Tuesday’s Top Ten: The best things in life ARE free

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Madison Avenue would have us all believe that happiness comes in a shiny new car, white teeth, the newest gadget or whatever product they are trying to sell.

Will any of that really matter when we look back on our lives? I say live in the present and enjoy these 10 little pleasures that we can all share in that make life a wonderful bounty of riches (in no particular order).

1. Laughter. Tell a joke, tickle your fancy, find the humor in a situation, laugh at yourself and delight in the absurd. Laughter is the best medicine.

2. Good conversation. Engage in face-to-face contact with the people you love, listen to them instead of thinking of what to say next, learn something new, expand your point of view, share memories, create new ones. Bond.

3. Help others. You think your situation sucks? It may, but you can always lend a hand and maybe it will put your’s in perspective. Get outside your head and put a smile on someone else’s face, comfort them, bring them cheer, raise awareness or just be a friend to someone who needs one.

4. Sex – duh!

5. Kissing. Long, slow languid kisses with your lover, sticky kisses from a child, kiss on the cheek to greet friends, kiss it to make it better, wet kisses from your dog.

6. Nature. Pay attention to the changing seasons, sunrises and sunsets, starry nights, lightning bugs, gardens in bloom, scents in the air, the smell of fresh-cut grass, the calm of the first snowfall, the rush of water. It’s all miraculous.

7. Move your body. Bicycle, swim, run, jump, skip rope, play ball, dance, hula-hoop.

8. Create. Cook, bake, sew, knit, crochet, craft, draw, paint, build, sculpt, write,  take pictures, exercise your creative muscle.

9. Connect with your inner child. Play. Jump through puddles, poke things with a stick, collect leaves, pick a dandelion bouquet, let your ice cream dribble down your hand, smile, ask why.

10. Let it go. Know your priorities and values and live them. Let everything else go: perfection, the need for other people’s approval, to be right, the past.

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