Contemplation of the “whats.”

There are a few things I’ve been pondering lately. What do people do to take care of themselves? And what are the [nouns] that make folks happy? And then the question that occurred to me the other morning… what do you like most/best about yourself? Like, when you think about who you are and how you engage with the world, what do you like best about who you are?

I feel compelled to mention my awareness of the privilege inherent in even contemplating such things; not everyone has that, because life is more about pure survival for so many, and the concepts of self-care and happiness are, or can be, pretty extraneous. Anyway. Here, in no particular order, are the things I do to take care of me, the “whats” I’ve found that make me happy, and what I like best about me (because sometimes it’s easy to forget the good, or at the very least, not even bother to think about whether I actually LIKE me or not). There’s a fair amount of overlap, which probably makes sense.


  • Pedicures
  • Massage
  • Therapy
  • Journaling (every morning)
  • Cooking nourishing food
  • Going to the gym
  • Exploring
  • Time spent with loved ones
  • Gratitude practice


  • Little kids – especially in costume (thank you, Halloween!)
  • “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden when I’m at the gym and pretending to chase people on the other treadmills
  • “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, especially that video from Sesame Street with the kid dancing on the fire escape
  • Joey and Kermit
  • My family – especially my nieces and nephews
  • Delicious foods and fancy cocktails
  • “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver
  • Anything and everything Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires
  • My new cozy, comfortable bed
  • Making people laugh
  • Learning things and getting to talk to other people about it
  • Hand-holding
  • Traveling
  • Imagining, when stopped in traffic or at a railroad crossing, getting out of the car to dance (terribly) and sing (loudly) and just wiggle til it’s time to get back in the car. Cracks me up every time.
  • I like the way I drive. I know it sounds weird, but only driving a manual transmission, and driving my little turbo-charged car like it’s meant to be driven, makes me feel good.

What I Like About Me

  • I sing when I feel like it
  • I do my best in most things
  • I get afraid, but will try things anyway
  • I share in an effort to encourage connection with others
  • I’ve got a pretty big (and tender) heart
  • I like to learn and have a pretty open mind
  • I’m always trying to be a better person than I was the day before
  • I always try to find my part in things
  • I’m finally settling into who I’ve always been meant to be

These are just partial lists, but they’re things I think about on the regular, and I think that’s important. If there are things I can be doing to take care of myself, so that I’ll be better suited to take care of others, I want to be aware of that. If something makes me happy, I want to remember that. And there’s never a bad time to remember and acknowledge the good parts of yourself; makes it a whole lot easier to then navigate the parts that could use a little work.


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