I'm going to put aside the obvious big ticket items that make me feel happy, i.e. Lovely Husband, Dear Boy, my family, etc. We'll take those as a given. Here, instead, is a list of 10 smaller often unremarked happies.
1. Long naps - I'm not a napper myself but when Dear Boy goes down for two hours, I get a lot done. When he was younger, he was a one sleep-cycle napper. And although he'd have three or four 40 minute naps a day, it was never really long enough to do something. Usually it was enough time to scarf something down and pack the dishwasher. Or to decide on something to do during the next 40 minute nap. And, really. That's no fun at all.
4. Publication - journal articles, magazine articles, reviews, even a good ol' fashioned letter to the editor gives me a bit of a thrill. A corollary to that is being quoted and listed in a bibliography; to be in an index is a mighty fine thing.
5. Discovering new books/authors/series - I get terrible post good book syndrome and it often finds me staring forlornly at the bookshelves, head cocked and scanning for something, anything, the perfect thing to read. Usually I head back to something familiar, something snuggly, that I love and have read over and over. But last time, Lovely Husband huffed and threw two books at me, both science fiction (not my normal cup of tea). I tried the first and it was terrible but the second I fell into the story and ploughed my way through the four books of the series. Sure the covers were entirely embarrassing and the last two pages of the series were entirely unsatisfactory, but there's a whisper of a promise of more to come.
6. Growing things - something to eat, something pretty, when those little tendrils and buds appear there's a connection to the earth that's old as civilisation. Growing human beings is also pretty spectacular, although that's a far longer enterprise. Watching them blossom is amazing.
7. Playing a game - We have a big collection of board games including several editions of Trivial Pursuit, a new Boggle and two versions of Scrabble. We also have quite a few geeky games like Ninja Burger, Dilbert, Order of the Stick, Arkham Horror, Talisman and Munchkin. I also may or may not have Pride and Prejudice: The Board Game. Lovely Husband and I don't play as much now as we did before Dear Boy was born, but it's nice to pull one out occasionally and spent some face to face or side by side time. We laugh, we tease, we win and lose. Strangely, I am not a fan of computer/console games at all but do like a nice solo round of Freecell or Minesweeper - getting one of those out is both mind-numbing and satisfying.
8. A clean and fresh home - The doing part of this is not a happy at all, not for me anyway. But afterwards when the floors are clean and the surfaces are clear and the washing is put away and the dishes are in the dishwasher and the sheets are crisp and new, there's multiple little happies there.
9. A walk in the world - I am a fan of wandering through neighbourhoods, looking at houses and gardens and parks. Sometimes I feel a little jealous and sometimes Dear Boy is not a fan and I spend a lot of time distracting him, but sometimes he is content to watch and point and chatter and we wander through the quiet streets together.