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Day 14, Tuesday: Ten things that make you really happy
In no particular order ...
1. Baby Jesus (or as most people know him, Jesus). I love this picture of him. I know it's not the real him, but I can associate more with this Jesus than the blonde haired, blue eyed image that seems to pop up all the time. It's so important for me to remember that not only is Jesus God, he is also man (and that's why I call him baby Jesus!). And as a Jewish man, he would have looked, well, Jewish, not Caucasian! Anyway, what he looks like doesn't really matter. It's what he does (and what he's already done) that matters. The fact that he died for me will always be something I can't get my head around. Anything else he does for us has surely got to be a bonus, right?!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
|Image source: http://keepingthewatch.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/real-face-of-jesus.html|
2. My dog, Lily. Whenever things start to get me down, or I feel a bit rubbish, Lily always does something to cheer me up and remind me that the world isn't such a bad place. She's been a part of my life since she was 16 weeks old. At first, I will admit, I didn't really connect with her as much as I thought I would. But 4 years later, and she is the biggest part of my life. I miss her when I'm not with her, and I love her more than I thought I could love anyone. And she's always so pleased to see me when I get home. She's my baby and I wouldn't be without her. She reminds me that I don't have to be stressed or worried, as she manages to get through life without stress or worry.
|Lily the puppy, on the day we brought her home|
3. Sushi. I could eat sushi for every meal, every day. I just love it. I've got no problems with eating raw fish; it's so cool and refreshing. And I like how small it is. You can have a lot of different, little things for dinner, rather than one big meal. When I was at university, we made sushi (see the picture below) and it was so good. As good as the stuff you can buy in supermarkets. A couple of years ago, I went to Japan to visit one of my university friends who now lives and works over there. Obviously we went out for sushi, and it was amazing! There is a chain of sushi restaurants in the UK called Yo! Sushi, and it's a good job the nearest one to me is about an hour away, because if I lived nearer I would be in there all the time.
|Homemade sushi made by the hands of Rayleigh 11|
4. Knowing that my parents never have to go to work ever again. My parents have both recently retired, after having worked for well over 40 years each. They've worked hard all their lives, and have never been unemployed. When I was growing up, they owned a small shop, and worked in there 364 days a year, for at least 10 hours a day. About 10 years ago business declined. What with the emergence of supermarkets, people passed by the local shop in order to drive out of the village to the nearest supermarket. The shop closed down and my parents had to go out and get jobs!! Mum ended up working in the supermarket that put our shop out of business, and Dad was a postman. Again, both jobs were hard work, and long hours. It's great that they now don't have to work, and they can go out and enjoy themselves. They've worked hard; they deserve to have some fun now. They have their OAP bus passes, so they go out for day trips to local places that they've never had the time to see properly.
|Mum and Dad in the olden days (before I was born) in their shop|
5. Converse Chuck Taylors. Yes I'm a girl, and yes I'm addicted to buying shoes. It's in our genetic make up. I can't help it! My favourite shoes are the great Converse Chuck Taylors. But not just the regular ones. I like the patterned, brightly coloured ones. The regular ones don't make me happy. But the ones that are a bit different make me very happy. I always check Schuh (my favourite shoe shop of all time) to see if they've got any new additions, and if I've got the money, I'll buy a pair. If I won the lottery, the first thing I'd do is buy all the pairs of Chucks that I don't have!
6. Books. I don't really need to explain this one. Anyone who doesn't love books should really take a long, hard look at themselves and question why.
|Images borrowed from https://www.facebook.com/BookRiot/photos_stream|
7. Cake. Apart from sushi, I could live on cake. I know it's bad for you, but cake is so gooooood. When I was unemployed a few years ago, I decided to give baking a go. I found that I really enjoyed it, and I actually made some pretty decent cakes. They don't always look great, but they do taste good. The best one I've made, in my humble (ha!) opinion, is the retro pineapple upside down cake, right out of the 70s, with glacé cherries. I don't bake as much as I used to, as I'm *trying* to be healthy, but every now and then I'll make a treat.
8. Music. And yes, I mean pretty much all music. I don't have a favourite genre or artiste. Yes there are bands/singers that I really like, but I'm open to listening to all music. And if it makes me dance, then I'm happy. I grew up in a house full of vinyl, and my dad would always have a record playing, from classical to rock n roll. I took after my parents for collecting music. I love my CDs. I'm not a part of the MP3 generation. I'm a tactile person, and just as my dad likes taking a record out of its sleeve and putting it on the turntable, I like taking a CD out of its case and putting it into the CD player. I also like having a little booklet with pictures and words for me to peruse. You can't do that with an MP3. I do, however, copy my CDs onto my computer so that I can listen to everything on shuffle when I'm writing. It saves me having to get up and change the CD when I'm in 'the zone'!
|A small section of the 969 albums I have on my computer|
9. Dancing. With my love of music comes my love of dancing. The thing is, I can't dance to save my life. I was blessed with a lack of rhythm! But that doesn't stop me. I hear music and I have to dance. It doesn't matter if I'm in my car or in the supermarket, I start to shimmy. In my head I'm Beyonce, but in reality I look like someone who's had a spider dropped inside their clothes. *shrugs* It makes me happy, and that's all that matters!
10. Sleep. I am such a grouch when I haven't had much sleep. I typically have about 8 hours sleep, if not more. In fact, if I could sleep for 24 hours a day, I probably would. And I really like the whole process of sleep. I like getting into my pyjamas, and I like big, soft pillows, and big, soft duvets. I like finding out how my mind works through my dreams. The only bit about the sleep process I don't like is the waking up part. I do like being awake, but I don't like the alarm screaming in my ear, forcing me out of my comfy land of slumber.