The Bold Life: 50 Shots of Happiness

by Tess on April 28, 2010


Creative Commons License photo credit: m1ndy9876

We often try and find happiness in all the wrong places. I reviewed "The Book of Awesome" a couple of weeks ago. Today's post comes after standing in the grocery store line and seeing Oprah's magazine with an article called, "An Extra Shot of Happiness." Why stop at one? I think my list today was inspired by Neil and Oprah. 

1. Waking up with gratitude

2. My early morning run

3. A surprise text from my granddaughter or grandson

4. Blog comment: "I needed this today. Thank you"

___________________________________________________________Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord 04.08.10 at 5:16 am [edit]

OH MY GOD, Tess… The timing of this, the quotes, everything — it’s just perfect! I don’t think Twitter is big enough to handle what I want to do with this post. I might have to climb on top of a tall building so I can do some roof top shouting shouting! 

5.Listening to an old CD, "City of Angels" 

6. Sprawled out on the couch resting my head on hub's lap

7. A compliment from a stranger

8. Making faces at a baby in the check out line. Baby grins.

9. Cupcakes with sprinkles

 Day 237/365

Creative Commons License photo credit: pheaber

10. A friend who loves me

11.Tweets from blogging buddies

12. A video of my grandson walking

13. Grandson learning to say my name

14. A sunset that leaves the sky pink and purple

15. My 11 year old car that keeps running

16. Listening to my favorite love song

17. Books, videos, CDs and DVDs from the library

18. Finding something I lost

19. Running into an old friend

20. The sound of hub's car pulling into the driveway

21. Watching children play 

Fun on the teeter

Creative Commons License photo credit: Ernst Vikne

22. Doing anything spontaneously

23. Hugs and kisses from those I love

24. My cousins coffee shop

25. Hearing my nearly 90 year old mom's voice

26. Children's laughter

27. Seeing any blue flowers

Creative Commons License photo credit: mccheek

28. A new box of colored markers

29. Finding the perfect video on Friday night

30. Sun rays shining in  my window

31. Crossing things off my to-do-list

32. Finding a gift in my mail box

33. Hub's silly jokes 

34. A touch on my arm or pat on my back

35. The joy of purchasing cookies from Girl Scouts and popcorn from Boy Scouts and then giving them to a food pantry

36. Picking and growing your own flowers

37. Knowing we're all making a difference

38. The smell of rain hitting hot pavement

39. Animal sounds after dark

40. Visits to the ocean and tip-toeing on hot sand

41. Leaving big tips

42. Allowing someone to cut in front of me and he/she acting like I gave them a winning lotto ticket

43. Saving change and making a donation

44. Squeaky clean kids after bath time

45. Sleeping in my own bed after a trip

46. The perfect photograph

Creative Commons License photo credit: Johnny Jet

47. Flippy flops

48. Lavender scented candles

49. Reflection on the best moment of the day

50. Ending the day in gratitude

Bonus: 51. Karl at Work Happy Now having a huge contest with a generous prize. You have to see it to believe it! Check it out.

How about you? What are your extra shots of happiness and joy? Please share!

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    { 34 comments… read them below or add one }

    Lance April 28, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Hey Tess!!!
    Well…this is a feel-good, happy happy post!! I am SMILING!! I feel GOOD!!

    52. Stumbling across something nice you said about me – on another site (Tess, you are sweet).
    53. Playing soccer with my kids.
    54. That first tomato from the garden.
    55. Stepping into a sun-warmed car on a cool Wisconsin day.
    56. An unexpected card in the mail.
    57. Watching the cat chase his tail.
    58. Hugs from my wife.
    59. Soft grass between my toes.

    Have a wonderful and happy evening Tess!!!
    .-= Lance´s last post…Unsilence The Violence =-.


    Joy April 28, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    My children’s laughter
    Flavorful dark chocolate ice cream in a chocolate rimmed waffle cone
    Moonbeams shining through my hatch as I sleep
    The sunset because I know it is God smiling down on me
    A note of encouragement exactly when I “need” it
    Sharing a smile, and having the one returned to me be twice as big
    You, your blog and all you inspire me to do
    This entire blogging community all unique individuals celebrating so much joy
    …..I’m going to make my own 50 shot list:)
    And City of Angels used to be my all time favorite movie, until Australia edged it out:)
    Thank *you* Tess–you rock!!!! My grin is huge, huge, huge!


