Never let it be said that peer pressure is always a bad thing.
That stated, let me begin.
Things That Make Me Happy
Talking to my mom. We have always been pretty darn close, and adore her. Every time I'm in a tough situation, I ask what my mom would do about it. When someone or something starts wearing me thin, I remember how patient and kind my mom is. When that Paul Simon song comes on the radio in the back at work, I remember dancing around the living room with her, singing, "You can be my body guard, and I can be your long lost pal. I can call you Betty, and Betty when you call me you can call me Al."
Watching my dad work. When he is trying to solve something, you can almost see the wheels turning in his head, going through all kinds of different solutions. I love watching him work on something, because his big, calloused hands can be so gentle and do things so minute I am amazed at the work he does. He and I have a lot of things in common, and a lot of differences. We've had a lot of rough spots in our relationship, but who doesn't? We made it through them without killing each other.
Knitting. There is something about taking sticks, and string, twiddling them around a bit, and ending up with a scarf that appeals to my need to create things (usually messes). And there are so many things to create, so many ways to create them, and so many materials to use. It is an infinitely changing thing. You think for a while that you can only knit one thing a certain way. Then some clever person comes up with a completely different way to do it. It's fascinating, and the repetitive movement that requires all my attention and focus is relaxing and calming. Usually.
Patrick. He is ridiculously kind, funny, sweet, and strong. Patrick deals with a lot of stuff with the people close to him, and he manages to just let the stress and the anger roll down his back without blinking an eye. Indeed, he bends over backwards for the people who enrage him so much because he loves them. The people who matter to Patrick feel it, and he does whatever he can to make them happy to the point where it takes a lot out of him. When I've had a long day at work, he's ready with a warm hug and a back rub to help me relax. He cooks me dinner on his days off and then does the dishes, so I just have that much less work to do. He gets out of a warm, comfortable bed to get me something that I could easily get myself, because he doesn't want me to move and somehow become uncomfortable. Patrick smiles all the time now, sincere, full-faced smiles that I rarely saw on him before we started dating. My parents think I walk all over him, and I do. But I do it in a friendly, loving way, and Patrick knows that. He lets me do it, because he doesn't mind at all.
My friends. Bob and Caryn are chief among these, being the two I see the most. Bob is always a voice of reason and common sense, with a wry sense of humor. He sees the problem, and he finds a solution, and he tells you what it is. Bluntly. Bob hardly ever minces his words, but he manages to make blunt easy-going as well, so that the hit isn't as hard. Caryn, on the other hand, is the voice of ridiculous daydreams and imagination. When I complain about an ignorant customer, her first response is to tell me to stab them, or set them on fire. She is one of my muses, always sparking my brain into some interesting story to plot out. We come up with ridiculous, complicated, winding stories that invariably get buried under the next one to be thought up. Together, Bob and Caryn are two of my best friends, and I love them both dearly. They know when to cheer me up, when to tell me to pull up my big-girl panties, and when to just be there.
Besides them, though, are the delicate workings between my other friends. Well, perhaps not delicate, but the webs of friendship I have made in my life are still present in people I haven't seen since graduation. I still speak to my kindergarten friend Nancy, who has been part of my life since I was five. I have made so many friends through the internet, other knitters and bloggers who share the same interests. And at work, there is a tight weave of camaraderie between the people at Pizza Hut. To the point that I know I can call almost any one of them with an emergency and they would do whatever they could to help me out. And I would do the same for them. Dan the Cook (his full title) flirts with me playfully, and we dig at each other all the time--he's Puerto Rican and can't properly say "Kathryn", so it comes out as "Kafrin"--but when he asked me to proof his book for him, I agreed. Even though it was a religious/inspirational book, and not what I normally read, let alone like. It's important to him. Amber is having difficulties at home, and she needs a strong sense of humor from the people around her to make her laugh her troubles away, even for a little while.
The Alyssas, Henson and McAllister, are strong, smart, and funny women with distinct personalities and some of the sharpest tongues I've known. They are supportive and giving, and ask so little from you in return.
So, there you go. Some things that make me happy. There are more, a lot more, but I only have so much strength in my face, and writing this has made my cheeks tired from smiling so much.
sky is filled with neon
the buildings stand electric
and almost seem to glow
want answers to the question
my life is like an island
where does the ocean go?
I really want to know
my life is like an island
it's time for me now to fly
where does this ocean go?
~"Where does the ocean go?", Yoko Kanno