You know those moments when you see something on a social network that actually makes you think? That fills you with inspiration? I had one of those today, courtesy of the supermegawicked Bill Colwell (@hipyeti) on Twitter.
The concept was simple, a tweet that read; "If you read this, just tweet me something that makes you happy." That's it. That's all Bill's tweet said. A simple, beautiful antidote to the catty, foulmouthed trolling that we so often encounter on social networks. I immediately began thinking of all the things that make me happy. Naturally the first things that sprung to mind are my beloved fiance, my precious friendships and my loving family, but I wanted to dig deeper than that. What makes me happy when I'm alone? What objects, things, textures, smells, feelings make me happy when there is no-one else around? What are the simple pleasures in my life? I compiled a basic list, and tweeted them back to Bill. You can find that list on Twitter, but I wanted to elaborate some of that list here. I think you can tell a lot about about a person by their creature comforts, and I'd be very interested to know what mine say about me...
Mail Order Parcels: Even though I (usually) know exactly what I've ordered and when it will arrive, my heart still skips a beat when I find a neatly package parcel in my mailbox. Every day feels like my birthday.
Tickets Of All Types: My theme park tickets for my Florida holiday arrived yesterday, and my gig tickets for The Postal Service arrived last week. Tickets make me feel important. "I am attending this event. I am a guest here." Even old tickets... "I saw that film on that day. That was the day we caught the train to London." Of course, speeding and parking tickets aren't so much fun, but I don't drive, so, y'know, sucks to be you.
Cinnamon: The scent of cinnamon fills me with warmth. It's Winter, it's Christmas, it's mulled wine with good company. It's apple pie. It's love. This applies to stewed plums and anything scented or tasting of plums. Warmth. Sweetness. Happiness
Vintage Bicycles: One day, I will own a vintage bicycle. It will be baby blue with shiny chrome. It will have a bell and a wicker basket. I will ride it in a flouncy skirt with a ponytail and shades. I will be fabulous.
Glitter: Tacky, yes. Unrefined, yes. But it brightens me up and shakes me down, makes me put on my dancing shoes and casts my worries aside.
Red Lipstick: Old fashioned, vintage Hollywood glamour queen. I genuinely believe no woman should be without one. Don't give me this "It doesn't suit me" crap. There is a shade of red for every woman, and once you've found yours you will be a glamourpuss. A femme fatale. A bombshell.
Tea: & biscuits: & toast. & cake. & coffee. & sympathy.
Clean Sheets: I think this is a pleasure everyone can agree with. That hotel feeling. Smooth cotton. Fresh linen. Bliss.
I love new things. A fresh tube of Chapstick. New socks, never worn. Peeling the protective stickers off the screens and shiny bits of new gadgets. Empty notebooks, where the pages don't bear the scars of notes lost written and torn out. I love old things too. Crafting new, precious artifacts from old tat. Old glass marbles. Retro baking equipment, old cake tins, old fashioned scales...
This is just a selection. If I elaborated every single thing that made me happy, we'd be here all weekend. But as I figured out the things in my life that make me happy, I realised that the smallest of things can rock my world. A Saturday off work. A snuggly, oversized jumper. Watching science documentaries in bed. As a society, I think we consistently crave the bigger, better things in life, believing that these things will make us happy. We all want money, power, fame, fast cars, diamonds, expensive coffee machines, sporting glory, longer hair, bigger boobs, more attention.
But for me, happiness is tea, blankets, marbles and boxfresh socks. What about you?
My good friend Bill can be found inspiring the masses over on Twitter, and delighting the ears on his Soundcloud and YouTube channels.