    Wilma Ham April 28, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Tess, I agree with all, what a wonderful feeling does this generates.

    60. Heart warming emails, I love those and I had some from you.
    61. Been given the most amazing alpaca fleece because the woman noticed my love for spinning and knitting.
    62. Smiling at people and getting a smile back.
    63. Saying something loving to John and seeing his whole spirit lift.
    64. Seeing the open fire and candle light with the moon through the window and the shadows of the trees.
    65. Seeing the color pallet of our home grown vegetable on my plate. That is so stunning.
    I can go on and on, Oh Tess, I did not know I was getting so many shots of happiness .
    xox Wilma
    .-= Wilma Ham´s last post…Listening beyond what your ego wants to hear. =-.


    Topi April 29, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Hi Tess,
    Watching birds in the garden in the morning
    Seeing my kids wake up
    Rolling on a newly vaccumed carpet with the kids
    Enjoying my garden when I’ve just weeded
    Getting a message that the book I’ve ordered has arrived at the library
    Finding a dollar in the washing machine, and giving it to one of my kids
    Smelling fresh fruit in my fruit bowl
    Popping a bottle of champagne
    Getting a comment on my blog
    Getting a reply to one of my comments on someone else’s blog…
    Thanks Tess, and I too look forward to more of our online conversations. There’s a reason I found your blog!
    Enjoy, Topi :)
    .-= Topi´s last post…10 moments to savour during the day =-.


    Joy Tanksley April 29, 2010 at 3:55 am

    Thanks, Tess. Beautiful, beautiful work.

    - My neice pulling a well-worn, well-loved stuffed animal out of her suitcase and saying, “I cry if I don’t have Rose!” and me realizing I gave her that toy for her 5th birthday two years ago.
    - Telling people I’m pursuing my dream career, expecting them to think I’m crazy, and instead finding so much love and support at every turn.
    - Finding out people’s secret dreams: the guidance counselor who wants to be a bluebrass singer, the stay-at-home mom who wants to be a hip hop dancer.
    - April weather in Eastern Virgninia – very chilly mornings, 70 degrees in the afternoon.
    - The smell of lilacs. DEAR LORD, THANK YOU!
    .-= Joy Tanksley´s last post…My Favorite De-stressing Technique =-.


    The Exception April 29, 2010 at 6:26 am

    The smell of flowers/nature first thing in the morning
    Walking with a little hand tucked in mine
    Making funny animal noises and laughing
    The cool spring breeze blowing through the window while I sleep tucked beneath a quilt my mom made
    Cats purring
    Watching the bulbs starting to sprout while the pansies and geraniums are blooming away
    Spring in Virginia – it is a shot all on its own
    The silence of a desert evening
    An e-mail that leaves me laughing out loud
    A sunset in Tucson – pure magic
    Thoughtful posts and blogs
    How can I pick just one or two shots? Thank you for this opportunity to share and for sharing yours. It would be nice to see a movement of people noting their shots of happiness.
    Have a wonderful Thursday!


    simply stephen April 29, 2010 at 7:48 am

    My Goodness Tess…your car is only 11 years old, 16 years, 340Km (gets over 600km a tank) and still going strong. I’ve just converted my little Toyota Tercel to a camper car now too – that makes me smile.

    But here are some of the things that really get me going:

    1. hearing my daughter’s voice on the phone for our weekly pow-wow
    2. the sound of the birds chirping in a spring frenzy
    3. the morning sunrise coupled with the sound of silence
    4. the advent of each and every day – a chance to see what happens and what we can make of it
    5. knowing I could build this list to 1000 things

    Thanks for the perspective and everyone who shared their raison d’etre!
    .-= simply stephen´s last post…every day should be earth day =-.


    Marko - CalmGrowth April 29, 2010 at 9:14 am

    1. Watching some funny pictures
    2. Running along the river
    3. Arrival of my friend who I have not seen for a long time.
    4. Writing
    5. Great food I just ate
    6. My lazy brother :)
    7. The fact that I write a message to my love
    8. The sun which was shining in my eyes
    9. People with whom I talked today.
    10. Progress that I experienced today
    Nice writing Tess :)
    .-= Marko – CalmGrowth´s last post…Top 10 Barriers to Success and Change =-.


