“Chatters of Glee” (and 27 other things that make me happy)

Once a month, I make a list of things that make me happy and grateful. This morning started out with terrific challenge and stress. Just as I was allowing it to get the best of me, I decided, instead, to make my monthly list. The list’s number always matches the date, so here are my 28 things. And boy do I feel better!   = )

  1. Those who have served liberty and justice with strength, sacrifice and courage.
  2. The way my kids patiently and sweetly take turns welcoming me home each time I make the journey.
  3. Reading for pleasure (instead of only in response to class requirements).
  4. Growing and using fresh herbs.
  5. The generosity of friends that enabled us to buy new (used) clothes for all my kids!
  6. Talking to my kids on the phone or via Facebook.
  7. Going to outdoor markets.
  8. Pens.  Different colors.  Different sizes.
  9. Working with talented people who aren’t afraid of challenge and sacrifice.  (I always say, “It’s not me, it’s we.”)
  10. Multitasking!  As I compile this list, I am also compiling my weekly report to those to whom I am professionally accountable, writing a paper on Global Trends in Education, and chatting with kids online.
  11. Multiple computer windows to flash between as I multitask.
  12. Learning to focus.  I have spent so many years multitasking that I find it a challenge to fully focus on one task.  This is one of the things I love about boxing: it REQUIRES focus on the one task at hand in order to succeed.
  13. Hearing my kids at play.
  14. Taking walks around Lake Victoria or through Balboa Park.
  15. That I am going to be able to do much of my new Ugandan commute by bicycle.
  16. The stranger who waved me into the parking space he had obviously wanted.
  17. Waving someone into a parking space I wanted the next day.
  18. Confidence that our budget needs will be covered even when it really doesn’t seem likely.
  19. Miracles.
  20. Chopped.
  21. Long phone chats with family and old friends.
  22. Sunshine!
  23. Notions of pride and humility.  The nuances that emerge from this intersection of spirituality and humanity are at once complex and simple.
  24. Watching a child who is filled with anticipation, resulting in a dance and a chatter of glee.
  25. Filing a semester’s worth of essays, term papers and readings, simultaneously creating special cognitive space for the same, knowing they are now on standby for access when needed.
  26. Being needed.
  27. Needing others.
  28. Today.  The here and now.  This breath.  This thought.  This moment of my human experience.

4 Responses to “Chatters of Glee” (and 27 other things that make me happy)

  1. renee
    May 29, 2012 at 7:30 am

    thanks, feel better, easy to get negative in life……..,why thou……..

  2. Carla B. Heinecke, M.Ed.
    May 29, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Some kind of Wonderful is your list this time! Besides entitling you
    Dr. Motivation, I saw an advertise that used a made-up word for wonderful and powerful = Wowerful. Have you heard of it? That’s how I think of your writing skills!

    CBH, M.E

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Nathaniel is CEO of AidChild.org. He holds a Master's Degree in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University where he was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship, and winner of the 2010 Harvard HDP Marshal Award. He also holds a PhD in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego where he was the Dammeyer Fellow in Global Education Leadership, and a Cordes Fellow at Opportunity Collaboration. Nathaniel is author of "We Are Not Mahogany: Three stories about the male African life." Prior to his move to Uganda in 2000, Nathaniel was Deputy Director of the Office of the Governor of Arizona, and Director of Education at Leadership, Inc.

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