26 votes

What are the things that make you happy?

With the pandemic still looming over us and the rise in protesting all over the world, I figured a happy topic would be great to cut through our harsh reality.

So, what are some of the things that put a big smile on your face and can just brighten up your day, however big or small? What are some of the things that can make you truly happy, even if only for a moment?

27 comments

  1. [3]
    aphoenix
    Link
    To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of ... Oh wait, I've misinterpreted the question. I try to find joy in many areas of my life. Here are things that I...

    To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of ...

    Oh wait, I've misinterpreted the question.

    I try to find joy in many areas of my life. Here are things that I did this weekend that brought happiness into my life:

    Hugs! I hugged each of my children and my wife. Hugging, or even just putting an arm around someone, is a great way to be close.

    Saying "Yes". Whenever one of my kids asks to do an activity of some kind, I try to approach it with the mindset of "how can I make this possible." Sometimes it is simple - "Dad, want to play tennis?" "Yes!" and we go and play tennis. Sometimes it is less simple - "Dad, can I climb on the roof?" and I try to figure out a way to turn that into a "yes" in a way that's safe and meets the wants of the kid asking.

    Building things with my hands. When I was 12 - 30 this would never have been something that I wanted to do. My dad is a master carpenter, and I guess the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree, because I love to build things. This weekend's minimal project was a new sawhorse that supports our canoe - the old one had rotted.

    Making good food. I'm "the cook" in the house, and part of it is just because I love to prepare (and eat) food. I try to do the prep with my kids whenever possible. Some of the good meals this weekend included homemade pizza (we use naan bread for the crust usually), full breakfast, barbecued chicken with a side salad, and nachos. It's sometimes difficult to find things that my unadventurous kids like to eat, but nachos and pizzas are popular because you can customize them per person, so we can have one section with jalapenos and olives and cheese, and one section with cheeeeeeeeeeeeeese only.

    Having a well kept yard. This is distinct from actually doing the keeping of said yard, which I tend to dislike, but I like having a yard where the yardwork has been done, and to watch the kids run around, and to toss a frisbee... it's great.

    Playing music, or listening to it being played. We have a very musical household - my oldest daughter sings and plays piano, my younger daughter plays piano and I'm teaching her how to play guitar. I play a bunch of instruments and sing, and my wife sings and plays piano. My son is also in the house. If nobody is making music, we probably have the radio on.

    Learning something. Most of the media I consume, especially from YouTube, is "edutainment". They are videos of making or learning or finding out. This weekend, I learned how to use SketchUp - I'm not a pro by any means, but I did get a good idea about the structure I'm planning to build over my kids' sandbox in the backyard.

    11 votes
    1. [2]
      Nepenthaceae
      Link Parent
      About the hugs, how've you been doing in the lockdown? I hate that I can't hug my friends and family (that don't live with me) Also, how's your yard right now?

      About the hugs, how've you been doing in the lockdown? I hate that I can't hug my friends and family (that don't live with me)

      Also, how's your yard right now?

      2 votes
      1. aphoenix
        Link Parent
        I miss my extended family, and there are good days and bad days in lockdown. Luckily in addition to loving my wife and kids, I also like them a lot and we try to make things more bearable for each...

        I miss my extended family, and there are good days and bad days in lockdown. Luckily in addition to loving my wife and kids, I also like them a lot and we try to make things more bearable for each other, and to support and have fun with each other, so I think we're weathering this better than some other people who just seem to have given up on being locked down. For example, all the neighbouring kids just play with each other, no social distancing; only our kids keep their distance from the others on the street, which seems weird to me.

        Our yard is doing better than it ever really has before; I've convinced my son that he likes seeding grass, so we've been overseeding, and watering. I think I'm going to buy a lawn roller and try to even it out a bit, and I might get a yard of topsoil to spread out. It's been great having a space for the kids to play during these weird times.

        1 vote
  2. [4]
    Omnicrola
    Link
    Making breakfast for my wife and I. Which is usually only on weekends, and is generally hand-cubed hash browns, some form of egg, and bacon. I have a need to take care of others, and her family...
    1. Making breakfast for my wife and I. Which is usually only on weekends, and is generally hand-cubed hash browns, some form of egg, and bacon. I have a need to take care of others, and her family life was not the greatest growing up, so filling that role for her really pleases me. especially if she goes the dishes after

    2. Sitting on a porch during a thunderstorm. Not rain, a thunderstorm. The whole world feels more alive.

    3. Creating something from scratch, or as close to scratch as is reasonable. This comes in a variety of things ranging from baking cookies, to designing and 3d printing something, to programming something using no libraries.

