• Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Perhaps it is dramatic to say, or just honest, but this might be the most difficult list I have ever had to write. (Also, this is in no particular order).

  1. Art

Food counts! Culinary is an art! I was going to list food separately because that’s how much I love food, but it totally counts as an art form. I will try just about any food from any corner of the world, but, for some reason I genuinely cannot stand any kind of seafood. Except for fish sticks, but I don’t know how much fish is really in there.

I enjoy making art, specifically painting and drawing (I have never been good at, or particularly enthusiastic about ceramics). Additionally, I am a big admirer of art, and enjoy going to museums. I am surprised that I’ve never gotten in trouble for practically putting my nose on the glass to get a good look at the details.

An en plein air painting that I did on a trip to Aix-en-Provence, France. Photo Credit: Macey Heys

  1. Reading

Instead of reading, I was going to label this education. However, reading is directly correlated to education. Good literature has the power to educate. Literacy is power, which accounts for why, even one-hundred years ago, several groups of people were discouraged from learning how to read, and not given the resources to be educated. Reading was the easiest thing to add to this list. In addition to learning, it’s a kind of entertainment.

  1. People

Admittedly, it’s easy to get annoyed by fellow human beings, I know. We’re all quite inconvenienced by one another in a world where we’re becoming increasingly impatient about everything. For example, we actively search for the shortest checkout line at a grocery store, speed through school zones, and much much more. But people are interesting; they are full of stories, dreams, hopes, and complex emotions. Relationships with fellow human beings is an invaluable and incredible thing we get to experience. I’m trying not to take people for granted.

  1. Nature

I try to be outside more than I am inside. Except for in the winter; that’s my hibernation season. Last year, during the transition from summer to fall, I felt very unfulfilled in life. I felt that my job in retail was very physically and mentally draining. So, I do what any rational human being would do and I start volunteering on a farm on my days off. Honestly though, I had a gut feeling that finding a way to get back in touch with nature would help me feel something other than depression that I wasn’t where I wanted to be in terms of career. 

Flashforward about a month into volunteering, and now I get paid to take care of farm animals and be outside. This job has made me feel more fulfilled, while physically exhausting, it is a mental reprieve; talking to cows and goats is essentially free therapy. Nature is without a doubt, one of my favorite things; it is a reminder that I am alive, and that being alive is a gift.

Chickens frolicking. Photo Credit: Macey Heys

  1. Time

If I’m being honest, I have a love-hate relationship with time, perhaps its complexity is why it makes it onto the list. One of my favorite songs of all time is called “If We Were Vampires” by Jason Isbell and the 500 Unit. The song essentially compares our immortal lives to those of vampires, and how lucky we are to be reminded that time is limited. 

Here is a snippet of the song’s powerful lyrics: “If we were vampires and death was a joke, we’d go out on the sidewalk and smoke, and laugh at all the lovers and their plans, I wouldn’t feel the need to hold your hand. Maybe time running out is a gift…” 

Scarce time gives us purpose. It’s why we have art, books, relationships, farms you can volunteer on… and so much more.

I’d encourage you to make a condensed list of your favorite things. For me, it really helped to put into perspective the things I’m prioritizing and made me wonder…why?

Macey Heys, Managing Editor

(Featured Image from Canva)