As a Time Management trainer I am constantly preaching for the use of “To Do” lists. And in fact not only do I preach but I practice too. But today I want to write a different kind of to do list. A happiness to do list that needs to be looked at everyday and maybe one day I will be able to cross everything on this list:

  1. Eat something fresh, whether its fruits, vegetables or something freshly baked.
  2. Buy flowers or water the ones you got yesterday.
  3. Have a fresh cup of really good delicious coffee.
  4. Take the time to breathe and breathe deeply.
  5. Write, draw, photograph, tap on a drum… etc. even if it is just a line, a click or some noise. Let your inner creativity play.
  6. Try to find something beautiful to say to someone – anyone even a stranger on the street, and sometimes you don’t have to say it but you can wave it!
  7. Help someone even if you don’t know them or see them.
  8. Play- a card game, a board game, a video game, a sport… but play. As adults we sometimes forget to play.
  9. Connect with someone you haven’t talked to in ages, they would love to hear from you.
  10. Look at this list everyday and try to cross of as many things to do as possible.


So if you read the Elastic List you will know that one of the things I want to do is to learn to ride a bike. Yesterday I took the first step to making that happen, I took my first bike ride. YAY! It was at the sports city, two friends came with me for moral support only to be told I don’t do well in front of audiences, so off they went on their bikes and I stayed behind with my instructor.

I learned what I had to do to peddle off and after getting my feet off the ground, I was very quick to put them back down. And so 20 minutes into this I was still learning how to take off. It was frustrating because just when I thought I had it, I would lose my balance. But after a while and with the help of the trainer I was able to ride, for a couple of minutes, but I was able to ride. Oh what fun it was.

An hour later I was kind of riding, still learning to balance and how to break, still not getting the start right, but you know what ,I was on a bike and trying. I was making my dream come true. I was on a bike! It was fun, and frustrating, it was scary and exhilarating, it was funny and fun. But I proved to myself I can do this and I will. So hopefully and soon I will write about driving a bike down the streets of Amman and then you will know I did it. I would have crossed out the learning to bike again off my list and will start something new after that.

Growing up in the 80’s The Sound of Music and many other Julie Andrews movies were the soundtracks of the times. They were standard fare in the video library of anyone who collected videos. One of the most memorable songs was during a thunderstorm, and Maria sang the fear away from the kids. The song was My favorite things…come on I am sure you know it and if not google it now :D.


The technique of disassociation from the unpleasant is to me like a trap door when I want to escape and physically cannot. And so when my mind goes elsewhere, I daydream myself into amazing places. I meet all sorts of people, have some really stimulating conversations. I sometimes even think of my self getting a massage and can feel the muscles relax. Every once in while though I think of my favorite things, and though I may share a few items on Andrew’s list I have a few of my own. Here are some of my favorite things:

  • The smell of Jasmine in the air on a cool summer’s breeze when you least expect it.
  • The tingling of muscles after a good long walk.
  • The warm hug of a long lost friend.
  • Watching the sunset’s reflection from the Books@cafe terrace (I even have a favorite seat).
  • The smell and feel of Zangabeel’s fur.
  • The fullness after a delicious home cooked meal.
  • The crispness of a sweet watermelon.
  • The taste of mint in everything – even on eggs!
  • The rush of waves at my feet.
  • Tulips
  • Hamzah’s homemade cheese cake.
  • A good massage
  • The melting of dark chocolate in my mouth.
  • The feel of soft hair running through my hands (even if its my own).
  • The smile of wonder on a child’s face.
  • The infectiousness of a genuine smile.




I am going to stop here because there are so many things that I can keep counting as my favorite. Thinking about any of these things or even having them around gives me a smile and definitely helps put me in a better frame of mind. They can move me into another state of being when I need to do so.