A List of Things I Like, Revisited

I bought myself a One List a Day journal.

I used to buy pretty Moleskines and cute notebooks, but they would accumulate on my bookshelf, never opened or used. I’d always think, yes, this is the year that I’ll scribble in a journal again, this is the year that I’ll sit down and write every day, and this time it’ll feel different and I’ll be inspired and blah blah blah. Year after year, I set myself up for failure.

So when I saw this little book at Copperfield’s bookstore several months ago, I thought that the daily effort required would be minimal, so I bought it. The prompt for January 1st, for example, was “Top Goals For This Year.” And yesterday, I was asked to list “Words That Capture Who I Am.”

One prompt a day. One list. Three things. I can do this.

This new daily exercise for 2019 reminded me of a list I wrote back in 2015 called “Things I Like.” That was four years ago — pre-tiny house, pre-country home on a half-acre, pre-baby — so a lot has changed since then. I’ve compiled a new list below, and while I could keep adding to it, it’d get way too long, so I’ve stopped for now.

If you’ve never compiled such a list, I recommend it. It’s very satisfying. I’m reminded of the big things, the little things, and everything else in between that I’m grateful for. This list is truly a snapshot of my life and my priorities at this moment (thus different from the one four years ago, with the exception of some things that won’t ever change, like my lip balm obsession or preference for Chardonnay). It turns out I really adore my cats, Kaia and Ashira, and continue to discover more things I love about Emilia each day. The items aren’t listed in any particular order — just the order in which I thought of them.

Happy 2019!

  • Emilia’s laugh
  • Emilia’s pudgy wrists
  • Kaia’s hardcore lounging, especially under the sun
  • The way Ashira glues herself to Nick when he’s home
  • The way the cats cuddle, play-fight, and groom each other
  • When my dad talks to Emilia about random things
  • Nick’s very active role as a father
  • When Emilia wakes up from a nap in Nick’s sling and gazes up at him
  • Binge watching This Is Us and Felicity on Hulu when Emilia slept on me most of the day during her first two months
  • The Graham Norton Show
  • A really good breastfeeding latch
  • My Spectra S1 breast pump
  • Making smoothies with greens and fruits from our garden
  • Hot chocolate
  • Not drinking coffee
  • Drinking water all day long
  • Always carrying my water bottle
  • Chardonnay
  • Stout beer-as-galactagogue
  • Ginger beer
  • Sebastopol
  • Being much more productive at work because I know my time is now finite
  • The very different genres in my Spotify daily mixes
  • My detachment from Twitter the past four or so years
  • Lurking in sleep training groups on Facebook
  • Being the strongest and fittest I’ve ever been (since my marathon running years), mainly thanks to yoga
  • Progressively getting better with bind and balance work
  • My six-year-old niece Bisa’s nickname for Emilia (“Mimi”)
  • Wearing the same outfit several days in a row
  • Breastfeeding (now mainly in the evening, when Emilia is most interested in nursing)
  • Walking around the house in a nursing bra
  • Walking around the house in a robe
  • Multi-tasking while pumping milk
  • Reading lots of breastfeeding and parenting advice on kellymom.com
  • Our little homestead in the country
  • Being more confident about gardening
  • Playing taiko
  • Communicating primarily via writing/text chat at my job, which fits my personality and introverted nature
  • Silence
  • People who can sit in silence together
  • Surveying the bedroom when Nick, Emilia, Kaia, and Ashira are all asleep and snoring in their own ways
  • Regularly purging clothes and other belongings
  • When Emilia sleeps 8+ hours straight
  • When Emilia sleeps ’til 7am
  • Perfectly timed naps in the car
  • Really good fries
  • Dipping really good fries in aioli sauce
  • Perfectly toasted and buttery croutons
  • The way Kaia is super-responsive (and acts like a dog)
  • Ashira’s ultra-soft fur
  • Growing my hair long just so I can chop it off again
  • The sounds of owls, frogs, and crickets in our yard at night
  • Browsing homes for sale on the Zillow app
  • Plotting my five and ten-year plans
  • Craftsman bungalows
  • Wraparound porches
  • Hanging egg chairs
  • Our Sonoma Regional Parks pass
  • Preferring Sonoma County over Napa County
  • Los Angeles
  • Preferring Los Angeles over San Francisco
  • Nurturing just a handful of friendships (versus trying to maintain superficial connections)
  • Treating Instagram Stories as baby TV
  • Now getting excited over holidays I previously couldn’t stand (Halloween, Christmas, Easter) because of Emilia
  • Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm
  • Coconut oil as lotion
  • Hawaiian shave ice with macadamia nut ice cream
  • Eating ice cream as often as possible
  • My pizza obsession, as strong as ever
  • Alternating between two coffee shops for my workspaces
  • Working from home/anywhere and being part of a distributed company
  • Finally acting like an adult, yet still feeling like a kid at heart
  • The catio my dad built for the cats
  • The versatile handyman skills of my dad
  • The generosity of my mom with her time and new role as nanny
  • The very distinct personalities of my cats
  • The fog of Northern California
  • Exploring and hiking along the Sonoma Coast
  • Living in a small, laid-back town
  • Our yearlong experiment of living in a tiny house of wheels, and knowing when it was over
  • Taking risks
  • Adapting and evolving
  • Being a homebody, yet also active and adventurous
  • Teaching Nick the random words I know in Ilocano
  • Currently teaching Emilia how to kiss
  • Macadamia/white chocolate cookies and triple chocolate cookies from Sebastopol Cookie Company
  • My fairly new cookie obsession
  • Now preferring glazed donuts over chocolate ones as an adult
  • Eating two dozen donut holes by myself
  • Listening to house and jungle mixes on Soundcloud while working
  • Missing my previous childless life but knowing my new life will evolve and get better in time
  • Emilia’s storytime at bedtime
  • When the cats join us on the bed during Emilia’s storytime
  • Slowly accumulating more books again (after purging hundreds of books when we moved out of San Francisco)
  • Watching Emilia’s face light up when facing forward in the Ergobaby carrier
  • Being able to compile a long list of things that make me happy

Published by Cheri Lucas Rowlands

I am an editor at Longreads. For over a decade, I've worked on curation, editing, and storytelling projects across Automattic, including WordPress.com.

8 thoughts on “A List of Things I Like, Revisited

  1. “Giving away all the vinyl I accumulated as a teenager and then slowly building it back up again”…

  2. It’s interesting that if I had written a list before reading this I would not have thought of many of these. But having read this, I would likely add some form of many of them. How eclectic!

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