14,000 Things

by Amy on May 12, 2017

Yesterday Ron’s sister would have been forty years old. She was killed in a car accident when she was 21.

I happened to be talking to a friend yesterday who has brain cancer. The meds are hard on her. “But you know what,” she said to me, “I am so happy to be alive. I can’t believe all the things I took for granted.”

Years ago I lived in Seattle with Ron. We had this beautiful apartment blocks away from Lake Union, walking distance from restaurants, bakeries and wine shops.

There was a grocery store at the edge of the lake that sold fancy things like wine and cheese. You could buy a picnic and eat it at a picnic table next to the lake, watching the planes land on the water as the sun sets.

In the two years we lived there we never did. Not once.

Because back then all I could see was lack. I didn’t like my apartment because it didn’t have the right furniture. I didn’t like Seattle because it was too crowded. I didn’t like myself because I believed I hadn’t accomplished anything in my life. I didn’t like my husband because I believed he was keeping me from accomplishing these things.

I was so lost in this story of lack that lack was all there was for me to see and so lack was my reality.
When we went through my sister in law’s things after she died, we found a book called 10,000 Things to be Happy About. Inside she had gone through the entire book and highlighted her favorite things.

The. Entire. Book.

She highlighted…
“Singing your favorite music,
doing your own thing,
living each day for itself,
soaking up extra memories…”

Now I have the same book. The title has been updated to “14,000 Things to be Happy About.” I keep it on the coffee table in the family room with a set of highlighter pens on top so anyone can go through it and highlight their favorite parts.

If you come over, you’ll find it there. I hope you add your highlights.

What are you happy about today? Right now…


Take a look around you.


Today I am bursting with gratitude that I stopped looking for lack in my life. That, like Angela, I am aware of the absolute abundance of beauty around me that comes in so many shapes and forms.
When you look for happy that is your reality.

When you look for lack that is your reality.

It is your choice.

Which do you choose today?

Happy birthday Angela.

You will always inspire me.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Virginia Reeves May 12, 2017 at 5:08 pm

Good reminder today Amy. Being happy doesn’t have to cost a penny – as you recall now having missed sunsets and fun food. We create that emotion inside our heart which then lets the brain know that there are possessions to be grateful for (and make our life easier), actions and thoughts which make us smile and laugh, opportunities to share, relationships that make us feel good, and all the wonderful living creatures and plants in nature to enjoy. Even when ‘things’ aren’t going as nicely as you’d hoped, there is always ‘a silver lining’ to be found somewhere behind the dark cloud hovering over you. Allow sunshine in all forms to bring you warmth.


Amy May 13, 2017 at 4:17 pm

Amen Virginia!


Ingrid May 12, 2017 at 6:11 pm

You are fantastic Amy,
as so many times, you are a huge inspiration …
Thanx from the other side of the Atlantic


Amy May 13, 2017 at 4:17 pm

Wow! Thank you Ingrid!


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