    14 votes
    1. [3]
      ohyran
      Link Parent
      First, I support your entire list! Sitting quiet on a porch during a thunderstorm sounds brilliant. But I was wondering what "hand cubed hash browns" where since I always thought they where like a...

      hand-cubed hash browns

      First, I support your entire list! Sitting quiet on a porch during a thunderstorm sounds brilliant. But I was wondering what "hand cubed hash browns" where since I always thought they where like a similar recepie from here and now I feel confused since the no cubing involved.

      1. [2]
        Omnicrola
        Link Parent
        It's just a potato that I cut into about 1/4" cubes, rinse, pat dry, then brown in a pan with some oil. Takes about 20min. I used to use pre-formed frozen "potato rounds" or cubes, but I find...

        It's just a potato that I cut into about 1/4" cubes, rinse, pat dry, then brown in a pan with some oil. Takes about 20min.

        I used to use pre-formed frozen "potato rounds" or cubes, but I find cutting them up myself extra satisfying.

        1 vote
        1. ohyran
          Link Parent
          oooh ok what I thought was "hash browns" is something completely different. Thank you! Another thing that makes me happy is learning something new

          oooh ok what I thought was "hash browns" is something completely different. Thank you!
          Another thing that makes me happy is learning something new

          2 votes
  3. [3]
    krg
    Link
    Hitting smooth chord changes on my guitar. And when I'm improvising..in the zone, playing smooth and melodic stuff with good rhythm and an arc and occasionally getting weird with it in a good...

    Hitting smooth chord changes on my guitar. And when I'm improvising..in the zone, playing smooth and melodic stuff with good rhythm and an arc and occasionally getting weird with it in a good way...well, that makes me happy. Might only last for a minute before I start paying attention to myself and my neuroses has me playing like crap again, though.

    Hearing non-sequitur bits of other people's banter...when I'm walking around, for example. I often end up catching something humorous and sometimes outright chuckle as I'm walking.

    A good sunset. Definitely blessed with more than a few of those in southern California.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      aphoenix
      Link Parent
      There's something about being in the groove while making music that's about 40% of why I'm even here in the world (the other 60% is my family). It's such a deeply satisfying thing. How long have...

      There's something about being in the groove while making music that's about 40% of why I'm even here in the world (the other 60% is my family). It's such a deeply satisfying thing.

      How long have you been playing? What sort of stuff do you like to play?

      3 votes
      1. krg
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Ya, that flow-state is pretty damn rewarding. Been playing since ~2002. If I could summarize my arc, it'd go something like: Tom Morello -> Dustin Wong -> Bill Frisell. Lately, I've been trying...

        Ya, that flow-state is pretty damn rewarding.

        Been playing since ~2002. If I could summarize my arc, it'd go something like: Tom Morello -> Dustin Wong -> Bill Frisell.

        Lately, I've been trying out chord-melody arrangements of jazz standards and working on my bebop vocabulary.


        Tom Morello My first guitar hero. At one point I could play Rage Against the Machine's entire ouvre front-to-back. I knew all of Tom Morello's parts, including the tricky things he'd do to get certain sounds (I was even a member of a forum dedicated to his guitar playing). I'd often pop in one of their live DVDs and play along in its entirety and imagine a day where I'd be at a show and some tragedy would befall upon Tom Morello and I was called in from the audience to finish out the set.
        Dustin Wong I hadn't heard of this guitarist until I showed a friend some little ditties I had been recording shortly after getting a looper pedal (2010ish). He told me they reminded him of Dustin Wong and when I looked him up, I became annoyed because 1) I thought I had some unique sounds going on and 2) he did those sounds much better than me.
        Bill Frisell

        I mean...everyone should aspire to become Bill Frisell.

        2 votes
  4. ohyran
    Link
    Being outside in the forest, or on the lakes, or out on the ocean and on the islands during most any time of year is awesome. Feeling the quiet so intensely that the noise of a single car in the...

    Being outside in the forest, or on the lakes, or out on the ocean and on the islands during most any time of year is awesome. Feeling the quiet so intensely that the noise of a single car in the distance sounds like sitting inside a jet engine. Hearing the constant wave like hush of pine trees swaying in the wind at night and looking up through their branches in to a star filled sky.

    We're coming up to my favourite holiday here: Midsummers eve. So the nights are bright, the sun just below the horizon for a few hours and being on a bike with my husband returning home around three is like being the first and last people on Earth.

    Early mornings and dawns, waking up next to my husband half snoring in a warm bed, slip out and pull on a sweater and some socks and feeling the crisp early morning air in your lungs - make coffee and just read the news waiting for him to wake up.

