There are certain things that provoke sheer giddiness in life, and I think they’re different for everybody.  A perfectly balanced spreadsheet might really jazz a CPA, but I can’t say that it’s ever done wonders for me.  Mowing the yard perfectly so the lines are just right, finding a new kind of bug, or hiking six miles up a mountain in the dead heat of summer?  All things that don’t make me do a happy dance.

Though, to be fair, I’m sure many of my happy dance things wouldn’t even be a blip on the radar for lots of folks.  To-may-to, to-mah-to.

Let’s put on our dancing shoes (or mine, anyway).


**  Having my own untouchable stash of power bars in the pantry.

This didn’t just happen naturally, you know.  It took a serious tongue lashing or two to get those half pints (okay, three-quarter pints) of mine to understand that These Power Bars Are Not To Be Touched.  I even ended up dumping the first box into a gallon ziplock with a giant “DO NOT EAT” scribbled across it in Sharpie.

Why am I so touchy about these power bars, you ask?  Well, they’re called Oh Yeah! protein bars, Chocolate Caramel Candies flavor.  See, right away you can tell it’s a winner – chewy peanut butter center with tiny M&Ms, with the entire bar covered in chocolate.  Yes, please.  I’d never keep my kids out of them if I ever let either one try a power bar that looks and tastes like candy.

**  Beginning a brand new notebook.

I have to admit this is a lot more exciting now that I’m out of school seeing as the things I write in my brand new notebook are of my own choosing and not, say, notes about the ancient Egyptians.  Still, when the spiral notebooks come out at back to school time?  Happy dance.

**  Finally feeling zero remorse that I have absolutely no idea what kind of tree, flower, bush, or grass that is.

I have no idea why this would have ever bothered me at all, but it did.  I felt like I was supposed to know nature stuff, especially if the nature being discussed happened to be in my own yard.  Now?  “Oh, the bushes out front are lovely, what kind are they?”  Ummm…pink?  Yes, they are beautiful.

**  Opening a fresh pack of good pens.

Let me say up front that I am not a pen snob.  I’ve never written with one of those $100 pens and were I to come to the end of my life without doing so, well, I’m pretty sure I’d be at peace with that.  But as someone who scribbles notes and lists and blog ideas constantly, there are pens and then there are pens.

The ones with a nice smooth pen barrel and comfort grip sit so happily in my hand; it makes me cringe to think back on all my college note taking and the ridges I carved into my middle finger trying to keep up with the professor’s breakneck pace.  And then there’s the point – I figured it was marketing when the companies first began talking about pens “gliding” across a paper; I mean, a pen’s a pen, right?  But I’ll be darned if there isn’t a real difference in how pens write.  Go figure.  (In case you’re curious – or looking for stocking stuffer ideas – my Go To Fav is the Paper Mate InkJoy pens.  Plus they come in fun colors, too.)

**  The fact that I’ve still got a powerful teacher voice tucked in my back pocket.

Effective on my kids, their classmates, and random children in public.  I’ve even been accused of having eyes in the back of my head, a statement I neither confirm nor deny but feel free to exploit.

**  An honest to goodness, real life purse organizer.

For reals, I had no idea exactly how happy this doo-dad would make me when I bought it.  I just knew I was sick of digging through purses to find stuff and annoyed that I couldn’t get a bag I loved if it was one giant section since my keys and lip balm would surely be sucked into its black hole.

And so on the 16,242nd day there was Amazon, and the Amazon search engine located purse organizers, and Laura ordered a stylish black and white striped organizer for her bag. And it was good.