People often find themselves stuck in loops of negativity and worry. It's especially frustrating when we know we have no control, yet we can't stop the dwelling. So here's a list of things that make me smile, and I hope a few will make you smile too. Because no matter what mood we're in, these amazing everyday things still exist all around.
These items and observations are in no particular order of importance or category, and I'll be adding as time permits. Feel free to add your own happy thoughts in the comments, so that they might bring a bit of cheer for the next reader. My goal is to hit a thousand by the end of the year.
160. Olympic champions making time for kids. Thanks for caring, Nick Symmonds! I will forever cheer for you.
159. Seeing an animal rescue another animal. I love it when animals show feelings toward each other.
158. Acapella music. Voices working together in perfect harmony always makes me stop and listen.
157. Saplings thriving in the wood of the less fortunate. This amazing example was photographed by Karen Mallonee.
156. Pulling into a gas station on fumes. Funny how there are gas stations everywhere, but never when you need one.
155. Hot chocolate with a candy-cane stir stick. :-)
154. Watching the last person cross a finish line. So inspirational!
150. Four leaf clovers.
149. The loving trust in the eyes of a puppy.
148. Finding money in pockets before doing laundry.
147. Crop circles.
146. State fairs.
145. Getting carded at the grocery store.
144. Saving money by doing something yourself, and succeeding.
143. The tourist photos of people holding up the leaning Tower of Pisa.
142. Hearing "No cavities!"
141. Angora Rabbits.
140. Art made by personal friends.
139. Finding the thing you're actually looking for.
138. Flower bouquets.
137. Giving someone a hug for no particular reason, and having them say you have no idea how much they needed it.
136. Trying something new and loving it.
135. Restoring something historic.
134. Knowing you are the sole reason something is alive—saving something from certain death.
133. The words, "In remission."
132. Coming up with the perfect thing to say or do at exactly the right time.
131. A good thesaurus.
130. The pyramids of Egypt.
129. Super Bowl commercials.
128. Halloween costumes and the cute trick-or-treaters.
127. Breaks on the porch when hot summer work is kicking your butt.
126. Eating home-grown food.
125. Being able to watch a bird's nest without disturbing it.
123. My sisters' cooking.
122. The soft fur of kittens.
121. Blue sky.
120. Clouds that take shape into something fun and obvious.
119. Colorful Sunsets and Sunrises.
117. A moon that shines like the Cheshire cat smile (as in Alice and Wonderland).
116. Snow days!
115. Publisher's Marketplace announcements—somewhere, a lucky author is dancing the happy dance.
114. Friends who live in the computer. (at Facebook and favorite blogs)
113. Seeing the word "Love" in critiques.
112. The start of an engine that could be dead any day now.
111. Budding trees in the Spring.
110. Magnified snowflakes.
109. Rivers that forge through mountains.
108. Warm rain.
107. Flower bulbs that bloom in the Winter.
106. Hatching eggs.
105. Beautiful creatures that are just now being discovered.
104. Spotting that perfect gift for a friend.
103. The color of fall leaves.
102. Frozen waterfalls.
101. Trees that survive the flow of lava.
100. Glowing worms that hang in caves.
99. Exploring other worlds-- snorkeling!
98. The view of the world from an airplane or the top of a mountain.
97. Crossing a snowline on a mountain range.
96. The incredibly long legs of newborn foals. And those eyes!
95. Adults wearing silly, sparkly shoes.
94. Little girls dressed like princesses in the grocery store.
93. Receiving personal notes in the mail. (Opposed to email)
92. Random acts of encouragement.
91. Kindness shown from one kid to another, when no one is looking.
90. Mob performances in unexpected locations.
88. Eating strawberries and raspberries straight from the plant.
86. Art that has survived for centuries.
85. Shimmering humming birds.
84. The scent of roses.
83. The iridescent colors of a rainbow trout.
82. Whittling whistles out of twigs and screeching grass blades.
81. Wind on a wheat field.
79. Kids singing the national anthem for large crowds, not caring at all if they're singing off key.
78. The scent of clean.
77. Candle wax.
76. Watching the stars at a high elevation.
75. That moment when clouds part for the moon.
74. Spotlight sunbeams and distant patches of streaking rain.
73. Mountaintops hovering above fog.
72. Flying above or looking down on clouds.
70. Herons (except when they're killing your pond fish for fun, not for food).
69. Stunt kites.
68. Sand castles.
66. Tide pools on the beach.
65. Fool's gold in beach sand.
64. Glass floats.
63. Rootbeer floats!
62. Critter condos—finding and making them.
61. Exploring ghost towns.
60. Finding ancient weapons.
59. A child's pride when they succeed at something they've been working toward.
58. A good relationship between a horse and his rider.
57. Lady bugs.
56. The profile of a Praying Mantis.
53. Anything homemade.
52. The fancy hats old people wear.
51. Live music.
50. Yo-yo tricks.
49. Baton twirling.
47. Ice skating.
46. Well-trained dogs (esp seeing-eye dogs!).
45. Magic tricks.
44. Time-lapse photography.
43. Reading (or writing!) an awesome novel.
42. The Olympics.
41. Finishing a race.
40. Finishing anything.
39. Street performers.
38. Sidewalk chalk art.
37. People who can surf.
36. Newborn babies.
35. Jackie Chan.
34. Crossing things off the 'to-do' list.
33. Having a flashlight that works when you need it.
32. Snow globes.
31. The art of Flytying.
30. Ice cycles in mixed-drinks instead of ice cubes.
29. Snow forts and igloos.
28. The things some people can do with Photoshop.
27. Beautiful bridges.
26. Formal and informal garden designs.
23. Palm trees and hammocks.
21. Hitting a target dead-center with a sling shot.
20. Pixar and Dreamworks.
19. The imagination of high-fantasy illustration.
18. Reflections on a glassy lake.
17. That cyan blue of tropical water.
16. Food art.
15. Lightning captured on film.
14. The smell of books.
13. Hot air balloons.
12. Unexpected cactus flowers in the desert.
11. Agility dogs.
10. Using a compass.
9. The relief when something high-risk pays off.
8. Gypsy horses.
7. The Northern Lights.
6. Beach glass.
4. Wonder woman.
2. Clipper ships.
1. Writing "The End" on a first draft.