I try. I really do. After all, there’s no shortage of horrible news that makes you want to suck your thumb, strap on an adult diaper, and lose yourself in a tub of tears and ice cream. Salty!

Happy Panda did a ‘Happiness is…’ photo series which is such a good idea. Here’s one of her posts. It’s a nice way to re-purpose old photos and remind yourself of all you have to be thankful for. Then, Good News Network’s shared American’s top 10 little joys, so I thought, I can take a hint!

balloon seller in Chiang Mai
Balloons for the new year [Chiang Mai, 2013]

/a new recipe/ Finding and successfully making a new dish is heavenly! Or even tweaking out one of my standards. Budget Bytes is one of my favorite sites to go to. She has vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes that are simple and delicious.

/plants/ Recently, I took the two fake plants (I only have the two) that were on my desk and switched them out for real ones. What a difference it has made in my mood, too! I also moved more plants inside and started propagating my pothos. Beautiful plant nerd Summer Rayne Oaks was my inspiration.

/a good book/ I once heard that the best thing you can do for your health is to get up and go to sleep at around the same time. And I’m pretty good at this except when I have a book that I cannot put down since I read before bed. Even if I try to start my reading routine earlier, a good book is awesomeness!

Currently reading The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley (thanks, Sarah for the recommendation!), and am already looking forward to reading book two in this series.

Much to celebrate… [Wat Bupparam, Chiang Mai, 2013]

/a full pantry/ When I was participating in #365daysofgratitude on Instagram, I shared that I was happy for a full kitchen. I love that feeling after you’ve put everything away, when the shelves are stocked, when the fridge is full of food. A friend sent me a message saying I said the strangest things, which I think was her way of saying, that’s interesting, Lani! Consequently, when food is low in the house I get nervous. Surely, I can’t be the only one!

/laughing/ Last night, one of my students went to get water at the cooler, I was going to the teachers’ room and another student was in the doorway of the classroom. The student getting water put the paper cone cup to her ear and said, ‘hello’ like a phone and I looked back at the other student and we burst out laughing. It was so random, but a moment that makes me happy remembering it.

Pausing to appreciate those unexpected moments… [CaΓ±ar, Ecuador, 2010]

/connections/ This reminds me of all those seemingly small moments when we connect with one other. When we take the time to be aware of the HUMAN behind whatever interactions we’re having. I think this is what makes me such a bad driver, and why I don’t do it. I get angry first and then calm down later.

/peace and quiet/ SE Asia is not the quietest of places. I could write a whole post on noise pollution. I live near a large grocery store that insists on making very loud intercom announcements, and the makeshift flea market that sets up regularly outside the apt blasts music (they were in a classic rock mood yesterday). But generally speaking, we live in a quiet area. And I love it.

Sometimes in class when the students have finally settled down to do book work, I always, always, pause to appreciate the sound of silence. I find myself even stopping in my tracks, moving slower, so as to not disturb the moment. Funny, no?

This is a pint??? [Bangkok, 2018]

Wishing you good health, luck, and love, where ever you are in this moment. What are your little joys?

20 replies on “What are your little joys?

  1. Huhu Lani,

    Thank you for all your beautiful posts and the emails. Although I’m not sure how many replies you get to them, I am certainly not the only one who is looking forward to each of them – thank you πŸ™‚

    Regarding the little joys I think the “full pantry” thing is a bit of the opposite for me. Since I really like cooking and trying out new recipes (apparently as you do πŸ™‚ ), I tend to fill up fridge and shelf pretty quickly. Unfortunately, I then feel the need to not let anything spoil… Instead, if my fridge is empty, I feel much more “free”, I do not have to think if it’s a good idea to eat out or not, to buy this or that (and starting to fill up the pantry again :D). So I guess I’m missing a bit of balance there…

    One of the little joys I have especially now in early autumn is to walk through nature and eat my way through what mother earth is offering – fresh plums where each tree produces different flavours, very old varieties of apples with beautiful scent, walnuts of different shape and taste, mirabelles, pears, sarvisberry… I always say that an all-year summer would be fine with me (because I like the heat), but from a culinary perspective I certainly do appreciate that variety and perceive it as a very fulfilling joy πŸ™‚

    Please stay safe and enjoy your weekend.

    Best regards,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚ Ahhh, yes, eating fresh and not letting things spoil. I understand. But right now I’m low on coffee and that bothers me. Hahahaha.

      I suppose it’s the comfort of having plenty and the choice to stay in and not have to go anywhere!

      And I agree, endless summer sounds nice but I think we appreciate these little changes more than we recognize. Seasonal foods help make life more dynamic and interesting. And do we really need everything we want all the time? πŸ™‚ Thanks again for your kind words, Fabian!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You have a good long list, Lani. When you said “a full pantry” and a fridge full of food, my first thought was that you’re so Chinese that way. My husband always wanted a full pantry. Your photos are gorgeous! I love “balloons for the new year.”

    I’m surprised sometimes by the little things that make me laugh. Tonight it was just something cute on a TV show. Laughing definitely makes me happy.

    Today it was the rain that made me happy. Even though Seattle has a reputation for being rainy, it hasn’t rained for quite a while. And with the fires up and down the coast and the smoke blotting out the sun, the rain that fell this afternoon was a real blessing.