    Belinda Munoz + The Halfway Point April 29, 2010 at 9:56 am

    What a gift, Tess!!! Just the perfect post for me to read today!

    Here’s my contribution:

    1 Hearing a little voice say, “I love you, Mommy!” with a big hug and kiss
    2 A husband who accepts me just as I am
    3 Picnic in the park under a big ol’ tree on a sunny day
    4 Forgiveness
    5 A reconciliation
    6 An act of kindness (anonymous or not)
    7 This blog post!
    8 An unexpected gift
    9 A cozy chair and a good book
    10 Fresh laundry (really!)

    Oh, how I could go on and on. Thanks again!


    Lori April 29, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Wow, 50 shots of happiness! What a fun read this is, Tess!

    There is lot to love in this world — you’re living proof.
    Thanks for this 50-shot dose of happiness today.
    .-= Lori´s last post…What I Learned from Racing =-.


    Erin April 29, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Tess, you do make my day. Thanks for the 50 shots of happiness. It is a better idea than 50 shots of espresso. Thanks for the joy and boldness of your blog.


    Positively Present April 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Love this list! Just posted it on Twitter! :)
    .-= Positively Present´s last post…the positive power of words (and FREE download!) =-.


    Tony Single April 29, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Fab list, Tess. :)

    I shall add “twinkle toes with wifey” for my bonus shot of happiness. Imagine the tinkling piano sounds that would accompany that. :P
    .-= Tony Single´s last post…A Weighted Mind =-.


    kristy April 29, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Mom, this is an awesome post! I might add: my mom and dad cheering me on in a triathlon or marathon (even at age 33 it feels just as good!), getting text from niece/nephew, pictures of my baby nephew, laughing, hugs from my boyfriend, Pete, a morning cup of joe! Of course, Dairy Queen with my parents when they visit (see you in May mom!)!!!!


    Lana - {Daring Clarity} April 30, 2010 at 1:55 am

    What an inspiration you are Tess! Thank you for this post! I am really happy these days. I am seriously in love…. with myself, my life, the man, my son, my friends. Love is all around. Keeps me high and happy the whole day.
    .-= Lana – {Daring Clarity}´s last post…My Biggest Pain, My Biggest Fear, My Biggest Love – My Baby Nicholas – It’s All About You. =-.


    Farnoosh April 30, 2010 at 5:20 am

    We should all be “forced” to go through this exercise and come up with at least 100! Tess, I have to admit, I thought this was going to give me 50 photo shots but my disappointment soon waned when I read your post. For me, my husband’s smile, my newfound childhood friends who call, my mom telling me she is proud of what I have become, and my dad helping me with my garden and always planting me extra mint. Life is sweet. I could go on and on….. thank you :) !


    Cheryl Paris April 30, 2010 at 5:21 am

    Hello Tess,

    Good work here.
    I love 14. A sunset that leaves the sky pink and purple
    38. The smell of rain hitting hot pavement. I remember visiting India and just stood by the window in the rain to get the smell of rain hitting hot pavement. It is awesome.

    I am big admirer of Oprah and still remember her words from a show – When something does not work out life does not end… it is altered and we find a new path…something like this she said couple of years ago on a show.

    Bye for now,
    .-= Cheryl Paris´s last post…How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking =-.


    Tess The Bold Life April 30, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Yes to the tomatoes and the juice dripping in my hand as I eat it right in the garden and getting in a warm car in the midwest is Divine. Luv back at ya!

    You had me at chocolate ice cream and moon beams and I’m off to rent Australia!

    I’m grateful we’re online friends and look forward to growing together!

    Alpaca and the veggies are wonderful. How about the smell of the garden? I know you can relate my farmer friend.

    Love the story of Rose and lilacs are my very favorite. A sure sign of growth and spring time. Their smell is heaven to my nose.

    A husband that accepts you is awesome and I have the same and take it for granted to often. I’ll be gifting him with the same today;)

    The Exception,
    Sunsets in Tuscon, the little hand and the love of flowers…you’ve stolen my heart!

    I love your list and when you get to 1000 thinks let me know and I’ll do the second 1000. Oh how we are blessed!!!

    Progress I’ve made today…I’ll count that as a double shot cuz I don’t give myself nearly the credit I deserve for this. Soooo grateful for your reminder. Thanks for helping me to grow.

