Little things that make you happy


Naturally, cute little dogs make people smile. If you’re a dog owner, you wax poetic about all the love and satisfaction your dog gives you.  No one doubts the pleasure of unconditional love and a warm, wet kiss from a cuddly dog.  But, there are so many other small things that can give pleasure and brighten up your day.

For one, colorful, funny socks add a twinkle to my eye.  I once saw a guard in the Picasso Museum in Paris wearing two mis-matched colored socks. Whether it was a mistake or a style statement, it put a big grin on my face. 

My friend Nina Kaminer, owner of one of New York City’s most prominent luxury PR agencies, says a briny Bluepoint oyster does it for her. She is also blissfully happy when she fits into her skinny jeans. Who wouldn’t be?

Another pal, Karen Goodlad, a professor of wine studies at New York Tech, smiles when she sees the first sign of her arugula sprouting in spring in anticipation of her inaugural “hyper local salad” for her family.

Connecting with people—even strangers—makes Worldwide Business Centre General Manager, Ed Bungert, happy.  He says he always has his antennae up to see if he can do something to help someone in need.  No matter how big or small, the act provides him with is a personal high.

My trainer, Jenn Spina (Equinox’ “Princess of Pain”) says seeing “the little old man” in Central Park makes her very happy. Many New York City runners have noticed him over the years going from a slow run-walk in street clothes on the runners’ path, to a tentative shuffle.  While we don’t know his name, we love seeing him.  Jenn’s “little old man” is out there every day—now with a cane—an example to all runners of determination and perseverance. 

Chandni Patel, a former “Cornerstoner,” says singing in the shower makes her joyful. I asked if she sang well and she replied, “Can’t sing a lick.” But, she also volunteered that when she is really happy, she dances too.  A one-person party behind a shower curtain!

Melanie Young, author and radio host, loves watching the wild turkeys march around her back yard in the country as well as seeing the squirrels playing tag. 

Another friend, John Hazard, says being able to successfully tell a joke delights him.  Being someone who can’t even remember a punchline, I can certainly identify with that. To prove his point, John recounted the story of an American tourist traveling to Ireland for the first time. His car rental had a stick shift and learning how to maneuver it with his left hand (they drive on the left hand side of the road in Ireland) proved most challenging.  He haltingly drove the car from the airport down the small, country lanes towards the manor where he was staying the night.  At the first traffic light, he knew he was sunk.  He observed the red light but couldn’t get the car in the proper gear in time once it turned green.  By the second go-around, yet again missing the green light, he ended up stalling the car completely. At which point, the driver in the car behind him, patiently got out of the car and politely knocked on the American’s window. “Excuse me, sir, but was there a particular shade of green you were looking for?”  Our table laughed hysterically while John beamed with joy having delivered a perfect performance.