These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

If you are feeling miserable you may resist this, and I understand.  Just humor me for a few minutes, okay?

On the anniversary of Emilee’s diagnosis two years ago..May 9, 2015…and those of you reading this that do not know, she died three months ago.  Just tuck that in the back of your head somewhere.

Somehow I clicked on some silly thing here for my profile or something or it was on Facebook….and it said…what makes you happy…at least that’s what I think I saw….and so…I think it erased what I wrote at one point, and when I recovered my composure, after ranting and raving and jumping up and down swearing……..

I rewrote…..of course the original thing I saw….it may have been a hallucination…LOL…a GOOD one….

Started this whole thing of what makes me happy….. and lo and behold….I could probably go on forever…who knew???

But forever is a long time….how long I do not know yet…. gotta be long though, don’t you think?…..

So I started a “what makes me happy list” and I realize….. I want to start keeping these kind of things in mind…..before it is toooooo late.

I know….you may be saying to yourself….right now I am anything but happy.  I know.

How many of us do that “what am I grateful for TODAY”? thing….not many of us…. so many times we are just plain grumped out…lol…takes some effort to go to the “what am I grateful for state of mind” when we are stressed, hurting, sick from chemo or radiation, sick from just getting diagnosed with what you don’t want to hear, your world just fell apart…

You are angry, scared, in pain, struggling, dying, you know I could keep going…but you get the point……..just do it anyway….even one thing… damn thing….you farted and you feel a little better, there is one tiny spot on the left side of my nose that DOESN’T HURT…one thing…you were able to catch your breath between bouts of vomiting…. one thing….something?  I am happy my spouse (child, parent, friend, partner, you name them) just wiped the_______ off my _______ because God knows, I couldn’t have.

Start somewhere.

I needed to start…….so I started…….and I am amazed at what brings me joy…..I want to put that first on my list….cultivating joy….it makes me happy. Is that redundant??

Here is what I came up with so far…. the list is endless in a way…. it really could go on forever….that in itself is sweet….sweeter than I would have thought possible…. but then… I am still learning….. always the student…. always… till I breathe my last breath…

So…go ahead…. make your own….if you can’t do it now, do it later, do it tomorrow, dictate to someone who can write for you….write it or type it if you can…. share it with someone you love…maybe they will learn how to add to your joy….maybe it will be an ongoing venture.  Mine is.  I know I have more to add already.

And, if I forget all this by tomorrow….would you please remind me?


What makes you happy? What makes you feel joy?


Cultivating joy in me, my family, friends, the earth, the world

Jazz, most kinds, especially smooth, funky, dance and movement inducing

Singing, especially with Al Jarreau, but almost any singing, scatting, improvising

Movement, always learning about how I move, learning how to move better

Planting plants and watching them sing in the sun

Butterflies in the garden

Breathing fresh air

Moving in the fresh air

Moving in and through the water

Jazz traditional to funky

Good vocals

Writing prose and poetry

Writing funny stories

Reading funny stories especially those written by people I know

but any funny story will do

Writing and reading stories of the heart

Learning what makes us tick

People who stand up for themselves and who stand up for others who cannot stand up for themselves

People who strive to make this a kinder, saner, more loving, caring , gentle world who

Want to keep this earth a kind and loving planet and like taking care of our mother

People who try to understand where a bully is hurting inside and tries to help them

People who believe that a woman (NOT the government) chooses what to do with her body

Presidents who I can trust (you understand?)

Good water

Food that is healthy for your body and does not harm the planet

Exercise that is good for my body

Feldenkrais movement lessons

Tibetan overtone chanting, and teaching it to others, especially children

My grandchildren, hugs from them and from people I want to hug me

Loving parents and grandparents and foster parents and anyone that encourages a child

When a parent teaches a child that the world can be a loving place, but we also must be smart and careful

Playing with or walking a friendly dog or puppy (do not want my own anymore, not at the moment anyway)

Eating my favorite cereal and yogurt for breakfast

Singing, singing jazz

A good spy novel by Vince Vaughn (rest in peace) or the Gabriel alons books …author?…Daniel Silva

Writing prose and poetry

Puns and tons of puns and plays on words

Rhymes in words

Rhymes in time


Good company

a good fire and good conversation

night sky someplace where i can really see the stars

the Perseid meteor showers

a good campfire

the song, and at this moment,”these are a few of my favorite things”

roseanne rosannadana

the original Saturday night live crew

Forrest Gump

good hallmark mysteries and good movies (thought provoking, questioning the status quo, tissues required)

a beautiful cello piece

music that moves my soul

brings me to tears

holding hands

adults and children’s

beautiful art and pottery that moves me

hand made things

beautiful places I dream of going to

going there

heart connections

soft touch



happy tears

breathing deeply

human powered movement (bicycle, skates)

spring when the leaves are just starting to leaf out like a Monet painting

art and literature

Fall before the leaves drop

watching a rabbit hop

watching a baby learning to move and explore

sooooooo much more

feeling the wind

smelling everything





shades of color

shades of gray


tones in general

many shapes and sizes of people and things

instruments and their voices

people with heart

my family

my bed

everyday music that surrounds us

the sounds the world makes around me

texture of the bark on the tree

the sounds the birds sing

so much more

these are just a few

of my favorite things

and I wasn’t sure I knew what they were

the color of the sunrise and sunset

the shape of the clouds

the shape of the trees





the struggle to live

the simple things

simple joys


my hands

my feet

warmth when I am cold

cold when I am too warm

good socks

good underwear

good laughs

words of encouragement

giving and receiving

a sweet song

a melody that stirs my heart

my grandchildren’s smiles


fond memories

staying in the present

human kindness

compassion or did I say that already….it bears repeating

there is much more

warm sunshine

gentle breezes

other languages

curly hair

long luscious hair or no hair at all

long legs

my wrinkles and discovering new warts and moles on my body

brown spots on my skin

my saggin’ parts that make me laugh (go ahead, you can laugh, use your imagination)






more please

I’ll try some of that please


Perspective is nine tenths of the joy  (like possession is nine tenths of the law)

Perception on the other hand is often biased by preconceived notions of our view of the world and so can be distorted based on our inner framework of how we see things.

Perspective reminds me of an artist drawing a figure or a still life, since how the light hits the subject and where you are viewing it from, changes what you are seeing

Neal Klein
Life After Emilee, on the loss of my wife to pancreatic cancer. I’m not accepting comments right now but please feel free to get in touch via my Contact page.