    You are very welcome and thank you for giving my blog the shot of your presence today. I so love hearing from you…I smile and think that Lori is in a great place today!

    Thank you thank you and together we can make a difference. I know that we do!

    I appreciate you more than you know.

    I love it the photo of you in my mind twinkle toeing with wife on your arm;)

    We had a blast. Thanks for the memories and I look forward to making more in May.

    In love and high on life, family, work and friends…life doesn’t get much better. You go girl. Thanks for sharing.

    You’re funny! LOL I may do that next time. It would be great to have a photo for all on my list eh? And the garden and mint? Tell your dad I said hello. Sounds like an awesome dad and mom for sure!
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last post…The Bold Life: 50 Shots of Happiness =-.


    Tess The Bold Life April 30, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I love the Oprah quote. That woman has been one of my greatest life teachers…all through my 30’s- mid 50’s. What an inspiration to be alive during her life time. Thanks for commenting.
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last post…The Bold Life: 50 Shots of Happiness =-.


    Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord April 30, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Oh Tess, I DO love your lists!

    My favorite thing today – the thing that gave me a shot of happiness (besides reading your blog!) – was running five miles in MAINE (one of my favorite places) in a new pair of sneakers that my GOOD FRIEND gave me when we met in CA last month. (!!!) You were so with me every step of the way today.

    Huge hug & much love,


    Talia April 30, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I just found you and love your blog already. Thank you for the free download of your book, “Flying by the Seat of My Soul”. How very generous and kind and just what I need at this time in my life.

    So, gratitude…

    * lunch with my husband.
    * work – that I am one of the lucky ones to have not only one job, but two!
    * my girls – so beautiful, independent and honestly, just cool people
    * a perennial start from a friend
    * a free downloaded book (YOURS! – thank you, thank you!)
    * prayer
    * perfume
    * sunny, gorgeous weather
    * the anticipation of an entire day (tomorrow) with my husband. YEAH! :)


    Tess The Bold Life April 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Maine, I love it there. Are you on vacation or working? Yes running and new shoes is awesome and I’m so happy to be a part of your life…always!
    I hope you enjoy my book and would love for you to tell what you think. Yeah for you two jobs, happy kids and a great husband. Consider yourself prosperous, blessed and loved;)
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last post…The Bold Life: 50 Shots of Happiness =-.


    Jannie Funster April 30, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Really? Your cousin owns a coffee shop? Where? Lotsa donuts there??

    – running 5 miles in MAINE in sneakers my GOOD FRIEND gave me! :)
    – getting a missing phrase or line in a song.
    – clean towels
    – that feeling when the dishes are all done (I don’t get that feeling very often.) :)
    – shaking all the cat hair off my computer keyboard until it’s all shiny looking again.



    Evita April 30, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Hi Tes

    Oh you are something else – something so special Tess! These lists of radiating joy that you share with us are just incredible!

    With regards to #27…than you must love “forget–me-nots” – they are one of my most favorite flowers!

    And #37, that made me stop and take in a moment of stillness and nod my head in agreement…yes, we really are, aren’t we…just by being us and doing all the things we do!

    What would I add to the list:
    - the 4 seasons
    - snuggling with a loved one
    - yoga!!!
    - amazing friends and people like YOU :)
    .-= Evita´s last post…Movie Review: 2012 We’re Already In It =-.


    jonathanfigaro April 30, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Sweet post. Gratitude was my favorite! We all need to be happy for what we have!


    Farouk May 1, 2010 at 12:40 am

    wow those blue flowers look amazing, sadly i don’t have any of them growing near my house but of course there are other things in the list that i can do


    Hilary May 1, 2010 at 2:51 am

    Hi Tess .. great list .. always good to read happiness .. life, smiles, hugs, tweets, texts .. and understanding and compassion from others .. help too – and a big smile and giggle from my mother when I’m doing something stupid at her bedside .. and we both know it’s a bit dumb!!

    Hearing my mother talk slow – because “I’ve lost my hearing” .. when actually she has!!!!!

    Happiness if life .. have a great May Day weekend .. Hilary
    .-= Hilary´s last post…The Okavango Delta – the perfect place to Safari or holiday? = Yes for me! Part 2/3: John’s Story…. =-.


