Sometimes, I catch myself actually finding joy in simple daily routines or habits, like making tea, stroking my cat, and staring at squirrels in our garden nibbling nuts we left for them in a bird feeder. Then I realize that these little things make me who I am – a unique human being who enjoys certain things, dislikes some, has flaws, bad days, good habits, and bad habits, but I’m still here, alive. I am someone who matters, for reasons or no reasons at all, just because.
I wanted to set aside the darkness I’ve been feeling in the past few days and just list the things I like and enjoy, the things that make me tick. Because maybe what makes us who we are is a collection of our likes and dislikes after all. So here it goes:
- Black tea with lemon and sugar, made in a white pot and poured one cup after another into my rose-decorated mug I bought from TKMaxx.
- Watching my cat sleep comfortably on a sofa downstairs, where I laid out a fluffy white blanket for him.
- Lighting incense and spreading the smell of lavender or sandalwood across the house. I received them from a friend for my birthday, and each time I do it, it reminds me of her.
- Burning candles during the day and in the evening. I like the atmosphere they create, not just the dancing light.
- I enjoy making a house a home with plants, wall decorations, cushions, soft lighting, a lamp in every corner, candles, and warmth.
- Making notes in notebooks, an old-school way of staying organised. As much as I appreciate technology, I’ve learned a few times that you can’t beat your own handwritten notes.
- Shopping second-hand – giving new life and love to items that someone didn’t want or need anymore. Each time, it feels like I’ve gifted myself with something brand new, even though it’s been used. Since I started shopping in charity shops, I hardly ever go to malls; TKMaxx is the only exception, but it already feels like a second-hand item.
- Morning yoga and meditation – I forgot how great they make me feel, so I got back into this nourishing routine.
- Marzipan and anything almond or amaretto flavoured.
- Mugs, especially those with bunnies. I have quite a collection already, and although we’re slowly running out of space in our cupboard, I love every single mug I’ve bought.
- Fine China pottery – beautiful designs, shapes, patterns, great quality, and uniqueness.
- Flowery patterns – there’s something girly and romantic about them that draws me in.
- My red bike with a basket – it gives me freedom.
- Listening to music using my speaker – I love the convenience of connecting my phone with a speaker via Bluetooth and playing my favourite music on Spotify.
- Comfortable slippers, especially those I received from my friend – they have rabbit’s ears on the sides and a ball-shaped bunny tail at the back, combining cuteness and comfort in one! And again, every time I wear them, it reminds me of my friend.
- Red wine – my choice is always either Italian or French.
- I like my morning and evening routines – brushing my teeth, washing my face, toning, moisturizing, and putting on makeup or removing it.
- Although I don’t have my nails painted all the time, I like having them done, with any shade of red being my favourite.
- Cooking and preparing meals. I enjoy it even more when I can share a meal with my partner. I also realized recently that taking time to make my lunch – cutting vegetables, boiling eggs, and making it into a salad – is a way of looking after myself, treating myself to a nutritious meal just as I would for someone I care for or a guest.
- Taking a warm shower when I’m cold.
- Going to bed when I feel really tired.
- Watching my favourite show alone – those TV shows that your partner doesn’t share your enthusiasm for, so when he’s not home, you can watch it alone and enjoy it 100%.
- Eggnog latte from Starbucks, which I can only buy in November/December. I like mixing it half-and-half with soya milk to make it less sweet while preserving the taste.
I feel that I will gradually be adding to this list. I can already see that it will be a great exercise for me to notice and reflect on things that bring me joy and make me feel like myself. It will also help me be more self-aware and appreciate the small daily things and habits that I might take for granted. If they were taken away, I would probably miss them, like watching my cat sleeping by my side!