I've received two tags in the last couple of week, one from Alybean at Life's Laundry a high-five meme to reveal my top five highlights of 2009 and the other from Sooz, at The Last Biscuit, awarding me the Happy 101 award for listing the 10 things that make me happy.
I am normally rubbish at memes. I often forget to do them or wonder where I'll squeeze them in and before you know it something more pressing comes along. However, I've had an exhausting time of it lately and as both of these offer an opportunity to reflect on positive things I thought I'd give them a go. You get the opportunity to see what makes me tick and I get a chance to avoid decluttering.
So to start the ball rolling, I'm giving a big High-Five to the following events of 2009, in no particular order of importance.
1. My 5-year-old bin saboteur finally understood what the compost bin was for.
For two years I've tried to explain why banana skins can't go in the recycling bin, to which the reply would come "They can Mummy, look!" Finally he gets it. Hoorah.
2. Doing a bin round to raise money for Comic Relief
It was a proper shift too, not just a couple of hours. I donned a pair of steel toe-capped boots and a hi-vis vest and spent seven hours with the lads from the local council. Thanks again to all who donated. We raised over £200. You can read more and see the videos in the blogpost On the bins for Comic Relief.
3. Drinking champagne at awards ceremonies
2009 blessed me with reaching the final at two awards ceremonies. The first was the MediaGuardian's Awards for Innovation, where I came joint runner up in the Independent Media category. The second was the CIWM awards for environmental excellence where I also came joint runner up in the category of Recycling Champion. Despite not winning, they were great events and I got a chance to meet some inspirational people and see some novel toilets too. But the real highlight was my own awards ceremony in March where I gathered a fabulous group of people together to drink virtual champagne and celebrate their own achievements and the influence they've had on me.
4. Getting Chickens
What can I say! Brilliant pets, and good eggs all round! The boys love 'em and even my 8-year-old will now try to pick them up. You can find out all about them in this blogpost aptly named Cluck, Cluck, Cluck.
5. Meeting Tony Juniper
TEN THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY
Being a positive spirited being, it's hard to come up with a short-list, as most things make me happy but here goes.
1. My Children
When I notice they've grown an extra inch, or they've done something new I get a warm fuzzy feeling that carries me through the day. And I love it when they make me laugh and when we indulge in huggles - our very own word for hugs and cuddles.
2. My husband.
The fact that he puts up with my blogging makes me happy. He used to bring me flowers but nowadays I'm happy if he just remembers not to bring home any more carrier bags. I'm a firm believer that romance isn't dead, we're just recycling it to make it last longer.
3. Seeing my sister.
I love visiting my sister and her family in Switzerland. I also love it when they come to us. We've not lived near each other for 23 years and I miss her, so I am always happy when I'm with her. I may be the eldest, but she's the one who teaches me the most important lessons.
4. Being with friends.
I love the laughter and support, and catching up with old friends who I haven't seen in a while. I enjoy growing older together and sharing our observations on how things have changed and what we can look forward to in the future.
5. Being inspired.
It doesn't matter who it is or what they are doing, but if they're inspirational, I'm hooked.
6. Making people laugh and smile.
I love making other people laugh or smile. I buy random hot-chocolates for Big Issue sellers, give complements to bored looking staff on the London Underground and I love making grumpy waitresses smile. And if I've ever made you chuckle on this blog, that makes me happier still.
7. New challenges.
I love stretching myself with new adventures and whenever I succeed, I lenjoy the happy feeling that comes with it and the relief of overcoming the self-doubt and fear. If I don't succeed, then there's always wine.
8. Watching the robin in my garden.
That always makes me happy, and can break a bad or a sad mood.
9. Tweeting from the bath
I love it that nobody on Twitter knows that I might just be sending my updates from the bath. Having a bath makes me happy and so does seeing what people are up to on Twitter, because I'm a real nosey parker at heart.
10. Your comments!
Your comments always make me happy, unless you're a spammer of course or you write something horrible. So if you want to make me happy, you know what to do.
So that's it. Thanks to Alybean and Sooz for giving me the opportunity to stop and pause a while.
Of course the next action would be to tag others. However, instead of doing that, I invite you to take part too, whether you're a blogger or not. So even if you haven't got a blog, feel free to share your highlights and happy moments in the comments below.