    Lisa (mommymystic) May 1, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Oh, fantastic, this really did make my smile! I love so many of yours, but here’s some of mine:

    Birds playing in the bird bath right outside my window
    Sandalwood incense
    Lotus flowers
    Margaritas and nachos with friends
    My kids crawling into bed with me (not so keen on the ensuing kicks for the rest of the night, but the crawling in and cuddling part of grand)
    My old, tattered much-loved meditation cushion
    My plastic buddha holding a latte and cell phone
    Blogging and bloggers:-)
    .-= Lisa (mommymystic)´s last post…Guest Post at Evolving Beings, and Book Recommendation =-.


    Tammy McLeod May 1, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Snuggling with my 7 yo
    Reading aloud to my children
    Eating really good soup on cold days
    A mojito on a hot day
    Cactus flowers in May
    Cat sitting on my belly while I’m trying to do crunches
    Early morning when I’ve had enough sleep.
    .-= Tammy McLeod´s last post…Spring Cleaning =-.


    Julie ~ jbulie's blog May 2, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Oh so many, so wonderful, how to add something here is a challenge and a pleasure.

    60. The cat sleeping across my face and purring.
    61. The smell of fresh coffee.
    82. Being silly with my sister.
    63. Some down time.
    64. A new friend.
    65. A blog comment.
    66. Seeing the little red dot on my facebook friend request.
    67. Moving forward, not backwards.
    68. Learning from your mistakes.
    69. Making BIG BIG mistakes to learn from
    70. Life.
    .-= Julie ~ jbulie’s blog´s last post…1st Pitch of the Season ~ Root, root, root for the home team. =-.


    Zeenat{Positive Provocations} May 2, 2010 at 9:24 am

    oh tess, this resonated with me to such a peaceful level. As i read through this list..somehow each shot got attached to a certain memory….and all good ones.
    The one that brought me to tears though was #5 “city of angels” is mine and my hubbys fav movie….and that song…my god it get me everytime :)
    I would add….
    #A tickle fest! with my little one …..thats my daily shot of joy for sure. We have to have our little tickle fest atleast 5 times a day..and each last for upto 3half and hour ;) pure fun!
    Much love to you fro sharing these gorgeous shots of joy… :)
    Big Hug,
    .-= Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s last post…Have Trouble Sitting Still =-.


    Tess The Bold Life May 3, 2010 at 5:06 am

    Yup a cousin, shop and donuts and I forgot all about the feeling when dishes are done. Not even sure I’ve put words to that feeling before. You’re good Jannie!

    Forget me nots and making a difference and you Evita lets add an extra shot to life and us!

    Yes gratitude is no. 1 and no.50 for that reason!

    I’ll pick some blue flowers today and think of you! Keep shining! Keep happy!

    Silliness how could I forget that and what would happy be without it.

    Margaritas and nachos my daughter would love going out with you.

    I agree with the cactus flowers and crunches oh how I need those;)

    Mmmmm I want gentle lessons not big mistakes! Do you think we can learn without mistakes at all? I have one friend who does…I think a blog post would be good on this topic.

    Hi Z.
    Oh yes it’s one movie and CD I never tire of and always remember Meg Ryan cuz she’s so flippin cute in that movie. Oh and let’s not forget Nicolas Cage!
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last post…The Bold Life: 50 Shots of Happiness =-.


    Karl Staib - Work Happy Now May 4, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Wow these are bold and beautiful ideas. I love blue flowers. Living in Texas I am always impressed by the bluebonnets sprawling brilliance. We recently took pictures of my baby boy in bluebonnets. They turned out awesome.

    I also love the smell of rain hitting the hot pavement. Means cooler weather is soon to come.

    I have a few I would like to add:
    - My little boy’s laugh
    - The first sip of tea
    - The whirl of a fan on a hot summer night.

    Thanks Tess for letting people know about my offer. You are a great friend.
    .-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last post…5 Ways to Conquer Your Fears =-.


    Amit Sodha - The Power Of Choice May 5, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Fab post and some top snaps there Tess.

    I might add some silly ones.

    The smell of pizza
    The sound of stepping on fresh snow
    The sounds of stepping on autumn leaves
    The sound of the engine of my car
    Seeing people laugh at my comedy nights
    Seeing my favourite episodes of friends, scrubs, family guy, star trek
    .-= Amit Sodha – The Power Of Choice´s last post…Have You Learned Your Lessons Yet? =-.


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