Thursday, January 28, 2010

10 Things

I was tagged by Clea to list out 10 things that make me happy. It's not in any particular order, just the first 10 things that popped into my head. So here they are:

1. Nancy. Call me an old romantic, but after being married for nearly 11 years I still look forward to seeing my wife after work every day. Maybe I need some professional help!!!

2. Gavin. I see so much of myself in Gavin (even if Nancy claims he looks more like her) - he's so cheeky and mischievous. But he's also very sweet and affectionate (ok, less like me, haha) and thinks his dad is the greatest thing in the world. Playing with him, reading him stories, watching movies together or cuddling him up definitely makes me a happy bunny.

3. Dylan. When I creep up to his crib in the morning or pick him up from daycare and he sees me for the first time, his little face lights up with the most amazing smile I've ever seen (though if mummy's around then daddy becomes a poor second). When I blow raspberries on his belly or "bench press" him he becomes a little gigglebox. I love that kid.

4. Cooking. I love to experiment and get creative in the kitchen. Sometimes my experiments work out, other times not so much :-) My favorite kitchen tools are my pasta machine (which I recently retrofitted back to handcrank - much more satisfying than using a motor IMHO) and my Kitchenaid mixer. I think my most satisfying cooking moment was when I recently managed to recreate an elusive mushroom soup dish after 10 years of trying.

5. Running with friends. Is there any better way to pass the time while ticking off the miles than shooting the breeze and catching up with friends?

6. Setting and achieving goals. I am definitely goal-oriented, be it either solving a problem at work or crossing the finish line of an ultramarathon (especially a 100 miler). The feeling of achievement when you finally realize that goal is amazing.

7. Being in the zone. I've had portions of runs and races where I've been so completely in tune with myself that it's almost as if it was somebody else running and I was just hovering overhead watching myself skim the ground. There have been core, aerobic and weights workouts where the burn has been so sweet that I felt I could go forever. Likewise with work (or home projects), I have sometimes gotten so focussed on a problem that I've been up until 4 or 5 in the morning working on it without realizing. Yep, the zone is a great place to visit.

8. Designing and building stuff. I love to take things apart to figure out how they work, then find new and interesting ways to use them. I need creative outlets, and in the last few years I've built some cool things including several jukeboxes and a DVR which we use regularly. My latest build project (which I'm still designing) is an arcade machine "for the boys" (though I know Nancy enjoys a good game of centipede). There's something extremely satsifying and primal about building something from scratch and see it come together.

9. Reading. I've always been an avid reader and still enjoy it. Most lunchtimes I will close my office door and have a good read (or sometimes a good nap).

10. Mountains. Growing up in Wales I was surrounded by hills and mountains. They always struck me as wonderfully mysterious and lonely places and made me think of Middle Earth - I could imagine Gandalf sweeping down out of them.

So there ya go - pretty boring, hey? But while I'm at it I'm going to tag you folks who have been known to lurk here (unless Clea has already tagged you). If you're struggling for ideas for your blog, why not make up a similar list and post it?


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