    Painting, drawing or creating things is another favourite. When you feel your breath slow down by itself. Not forced or meditative like but more on its own accord and you get in to this "trance of making" snapping out of it for a second hearing yourself breath calmly, deeply and then slipping back in to it. Worst part is when you're done.

    Hanging out with friends and playing roleplaying games. That banter, the jokes that bounce from one to the other effortlessly in some team effort of wit and inside jokes. People I've known for over 20 years and sometimes even longer. When one of them makes me laugh so much I start crying and can barely breath - its like this straight hit of endorphins right in to the heart.

    8 votes
  5. ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    Experimentation. Finding new ways to do something. Finding ways to do something I have no preconceived solution for. Seeing how a good idea pans out, regardless of the result. Optimization....
    1. Experimentation. Finding new ways to do something. Finding ways to do something I have no preconceived solution for. Seeing how a good idea pans out, regardless of the result.

    2. Optimization. Finding better ways to do something. Making the thing work faster, quieter, and deliver desired results sooner. Processes, actions, tools, and behaviors.

    3. Waking up with but a scrap of sunlight on the horizon so I could greet the sunrise.

    4. Walking an unfamiliar city, looking into its nooks and crannies, seeing how it works. Further points for the city being big, active, and/or green.

    5. Imagining myself in New York, with all the tools in my possession. Browsing Google Maps' Street View, reading the news, watching documentaries...

    6. Working with systems. Analysis, adjustments, optimization, expansion...

    7. Thinking up fiction. Partially related to previous, since a narrative and its components are inevitably a system. Further points for worldbuilding. Further points still for worldbuilding pure.

    8. Good music. In the right mood, some tracks make hair on my arms stand. There's plenty of timeless tracks, too.

    9. Enabling people to do better things or to do things better with what I do.

    6 votes
  6. [4]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    Right now? Girls. I can’t meet them, but we make plans. I just hope they remain interested after this nightmare Deep Space Nine Cooking and eating My dog may be my single most important source of...

    Right now?

    1. Girls. I can’t meet them, but we make plans. I just hope they remain interested after this nightmare
    2. Deep Space Nine
    3. Cooking and eating
    4. My dog may be my single most important source of happiness right now. I can’t imagine how I’d keep my sanity without him
    6 votes
    1. [3]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      Plural?

      I can’t meet them, but we make plans.

      Plural?

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        Well two is a plural isn’t it? It was three a few days ago but I was kinda dumped (from a non relationship). I’m single.

        Well two is a plural isn’t it? It was three a few days ago but I was kinda dumped (from a non relationship). I’m single.

        2 votes
        1. ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          I see. I assumed something different. That's on me.

          I see. I assumed something different. That's on me.

          2 votes
  7. [2]
    666
    Link
    This may not be a common opinion. Being alone makes me happy, being around people is stressful and many times unnecessary and a waste of time (like, in my case, having to go to the office instead...

    This may not be a common opinion. Being alone makes me happy, being around people is stressful and many times unnecessary and a waste of time (like, in my case, having to go to the office instead of working remote). I'm thankful to this pandemic for showing me a better way to live and giving me more free time I can use for myself instead of having to waste it on commuting or browsing the internet at work. I feel like since I started working remote and being mostly alone I started living and enjoying life like I've never done before.

    6 votes
    1. DMBuce
      Link Parent
      I feel you 100%, dude (or dudette). I've been loving working from home and enjoying my own company. Social interactions have always been a chore for me and having that chore reduced to the...

      I feel you 100%, dude (or dudette). I've been loving working from home and enjoying my own company. Social interactions have always been a chore for me and having that chore reduced to the occasional call from family or coworkers is so amazing. I know a lot of the people I've talked to on such calls are having a hard time dealing with the isolation and lack of social interaction, and I feel bad for them. But at the same time it's nice to get a breather from the daily small chat in the breakroom, to have an excuse not to go to pointless family functions, and to go through the day secure in the knowledge that no one will bother me with trivial interruptions unless/until I decide to pick up the phone or respond to an email.

      It used to be that I would hunker down in my cube with my headphones on to ward off intruders for most of 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Being able to sprawl all over my home throughout the day without having to contend with exhausting social interaction has been pretty liberating.

      2 votes
  8. [3]
    Ellimist
    Link
    I rightly don’t know anymore. I’m in this weird place where I don’t necessarily feel unhappy but nothing really makes me feel happy either. The closest I could think of would be going to a...

    I rightly don’t know anymore.

    I’m in this weird place where I don’t necessarily feel unhappy but nothing really makes me feel happy either.

    The closest I could think of would be going to a professional baseball game.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      aphoenix
      Link Parent
      I have had the barebones of a comment in here for about a day, but have been struggling with saying what I want to say here. There are definitely times in my life where I've felt like this;...

