Vacations…Christmas Day…work bonuses…promotions….these are all things that make us happy.
However, these are all things that do not happen frequently. Unless you’re Bill Gates or Mark Zukerberg…then I’m pretty sure every day may feel like a vacation/Christmas Day/a promotion.
So, when we’re months away from our next break…or weeks from the next big holiday…what makes you happy? What are the small things that make you smile and keep you sane?
Now, I’m not talking about puppy videos, or babies unknowingly sticking up their middle fingers, or Hallmark cards smothered in freshly cut onions. I’m talking about the small things that probably seem mundane to the rest of the world. Things so wonderfully simple, yet simply wonderful. Things that may be your personal, minute joys which give you enough juice to get through your day.
Me? I love my thermos.
There is something so satisfying about turning on my Keurig in the morning and filling up my stainless steel thermos in under one minute. Every time I make a new cup, I feel like I’m crafting something unique which begins my whole day…something that I can keep with me for 3-4 hours each morning until I’m sufficiently awake (and sufficiently able to be around other humans).
But it’s my thermos that I adorn my affections with, and that’s because my thermos is:
- Spill-proof: do you know how nice it is to be able to rely on something with full trust and faith? I trust my thermos like I trust my want and desire to be asleep by 9 PM on most weeknights. My thermos has never spilled ONCE in the 7 years I’ve had it, despite being tossed and tumbled like bouncy balls in a Tilt-a-Whirl. I can throw my thermos in my overstuffed teacher bag and know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that all of my belongings will be safe from my morning Coconut Mocha Latte. I don’t need to double check its position, I don’t need to put it in a special pocket, and I don’t need to close any special cap or lid. It’s simple, it’s effective, and it makes me realize why the “If you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?” adage was created. If my thermos wanted a job, I would right it a stellar reference letter, noting it’s commitment to excellence and dependability. And its ability to be washed in the dishwasher.
- Carabiner clip on the handle: do you remember the scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie explains what a Red Ryder BB Gun is and what it’s capable of? It’s a “carbine-action, two-hundred-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock (and this thing which tells time). Now, my thermos can’t tell time (unless you use it as a sundial), but it can clip onto my bag via a special carabiner set into the handle. I merely have to push the thermos against my bag’s strap, and click!…it spring-locks into place with crisp snap. And there the thermos stays, until I deem it time to unclip my Glorious Font of Caffeine. It’s a beautiful thing:
- Conserves heat for 3-5 hours: I swear, if I pour my coffee into my thermos around 6 AM, it is going to stay hot until 10 or 11 AM. I am continually surprised how fresh it tastes when I open the spout during the latter half of the morning (if it even survives until then…I’m usually on Cup #2).
Maybe a thermos seems like a trivial item to you. Maybe you’ve been burned (literally) by thermoses in the past. Maybe you think I’m qualifiedly crazy for spending an entire blog post on my thermos. But, I’ve at least got you thinking about a small item that seems to bring me a great amount of happiness. And now I’m thinking about how silly it is to write an ode to a thermos. And I’m smiling. And I realize that something as small as a thermos can bring a little light to my day.
With that knowledge, if something so small can make me pay attention to the happiness around me, why can’t we also diminish our fears and anxieties in a similar fashion? I present a theoretical equation:
If we focus attention on things that make us joyful multiplied with a sense of humor, then divided through a lens of purposeful attention, then the following could also be theorized:
If we expand the first part of the equation:
Let’s redefine the negative equation:
If our end goal is the inverse of unhappiness, then can it be assumed we must negate our attention in this equation? Thus, deduce the following:
The term “healthy” is applied here in a fashion that does not lead to a.) injury, b.) death, c.) bankruptcy, or d.) loss of job, or e.) failed relationships.
It is logical to assume that small sorrows cannot be avoided, therefore, they cannot be fully negated. But, if we can deter too much attention on unnecessary burdens, perhaps we can turn our unhappiness into happiness?
I pose the challenge to you, good readers:
What are the small things in life that make you happy?
Leave your thoughts and comments below!