Friday, January 9, 2015


I love podcasts. This American Life, Serial, Snap Judgement and Radiolab are my favorites. I listen to them while I clean or cook or fold laundry. They make me feel smart and keep me company in my quiet house until my boys get home from school and the house is no longer quiet in the slightest. Today I was catching up on some older episodes of Radiolab. In particular I listened to an episode titled "Bliss."

Here is a free 8x10 print for you from me.

It starts with a story about a Swedish man, Aleksander Gamme, who is on an Antarctic expedition. In this video he is going through a bag of supplies that he had previously cached. He is on day 86 of the expedition and quite hungry. It's in Swedish but it doesn't matter. This transcends language. Be sure to watch it all the way to the end.

Wasn't that great? I have watched it half a dozen times now. It made me smile and laugh and it also got me thinking: what is my idea of bliss?

 For my sons, bliss is:
"All the lights are off. I'm listening to music and I don't have any homework or any obligations to anyone." He is a 16 year old boy. Enough said.
"When people are not annoying. Seafood. My magic scarf." He got an awesome black and cream plaid scarf from American Eagle for Christmas. He says it's magic because it keeps him warm even when he isn't wearing a coat.
"Spinach. Or my birthday." My kids are a little weird.
"Having Minecraft on the iPad." He says this because I recently deleted it. I don't like how addicted my kids get to it.

For me bliss is extreme happiness, but also peace, a feeling of well-being, and spiritual contentedness. Here are some of my blissful things:
  1. Curling up with a good book
  2. Falling asleep to the sound of rain
  3. Crunching through leaves on a bright, crisp autumn day
  4. Beautiful music
  5. Fresh sheets, line dried if possible
  6. Cold, cold water to drink on a hot day
  7. Soft, warm socks on a cold day
  8. Daffodils, lilacs, hydrangeas and a host of other fresh flowers
  9. The sound of the ocean
  10. Looking at the stars on a clear night
  11. Walking barefoot in thick grass
  12. Laughing until my stomach hurts
  13. Being with my family--snuggling with my children and hearing them laugh
  14. Finding a handwritten letter or a thoughtful package in my mailbox
  15. Date night with my husband
  16. Fresh raspberries or peaches; perfectly fried bacon; chocolate; pretty much any delicious food--I just love food--I'm an emotional eater and this is why.
  17. Creative time--time to write or to make something crafty
  18. Going on a walk when the weather is pleasant
  19. A chatty phone call with my sister or a dear friend
  20. A great bargain; getting a fantastic deal on something makes me giddy
  21. Hitting all the traffic lights green when I am in a hurry
  22. Blue skies in the winter
  23. A leisurely stroll through a museum or a botanical garden
  24. New stationery
  25. Getting a clean bill of health for me and my family after having to face one of my worst parenting fears earlier this week
And there are so many other things that make me blissful too.

What are your blissful things?
Here's to finding our bliss in the cold, dark days of January.


Shannon said...

Love the video--made me laugh. I'll have to start a bliss list myself. Thanks for provoking my thoughts once again this month.

Ida said...

That was quite the video even though I couldn't understand what he was saying the general idea came through loud and clear. It's a neat idea to count one's blessings each day.

Beth MacCallum said...

Just...thank you for this!