    And yes, connections. Even though my daughter calls almost every day, I’m still happy to receive her call.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. What a wonderful daughter πŸ™‚ and thank you. I had to stop myself from continuing to add to the list and keep it to the little things which if one thinks about can be big too!

      Yes, I certainly hope the weather turns and stays agreeable. No more fires! My god, 2020 needs to give it a rest already!!!

      Very Chinese, huh? πŸ™‚ I’ll take it, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the shoutout – thank you for that!

    Connections make me so happy too. I think it’s the main reason I’ve stuck around here these past few months – the connection I’ve made with fellow bloggers! Makes me so happy to read their posts and comments. ❀️

    I love peace and quiet too – something not easily found in India too. πŸ™ˆ But the only good thing that this lockdown did was to quiet up my city. It’s been a lot more peaceful.

    Finding and making a new dish makes me so happy too. I’ve been baking a lot these past few months and it’s probably one of the few things I look forward to. πŸ™ˆ

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I need to get back into enjoying cooking. I go through phases πŸ˜› And yes to your blogging community. It’s so so nice when you find a little tribe of friends. People come and go though so for me I try to look for new bloggers every once in a while to keep things fresh πŸ™‚

      Take care, and enjoy the peace and quiet!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can understand. There are days that I just can’t get myself to cook. I prefer to think of cooking as an art – you need inspiration to cook! πŸ™‚ The days I cook minus inspiration, I am so disappointed by my cooking.

        You too! Enjoy your week! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What a nice few moments I had just now trying to think of some….
    -Good cup of water first thing in the morning
    -Some sun in the morning
    -Book deliveries
    -watching muky paint
    -playing piano
    -the noise of connecting bluetooth speakers!
    -sand under the feet
    -taking a moment to appreciate decent health and the comforts of home
    -settling on cushion to meditate in the morning
    -noticing the moon on any given night

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a sweet list and I’m glad this post got you thinking of them πŸ™‚ Book deliveries! ❀ and I hear ya on the appreciating health and home.


  5. That’s an impressively long list of little joys, Lani! And I’m so happy you already started reading Lucinda Riley – she’s one of my favourite writers! πŸ˜€ Let me just say that The Sun Sister was amazing. But you’ll need to read the others first. πŸ˜‰
    Living in a noisy city peace and quiet are high on my little joys list too! I’m already happy when I wake up before my neighbours manage to do so! πŸ˜‚
    And I totally get the full pantry thing. And trying out to cook new dishes – though today I tested a new flatbread recipe and it tasted like rubber! πŸ˜‚ Sometimes it’s better to stick with the old ones. πŸ˜„
    What also makes me happy is finding time to play the piano – not that I’m any good at it, mind you, but it’s fun anyway.
    Oh, and definitely agree with that silent classroom!!!! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, you play the piano. How cool. I learned too as a child and have been meaning to invest in a keyboard and pick it up again.

      Yes, I’m on the second book. I was a little annoyed that I knew Theo was going to die, but then I’m right at the beginning of the historical chapter so I’m hopeful. Overall though, I really adored the first book and am curious about the sisters!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So glad you enjoy the books!!! πŸ˜€ The second is the Storm Sister, right? It’s got a many twists and turns for you in store. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  6. The sound of silence, yes! The older I get, it seems the more attuned to noise I become (yep, I’m that lady), so I got a pair of earplugs–I mean, noise-cancelling headphones would work, too. Have I mentioned my husband is a drummer and has a full drum kit in the basement (and an electric base in the living room)? Do I win my angel wings yet?! Also, I need my sleep and love a dark room, so my sleep mask is also key. A good book. A good beer on a hot day. The sun on my face, definitely! Just thinking about these joys makes me smile–thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No! I didn’t know your husband a musician. Yes, you have earned your angel wings!!! πŸ˜› I need to buy noise cancelling headphones. Hard to find good ones that don’t cost the earth. But I find I don’t like earplugs the older I get, so earbuds are out. I don’t know how you do it! I find them uncomfortable. πŸ˜›

      A dark room is nice, isn’t it? But I’d love to wake up with sunlight… nice list, glad this moment made you smile, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love reading about Gratefulness – and I very much enjoyed this post, Lani! Not only does it reveal interesting things about you, it is also a reminder of all my own little joys (I echo many of yours)!

    Love that pic of you – you look so happy to be kicking back after a long day of work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! It was after a work conference. I don’t normally imbibe. πŸ˜›

      And thank you. We need the light to help balance out the dark, xo

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love that lanterns photo.
    Interesting list from Americans (survey).

    Sleeping in a freshly made bed..I feel guilty about doing my sheets!

    Mine is biking easily and enjoying incredibly blue skies, briliant fall leaf colour in our parks. I just came back from a ride that was 2 hrs. long and then there was the stop in between for chicken dim sum…then I consumed some sushi/sashimi.

    I love sleeping in peace.
    Reading a good book.
    Talking to my family and good friends.
    A beautiful sunset on a warm/coolish evening.
    Bird song when I ride on bike…as you can see by my bird photos. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The lantern photo was when I had a good camera! Waaaahhhh. Need to get an upgrade πŸ˜›

      And I totally agree with your list: fall colors, talking with family, good sleep and reading! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚


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