Today I read a book by Molly Cantrell-Kraig called “I want to die: 100 reasons you shouldn’t.” (not an affiliate link). Molly’s idea is that sometimes a person who is in despair just needs to be reminded that life is worth living, and she gives 100 reasons why life is worth holding on to. Molly’ will be giving portions of her proceeds to suicide prevention programs.
Molly’s post got me to thinking. What are 100 reasons I want to live? I think it’s a good exercise, so here is what I came up with, in no particular order.
1. The ocean – the sound, the mystery, the different waves, the different shades of blue and grey
2. Sunlight that is warm on your back but not too hot
3. Reading. I still have not come remotely close to reading every book about Abraham Lincoln, not to mention every other historical figure I adore!
4. Fresh out of the oven cookies
5. The joy of plotting surprises for people
6. Eddie Izzard (he is so smart and so funny – how could I miss out on him?)
7. The lure of travel. I haven’t even been to Europe yet, and the places I have been have been spectacular.
8. Fresh fruit and vegetables (I have become addicted this year)
9. Gardening – waiting for little seeds to turn into big beautiful flowers or whatever they might be
10. My family – my parents, my brother, my cousins, my aunts and uncles – I am so very lucky
11. Dancing. I might look terrible doing it but boy is it fun.
13. Tai Chi (and I still haven’t learned the 32 steps of the form I’m working on. Got to finish that!)
14. Knitting – I have so much to do and I need to get so much better!
15. My grandpa’s recipe for iced tea – the taste of summer
16. The first blooming forsythia in spring
17. The first snowfall (that loses its charm rather quickly)
19. Curling up in bed while it storms outside
20. Raking leaves. I know. I’m terribly weird.
21. That first moment you realize, “Hey, it’s still light outside. Neat!”
22. The sound of laughter
23. Monty Python – who could ever want to leave a world in which Monty Python exists?
24. Coffee – oh, coffee..I could never quit you
26. Those cool breeze days where walking outside feels like you are walking through silky sheets
27. Seeing relatives after a long time apart (especially at holidays. I’m a mush)
28. Meeting an online friend in real life for the first time (so far I’ve had good luck!)
30. A hot shower on a cold day
31. The smell of flowers, each different, each unique
32. Noticing little things, like the veins on a leaf
33. Learning new things (that never runs out, btw)
36. Fighting with Jason Konopinski and Ken Jacobs about how to eat a bagel with lox
37. Depressing myself by watching my Cleveland sports teams (it’s still fun in a weird way)
38. Flying on a plane (it still amazes me)
39. Mozart. Even Mozart’s Requiem makes me want to live
40. Van Gogh’s art. Some day I will go to Amsterdam and see his museum
41. Newborn snuggly babies
42. Soft furry animals of any kind pretty much – how can you be sad when you’re holding a puppy?
43. Coming up with a new business idea every day with Erin Feldman (and feeling determined we will make at least half of them happen)
44. Learning to cook a new recipe (even though it’s terrifying)
45. Finding the perfect pair of shoes
46. Hearing that you cheered someone up or made a positive difference for them
48. Live music events, especially if you like the music
49. Deciding to sleep a little longer on a Saturday
50. Inside jokes
51. Witty exchanges of sarcastic blather (I excel at that I think)
52. Seeing someone you care about succeed (in whatever way may come to them)
53. Trying something new
54. Conquering a fear or a problem
55. A phonecall with a friend
57. My peeps – Michelle, Paget, Karima, Erin, Olivier, Geoff – the family I’ve adopted
58. Getting something in the mail that’s not a bill or a sales promo
59. Wonderful television shows like Downton Abbey and Breaking Bad (sniff)
60. Discovering people online whom you went to school with 30 years ago (this really happens)
61. Being on the receiving end of random acts of kindness, like the lovely note I got from Ms. Mila Araujo just today
62. Playful banter that tends to occur on my Facebook wall (sometimes it even gets too weird for me)
63. Trading cloche hats digitally with Ms. Kaarina Dillabough
64. The sound of tree frogs in the fall, which I can hear singing right now
65. Summer thunderstorms
66. Tea, hot
67. Family traditions
68. New haircuts
69. Getting to network with incredibly amazing and inspirational people like the aforementioned Molly, Angela Daffron, Mark Horvath, Sam Parrotto, and many others
70. Getting to tweet an author and say, “Hey, I liked your book. Thanks for writing it.” That will never get old.
72. My favorite parks
73. Hiking your troubles away
74. Yarn festivals, complete with alpacas and angora rabbits
75. Hot dogs. There is just something about them.
76. Feeling motivated by others – I get a kick out of people who kick my butt
77. I still plan on running a marathon for my 40th birthday – gotta be alive to do that unless I want to be a zombie on a zombie run (which I don’t)
78. Charity work – It makes everything seem better
79. Getting recognition for something you thought no one noticed
80. Happy secrets
81. Candles – especially ones that aren’t too cologne-like
82. Boston. Let’s just say it. Boston.
83. Girls’ nights out
84. Going to movies (even on your own)
85. That feeling when the laundry is done (though I hate doing laundry)
86. Comfort movies (one of mine is Secret of Nimh, I’m not ashamed to admit)
87. Celebrity crushes. I have a few.
88. Documentaries that change your perspective
89. Hawaii. Um, yeah.
90. The redwood forests of California. This will change your perspective on everything.
91. Children – they are pure human concentrate and often too wonderful to describe
92. Waiting for your favorite moment in that movie you’ve seen 10 million times
93. Canoeing (I need to do more of this)
94. Getting a hug right when you most need it
95. Pleasant surprises (they always keep you guessing. You can’t give up because you never know what’s around the corner)
96. Watching Karima lust after shoes (really – it’s admirable!)
97. Watching people in real life perform Tai Chi and other martial arts
98. Singing in a choir
99. Singing in general
So there are 100 things that keep me going. Now it’s your turn