sounded in my head
  3. Playing something, on guitar, that I couldn’t play before
  4. Applause for something I said or played
  5. When the sound of my own playing sounds good enough to me to just listen to and enjoy
  6. When a painting works out unexpectedly well
  7. When the colours on my canvas work brilliantly well together
  8. When something I wrote touches somebody or makes them think
  9. Finding a guitar that plays excellently well, but doesn’t cost me much
  10. Music that makes me want to dance
  11. Making music that other people want to dance to
  12. Hugging my wife and kids
  13. Watching the local cats playing in the garden (taking themselves so seriously)
  14. Doing honest, physical work to grow and nurture things and watching them bloom
  15. Watching the bees enjoy our lavender
  16. Driving on a quiet road, with good music playing, in the sun (or the rain)
  17. Being beside the sea on a lovely day
  18. Being beside the sea on a stormy day
  19. A cooling breeze on a hot or humid day (also air conditioning, on these days)
  20. Hot baths
  21. Funny comments by social media friends
  22. Being acknowledged on social media
  23. When one of my many especially talented friends does something new and amazing
  24. Having so many exceptionally talented, accomplished and inspiring friends
  25. When people extend a kindness to me, to other people or to animals
  26. When people care
  27. Public displays of love and affection
  28. When lucid insights occur to me
  29. Relaxing with a fine wine or a cocktail that I’ve tried to make for the first time
  30. Fragrant gardens
  31. The sound of a babbling brook, a waterfall or waves breaking on the shore
  32. A really sound sleep, either with a pleasant dream, or no dreams at all
  33. Witnessing and appreciating the (many) things my kids create
  34. Making in-jokes with my close family members and making each other laugh
  35. Cooking together
  36. Our family movie night, in front of the DVD player, with freshly made popcorn
  37. Homemade fudge
  38. Cake
  39. Sorbet
  40. Ice cream
  41. Dark chocolate
  42. Fresh strawberries
  43. Freshly squeezed orange juice
  44. A good roast dinner (especially lamb)
  45. A pizza cooked in a wood fired oven, accompanied by a really good salad
  46. Discovering a new way to make vegetables taste delicious
  47. Going to a live concert or movie with my son, daughter and wife
  48. Eating out together
  49. Seeing friends overcome difficulties
  50. Seeing friends face difficulties with grace
  51. When other people are experiencing a win or a success
  52. Noticing the birds and insects in the garden
  53. Bears and their way of being bears
  54. Friendly dogs that are glad to see me
  55. Cats that want to be stroked and which purr, while you do that
  56. When I read a book that gives me an answer I was struggling to find
  57. When I can see what other people can’t yet see
  58. Those eureka moments when you find the answer, figure out how to do something or finally understand something
  59. Making a guitar play much better than it used to
  60. Finding new sounds on the guitar or synthesiser
  61. Lyrics that go together well and seem to be a perfect capsule of thought and emotion
  62. Finding just the right word or phrase, when writing
  63. Finishing a writing project
  64. A still, starry night that feels fresh on your cheeks and silent to your ears
  65. Finding new paint colours, mediums or paint effects to use in my painting
  66. Getting a good result with an unfamiliar art medium
  67. The forgiving way that oil paint handles on the canvas
  68. Finding other people that intuitively understand you and what you know
  69. Finding unexpected allies and like minds
  70. Hearing my kids express their opinions, unprompted and realising that they are going to be just fine, as adults
  71. Making something that didn’t exist before
  72. When somebody acknowledges that you were right, years ago, but they didn’t listen to you
  73. Making things well, not shoddily (pride in the workmanship)
  74. Fixing my own car
  75. Doing some DIY that turns out as good as a professional would do it
  76. Fixing something broken, so that it can be used a while longer, instead of throwing it away
  77. Repairing things that other people have given up on and discarded
  78. Finding and using exactly the right tool for the job
  79. Figuring out what is wrong with a complex technical thing (e.g. a computer, or some software) and putting it right
  80. When my intuition turns out to be right
  81. Beautiful scenery, especially sunrises, sunsets, forests and seascapes
  82. Being with people I love
  83. Making an excellent and enjoyable meal
  84. Giving gifts, especially things that people have really wanted or could use
  85. Making sad people feel happy for a while (not coercively, just by being kind to them)
  86. Seeing my dad and my mum (when she was alive)
  87. Having brothers that are good mates
  88. Knowing that my in-laws are dependable, close family too
  89. Being given a book that shows that the giver took time and trouble to select something they know I will enjoy reading
  90. New ideas that change life for the better, for all, or just for me
  91. Playing the guitar to relieve stress
  92. Insights into how musicians I look up to and admire approach their music making
  93. Hearing a good story
  94. Finding out that predictions I made about the future, or future technology, actually come true
  95. Comedy that is clever, witty and unexpected
  96. Being with old friends
  97. Comforting the troubled
  98. Hearing a piece of music I haven’t heard for years, but which I loved at the time
  99. Feeling like I’m good enough
  100. Writing lists of things that make me smile

Being aware of what makes you smile is the key to doing things that make you happy.  Sensual pleasures, human connection, imaginative intellectual pursuits and creativity are the common threads running through mine.

What makes you smile?

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About tropicaltheartist

You can find out more about me here: https://michaeltopic.wordpress.com/. There aren’t many people that exist in that conjunction of art, design, science and engineering, but this is where I live. I am an artist, a musician, a designer, a creator, a scientist, a technologist, an innovator and an engineer and I have a genuine, deep passion for each field. Most importantly, I am able to see the connections and similarities between each field of intellectual endeavour and apply the lessons I learn in one discipline to my other disciplines. To me, they are all part of the same continuum of creativity. I write about what I know, through my blogs, in the hope that something I write will resonate with a reader and help them enjoy their own creative life more fully. I am, in summary, a highly creative individual, but with the ability to get things done efficiently. Not all of these skills are valued by the world at large, but I am who I am and this is me. The opinions stated here are my own and not necessarily the opinion or position of my employer.
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3 Responses to 100 Things That Make Me Smile

  1. I forgot to add owls and listening to older people share their life experience and wisdom. I probably forgot a lot more.

  2. Lucadonta says:

    This must have been such fun to write, and there’s so many great things on it 🙂 I completely agree with friendly dogs, and lots of others too!

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