I consider myself pretty lucky to be someone who derives pleasure and finds comfort in a lot of sights, sounds and activities. When I am feeling down, in a funk or that hard-to-describe state of “feeling off,” I am armed with approximately 300 ideas for working through it and come out smiling. Maybe such comforts aren’t always foolproof, but it’s always worth seeing if they’ll do the trick.

Yesterday I could feel one of my stressed-out/overworked meltdowns rising to the surface. Impending panic attack, total freak-out, about to flip my sh*t are just a few of the ways I describe this feeling. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, I can’t even look at my computer, crochet, work etc. AT ALL and when I try to lie down or read a book, I can’t do either. That’s when I know it’s bad, when paging through a novel or snuggling under the covers makes me even more agitated. My solution is always to leave wherever I am, and this is something I used to even do when I had “real” jobs at workplaces (thank goodness it rarely happens or I probably wouldn’t still have my “never been fired” status in life). So, I did leave and sought out a few of the comforting places and activities in New York–and I wrote a guide about it after the fact called Beating Work-From-Home Cabin Fever Pre-Meltdown Syndrome.

Sarah at Pink of Perfection, one of the few non-work-related blogs I read period, recently wrote a post entitled 100 Things In the World I Love. I loved reading through it and concurrently coming up with my own or seeing which of ours overlap. But then I realized, I made one of a similar-in-concept lists towards the end of college! That I subsequently forgot about. I’m pasting it after the jump, completely unedited (oh geez, Starbuck’s is on there), but actually, most of the items still ring true today. I’m working on a second version for now 27-year old Alicia, who since graduating has found comfort in even more things like vintage aprons, pie-baking and bike-riding.

My 100 Favorite Things (in no particular order)

1. banana baby food
2. the smell of molasses
3. my Ernie doll
4. anything blue, like the sky or ocean or jeans or blueberries (you get the picture)
5. the smell of old books (it’s not really a good smell but I like it)
6. granny smith apples
7. Kandinsky paintings
8. crossword puzzles
9. hiking in the woods
10. watching Ed (had to put this one in)
11. reading in bed, under covers, with some tea or coffee, and then falling asleep
12. the beach, especially this place called Topsail Island in North Carolina
13. the smell of gasoline (but not in an illegal way!)
14. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue
15. the book Under the Volcano
16. Smith College
17. ceramics/pottery (making it, buying it, looking at it, whatever!)
18. going to the tops of tall buildings and looking down
19. Halloween
20. the smell of sawdust from wood that has just been cut
21. stars
22. sunsets/sunrises
23. Central Park
24. lighthouses, especially Hereford Inlet Lighthouse in NJ
25. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
26. blue roses
27. Krispy Kreme donuts
28. churches
29. hugs
30. celestial seasonings Nutcracker sweet tea mmmmm
31. playing softball
32. wearing slippers
33. when a baby falls asleep in your arms…nothing like it
34. autumn, the leaves changing, that smell, slight chilliness
35. Starbuck’s
36. post-its
37. letters and postcards!
38. making cake batter with my sister, eating half of it, then baking the rest into a cake
39. listening to my dad play piano
40. watching my mom teach
41. pumpkin patches
42. Frank Lloyd Wright houses
43. looking things up in the dictionary oh yeah!
44. The Gap scent “Day” that they discontinued! Damn them!
45. gift certificates
46. reading children’s books
47. red brick roads (like mine at home)
48. pez dispensers
49. road trips, destination anywhere!
50. driving around, getting lost, and finding my way (almost sounds metaphorical…)
51. making collages
52. high pressure showers
53. doing difficult mental math
54. the sound of the flags in the wind at the Washington Monument, there’s some piece of metal on the flags and it hits the poles…it’s great (you gotta go to Washington D.C. just to hear it)
55. taking photographs
56. being spontaneous/impulsive
57. running along the East River
58. gingerbread lattes
59. Pac-man (like the old school arcade game)
60. walking aimlessly
61. pulling allnighters…they were sorta fun
62. Billy Collins’ poetry
63. going on airplanes
64. grilled cheese sandwiches, but I don’t make them well, so only when someone else makes them
65. candles
66. pomegranates, even though they are hard to eat
67. setting my alarm really early when I don’t have to get up, and having the satisfaction of just turning it off, instead of pressing snooze
68. sledriding
69. fields of sunflowers
70. stained glass windows
71. all those as seen on TV products, not that I buy them, but I’m really impressed by them
72. smiley faces
73. talking, with friends, family, whoever
74. carousels/merry-go-rounds, especially the old-fashioned ones
75. when kids say really wise or clever things, even though they don’t know what they’re saying!
76. toasting marshmallows
77. trivia
78. the violin, just in general
79. picking berries
80. museum gift shops
81. air conditioning
82. Christmas ornaments
83. trains
84. when it’s between 60 and 75 degrees
85. looking at polar bears at the zoo
86. botanical gardens
87. corvette convertibles (I want one!)
88. Saturday Night Live
89. making lists
90. the A&E Pride and Prejudice
91. my dorm at Smith (sniff sniff)
92. buying used books
93. the art museum in Chicago, b/c it is awesome and it has a large paperweight collection
94. my sky blue legal pads
95. anthropology (not sure if I already put this)
96. pajama pants
97. banana nut bread
98. www.chocomagic.com
99. mountains, just in general
100. dreams (both kinds)