For most of my time there, my companion was Sister Tangitau, an absolute beauty goddess from Tonga. We got a long SO WELL and were able to teach several outstanding people. (Does it surprise you that every morning as we were getting ready to go do service projects or knock on doors we'd repeat our motto, "You gotta look good."?)
I think back with fondness on the day Vince was baptized outside in a lake, on the poems Rob O'Brian used to write for me, on the crisp fall air and the apple pie I made that spilled all over my skirt, and our early morning walks around the track at Truman State University. I made some life-long friends in that wonderful little place.
One thing Siser Tangitau and I used to do was create "Happy Lists" every few weeks. We loved the way our neighbor, Donald, had rigged a special horn for his car that was an entire 8 measures of some clown-like melody. We loved the delicious vegetarian dishes that Vince and his roommates would feed us. We loved the Raish family and their adorable little son, Noah. We'd create bullet point after bullet point of all the things that made us happy.
So that's what I'm doing today. A Happy List.
-Les Mis. I am so grateful I'm in this show right now. Everything about this experience is exactly what I needed at this time in my life. It is almost too perfect and poetic.
-Elliot Yamin. You know? One of the runners up on American Idol a long time ago? He has this one song that comes on the radio occasionally and every time I hear it I think, "I love Elliot Yamin...and I don't care who knows it."
-The sunshine and warmer temps. This goes a little beyond happy.
-When I come home late from my show to a clean house. Vic has been a rock star during the run of this show so far. I recently read an article that said one of the first things you can do to help someone with depression is get rid of clutter. I SO appreciate a clean home.
-That Peter had his first dental appointment and they discovered ZERO cavities. I mean...talk about dodging a bullet. (His sweet tooth is something to be reckoned with)
-Zoë June. It is impossible to not be happy when you look at her and nibble her and squeal with her and swing her and watch her dance. She is too much!
-Peter's gymnastics class at TumbleKatz and his "Let's Play Music" class. Especially his "Let's Play Music" class. INcredible. He is learning music theory, rhythm, sulfage, pitch--all in musical play. I am so proud and amazed at his growth and understanding. He'll be starting piano next year and I can hardly wait.
-Naps. I'm approaching the one year mark of being Ambien free! Can you even handle it?? I never, ever feel guilty for taking a nap or sleeping in. I only feel proud.
-The "Happy Song" by Pharrell Williams. You've probably heard it, but if not, google it. Please. Or click HERE.
-Babies. There are a few people in Les Mis with little babies and occasionally they are backstage in the green room. I cannot get enough of them.
-Comfortable and practical yet stylish clothes. They make me happy.
-Kindness, thoughtfulness, honesty, humility, vulnerability--it makes me happy when people in my life are this way. I try to be this way, but I can be better.
-Compliments. Even the smallest of compliments.
-A good book, movie, or TV show. (It is rare I see a movie I love. But I love almost every book I read and there are several TV shows that I really like.)
I'll stop there for now. Except I just remembered one more--Happy Lists. They make me happy. So do you.