What makes you happy?

So I mentioned in an earlier post that Nicole bought us list books for 2016, but we'd both been stuck on writing a list of happiest moments of our lives.  I blame the book.  Who makes a book of lists to write throughout the year, and makes that week 3!?  You'd think maybe they'd work up to something like this.. That's a lot of memories to go through.  Every time I sit down to start my list, I get lost in memories.  I start out with thinking about a kindergarten field trip my mom chaperoned somewhere that had a dinosaur exhibit (The Zoo De Granby maybe?) and the next thing I know I'm upset all over again about that time Mark stole my seat next to the Blue Jay when I got up to go to the bathroom.  (I swear there's a logical connection of those two memories in my mind somewhere...)

The point is, I could spend an entire year going through 30 years of memories in my mind and trying to pick out the happiest moments. In general, my life has been happy.  And I'm the type of person will who frequently sit back and soak in a moment and store it to memory, for the simple reason that I am happy. 

As an example, when I was 9 years old, I decided that I was truly satisfied with life, and happy where I was.  So happy, that I would have been okay being 9 years old for the rest of my life.  I was at an age where I felt young enough to still enjoy being a kid, but old enough to have some autonomy, and I appreciated that.  I had friends that I liked, a teacher that I liked, there was nothing in life upsetting me - I was happy.  And so I remember specifically trying to store that feeling, and just enjoying the fact that in that moment of life, I was content.  Sure, I've had my share of sad times too, and I have plenty of negative memories, but I have so many great ones.

Of course there are obvious ones, like getting married last September.  But there are also smaller ones, like the time I was cuddled up in my parent's bed watching the premiere of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" on my mom's little TV, with a kitten cuddled up beside me.  I'm pretty sure there was some sort of party going on downstairs, but I was more than content with permission to stay up late, watch TV in the big bed, and I had a kitten!  I don't even remember where the kitten came from - I'm very certain it wasn't ours.  It doesn't matter though - I was happy! (Wikipedia is telling me that was January 1, 1993 - so it was probably some type of New Year's party, and I was 7 and a half at the time).

Not the same cat, but around the same age

Not the same cat, but around the same age

As I try to write my list, I'm not necessarily looking to name a general event, but what was the specific moment and feeling that made that event so happy.  Sure my wedding was happy, but I want to write down the feeling I had sitting on the hotel bed the morning of the wedding surrounded by my best friends, knowing that I was getting married to Tom THAT DAY.  That nervous bubbling of energy in my stomach.  That bolt of excitement that made it impossible to sleep the night before.  The overwhelming gratitude to everyone who was traveling to Boston for us!   Those are the moments where the happiness lies.

But I think before I get there, I need to at least start with a cheat sheet, and that is the bigger, more general events.  Maybe if I start there, I can go back through and expand on a couple later? 

So in no particular order (other than how my mind jumps from memory to memory), here is my rough draft of "happiest memories"

  • Meeting Jimmy Fallon
  • Attending a taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
  • Attending a taping of Late Night with Seth Meyers
  • Meeting Tina Fey
  • Attending the dress rehearsal of SNL
  • Going to Disney World 4x
  • Getting my job offer from Fidelity (3x)
  • NYC in November for Nicole's Birthday
  • Various birthday parties
  • Getting accepted to Northeastern
  • My High School Graduation
  • My Northeastern Graduation
  • Riding roller coasters
  • Finishing my first 5k
  • Christmas mornings
  • Raina coming home to visit
  • My first car Suzie on my 16th birthday
  • Getting Maia
  • Backstreet Boys concerts with Brooke
  • Red Sox game during the Montreal Class trip
  • Our Wedding
  • Our Reception
  • Rehearsal Dinner
  • Our First Look
  • Valedictorian of 8th Grade
  • Any time I'd get a 100 on a test
  • Catching a fly ball at 2nd base
  • Girl Scout sleepover in the electrical room
  • 4th grade reading time in the castle
  • 4H camp 007 shooting award
  • Anytime I've gotten something unexpected in the mail
  • Letters from Ziggy in college
  • Glow in the dark stars on my bedroom ceiling
  • Having my favorite video be #1 on TRL
  • Miranda's 2000 New Year's party
  • The feelings of take offs and landings in an airplane
  • When my first grade teacher would call me Cait the great
  • Signing on my condo
  • Visiting Nicole in Toronto
  • Visiting Nicole in Nova Scotia
  • Arriving at Maine on the first day of vacation
  • My first kiss
  • Easter Egg hunts at my grandparents
  • Trip to a farm to hold baby lambs
  • Texas Rodeo with Becca
  • Surprising Brooke after the proposal
  • The night after our first date
  • Water aerobics with my roommates in the Dominican
  • Hiking in the rain forest of Puerto Rico
  • Seeing the Arc de Triomphe in person
  • Sitting on the beach of Aruba as newlywed
  • First Red Sox game at Fenway,
  • Mike Lowell's last game
  • Watching Sammy Sosa hit home run #37 during his race against McGwire.
  • Every concert I've ever cried at
  • Prom with my best friend
  • Selling out a CUP event
  • Red Sox World Series in Boston
  • A-Wing parties
  • Bachelor(ette) weekend
  • Maid of Honor/Bridesmaids at Nicole/Becca/Linzy/Danielle's weddings
  • Relay for Life in HS

It's not complete, but it's a start.  Maybe good enough to move on to week 4's list?  I do want to go back through and elaborate on a few of these.  Some of them have some good stories behind them.  :)

Meeting Leonardo (and getting his autograph) should probably be on that list!

What would be on your list?