1. It all starts with friends and family. I didn't just get here; I had help along the way. Kind of a vague and obvious thing but still important to start with it.
2. Public libraries. A public space for citizens to come and read, think, reflect, learn, and interact. There cannot be civilization without a public library.
3. Shared home-cooked meals. Hard to say which I like more: being cooked for by a loved one or doing the cooking with/for loved ones. The best is when there's a large party of friends and family being hosted and we're all helping out and pitching in for the meal. After all this bar exam stuff is over, hopefully I'll have more time for dinner parties.
4. Cartoons. Calvin and Hobbes. Peanuts. The Far Side. After a long, difficult day at law school it's nice to come home and just laugh. Laughter is the best coping mechanism.
5. Reading. Goes with public libraries. The thinking, the reflecting, and the emotions involved---there's nothing like it! Good ol' fashioned stories, a philosophical allegory, a book that tries to reflect the truth about the human condition---all these things expand the mind and the heart. Intelligence and empathy are the result.
6. Writing. Something I'm very new too and don't feel qualified to write about but here I go anyway. I love the freedom involved. There's just me and the blank page. What comes is up to me. No reason to hide. I gotta be honest with myself and with the world, and tell it like it is. What results is pure, free self expression. This requires very careful contemplation, thinking, feeling, reflecting, and living. After that, you gotta put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. And then there's the jig-saw-puzzle-esque problem solving of how best to express those thoughts and feelings and reflections. But the point is, as a writer, you are truly free to be yourself and figure things out for yourself. Go for it!
7. The Big Lebowski. The dude abides. That movie always lifts my spirits with a good laugh.
8. The Great Gatsby. That book always reminds me that there's poetry in all things, even in tragedy. You just have to know how to look for it.
9. Paper pads and pens. I like having those things with me so I can physically write down my thoughts as they come to me.
10. Love. Relates back to the first thing on my list but its also broader than that. Love between people, love for people, and love for what I do.
Thanks Ben, for sharing a wonderful list of happy things!
If you want to share your Happy 10 list, read this post to find out how.