These past few weeks have been thesis crunch time and pre-concert prep time. (Sunday, April 3 at 7 PM at the Michigan Theater, the Michigan Pops Orchestra presents – Pops Lock and Drop It: A Dance Concert in Two Acts! Sadly my last concert with Pops, but it will be a great one!) In order to relieve stress, I have been trying to focus on things that make me happy. I’m no Oprah, but here are some of my favorite things!
1. Small Dogs
I don’t mean purse-sized dogs, but terriers and dogs the size of Toto from the Wizard of Oz. I see people walking them around Ann Arbor all the time, and I may or may not have creeped out a few owners by staring a little too obviously. I find them adorable, though, and I cannot wait to have a few puppies of my own.
2. Specific moments at work
I work in a library, and there are always small things about the job that make it great. My favorite happens when I check availability for items. The item’s due date and the name of the person who checked it out pop up next to the title. I love when someone asks for a popular film, like Inception or the Social Network, and not only do I see that it is checked out, but it is checked out to my coworker who is standing four feet away. It makes me smile every time.
3. Good food
When I have time to actually cook dinner, it makes my whole night better. My mom gave me a great cookbook for Christmas, and I’ve spent some time whipping up spicy shrimp with angel hair pasta and sweet potato risotto. I love it, and I can’t wait to have more time to try new recipes.
My sister and I made an excellent Thanksgiving dinner!
I read at least three books over spring break and wished I had time for more. I spend a lot of my time reading at school, but mostly it’s nonfiction and I’m trying to figure out the author’s arguments so I can say reasonably intelligent things in class the next day. I miss getting caught up in a story and losing track of time. My favorite weekend mornings are ones when I’m curled up in bed with a book.
5. Reading until I fall asleep
On a related note, the best nap is one that happens after I cannot keep my eyes open any longer.
6. Blue Skies
The winters in Ann Arbor are frequently gray and cloudy. When there is a clear blue sky once in a while, it makes my whole day feel better and happier.
7. Unexpected pleasant conversation with strangers
I am not advocating talking to strangers, or taking candy from them, but when I interact with people unexpectedly, even in a small way, it can brighten my day. My favorite stories about this come from riding the T to work a couple summers ago when I interned in Boston. Every morning, I grabbed a copy of the Metro and worked on the crossword puzzle while I rode to work. One morning, the man sitting next to me leaned over and said, “Hey, you have some answers I don’t. Do you want to swap?” We rode until Park Street doing the puzzle together.
Yes, this an excuse to post pictures of Greece.
Sunset over Ios.
What are some of your favorite things? How do you relieve stress?