      I have had the barebones of a comment in here for about a day, but have been struggling with saying what I want to say here.

      There are definitely times in my life where I've felt like this; "anhedonia" is the word for it, and it's not good. There aren't really highs or lows, just little bumps, and it's easy to get really out of sync with people around you. I got help through therapy, and it is something to consider, because after a while the lack of joy was really difficult to deal with intellectually and was making bad thought spirals for me.

      One of the things that we found was that there were things that I had always done that I was doing less (or not at all), and those things were important to my brain. If I wasn't doing them, then other things that brought me happiness brought much less happiness, so I had to find new ways to connect to the things that sparked joy for me. There were things that I wasn't doing that were the building blocks of happiness, and when I removed one the whole happiness tower would just fall over and I couldn't build it very high; once I identified them and rebuilt those blocks, I was in a much better place.

      I am not a therapist, but I'm friendly and if you want to chat, you can DM me. I'm also not suggesting that this is the sure-fire way to "fix" your problem, or that they need to be fixed at all. I just emotionally connected with what you wrote, and I needed someone to connect with me when I felt like this, and want to let you know that there are people who don't even know you that care about you and want you to feel happy.

      2 votes
      1. Ellimist
        Link Parent
        I appreciate what you've told me because "anhedonia"....based on what you've told me and a quick Google search....feels like it might be what I've been feeling for the last several years but...

        I appreciate what you've told me because "anhedonia"....based on what you've told me and a quick Google search....feels like it might be what I've been feeling for the last several years but just...didn't have a word or name for it. Depression felt like overkill because I didn't feel depressed. I didn't feel sad. I just didn't feel happy. It was more a feeling of wanting to get away from everyone. Family get togethers? Pass. Date/movie with the girlfriend? Hell, even sex with the girlfriend? I'd rather play video games. But those don't even make me happy so much as they're useful for distracting me and keeping my mind occupied with something else

        I do think there are some other issues, emotional and mental, that are contributing and I know I need to address them before I'll find any long term improvement. Things with the girlfriend are stagnant in a multitude of ways. I live with my dad, which was originally supposed to be a temporary arrangement, that has extended to almost 5 years due to various reasons and now, appears to be going even longer now that my dad approached me about buying his house because he wants to get a place with his girlfriend but wants to keep the house in the family.

        The one area of my life that's going well is my work life but even that is having repercussions I didn't expect. The more I advance, the more money I make, the less I want certain things. Whereas things like marriage and kids were endgoals, now, I question if those are what I truly want to be devoting my time and finances to.

        5 votes
  9. Kuromantis
    Link
    I'm not sure if this counts as happy but singing hip-hop songs is definitely a good way to feel badass or in control.

    I'm not sure if this counts as happy but singing hip-hop songs is definitely a good way to feel badass or in control.

    4 votes
  10. Anwyl
    Link
    I love learning abstract stuff. In the past year I've been learning a ton of math, physics, and philosophy. Also nature. I just moved from an area in the middle of the city to an area with parrots...

    I love learning abstract stuff. In the past year I've been learning a ton of math, physics, and philosophy.

    Also nature. I just moved from an area in the middle of the city to an area with parrots and coyotes around, and nature trails. It's been great hearing nature at night, and being able to visit during the day. Still mostly "in the city" but it's way better than before.

    4 votes
  11. intuxikated
    Link
    This might not be popular on Tildes, but I like watching YouTube. I like watching commentary videos from Drew Gooden, unboxing videos from linus Tech Tips and when I have time video essays from...

    This might not be popular on Tildes, but I like watching YouTube. I like watching commentary videos from Drew Gooden, unboxing videos from linus Tech Tips and when I have time video essays from Philosophy Tube and ContraPoints. There are other random things that can make my day, like someone taking their time to write up a whole essay to something stupid I asked.

    4 votes
  12. ohyran
    Link
    I'm a 40+ year old dude. Married with my husband almost ten years soon together for 14. And I STILL giggle-snort at this guys name (say it out loud) like a 14 year old. THAT makes me happy....

    I'm a 40+ year old dude. Married with my husband almost ten years soon together for 14. And I STILL giggle-snort at this guys name (say it out loud) like a 14 year old. THAT makes me happy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comminianus

    4 votes
  13. FishFingus
    Link
    Imagining the very distant possibility of meeting up with my online crush after lockdown, and taking them out for a date and some much-needed physical intimacy. With pats. Also, pursuing the goal...

    Imagining the very distant possibility of meeting up with my online crush after lockdown, and taking them out for a date and some much-needed physical intimacy. With pats.

    Also, pursuing the goal of making the perfect macaroni and cheese.

    3 votes