I'm alone, but I'm happy, I feel blessed to have so many friends and things to do that keep me busy. On May 22, Jim has been gone three years. I miss him. I know he is pleased I have found things that bring me joy.
I made a list of things I enjoy. Besides grandchildren, family and friends, the list includes humor, reading, puzzle, meal site, After 5, Encore, Bible study, painted fingernails, purple irises, fragrant lilacs, sweet potato fries and pasta. The list could go on and on.
When I tried to rank the importance, I couldn't put one above the others, so I'm going to tell you about a few things on the list.
I have become addicted to jigsaw puzzles. I pick a difficult 1,000 piece-puzzles. I enjoy the challenge. The one I'm working on at the Hays Nutrition Center is a big heart-shaped puzzle. Inside the heart, it appears someone has poured hundreds of tiny candy hearts. I would welcome help, but most take a look and just roll their eyes. Progress has been slow since February, but I'm nearly finished.
Why do I like doing a puzzle like this? I can concentrate, forget everything else -- it's calming and rewarding.
Reading a good book can be a great way to relax, to take me away from the stress of everyday life. I can step into the author's story, take on the feelings of the character, help solve the mystery and anticipate the outcome.
I have joined the new Hays ABC Book Club organized by Steve Leonhardt. There is no cost, and the Hays Public Library provides the books we choose to read. We meet every three weeks at 1 p.m. Hays Nutritional Center for an hour to discuss the book we've read and pick the next title to read. The club is new, and anyone interested in joining can call (785) 534-0968.
I really love to laugh, and I love a good joke. Some people can really tell jokes, but I'm not a good joke teller -- I usually mess up the punch line. I collect clippings and joke books and have found great material at thrift shops and garage sales.
My bathroom reading at the present time is "Laughter the Best Medicine," which is filled with stories from Readers Digest. The book was printed in 1985 -- jokes don't get old or out of date. They are still funny 28 years later.
Happy is the woman who can laugh at herself. She will never cease to be amused.
Jim and I had our hair cut at Hays Academy of Hair Design for more than 20 years. We added pedicures and now I also do a manicure and chin wax. I never thought I'd get a manicure and come out with green nails with glitter on the ring fingers. The most fun has been shells on nails painted loud colors and weird accents. Many of my friends question my sanity.
Right now, the girls at the academy helped me get ready for my 65th class reunion by painting orange with black accents, the Ellis High colors.
I've thought of more things to add to the list: country music radio, breakfast bingo, Extension workshops, 4-H events, county fair and candid pictures. Did you ever notice when we look at a group picture, we always look at ourselves first?
There are so many things to do, places to go and enjoy in Hays. Anyone who says "There's nothing to do in Hays" hasn't taken time to check it out, read the paper or pay attention to local bulletin boards. I can't find time to attend everything that interests me. Someone saw my full calendar and said, "I think you need a clone." I said that would be OK if the clone would be happy doing the housework.
You should make a list of things you enjoy, things that make you happy -- then get up out of your PJs and get started.
Remember, happiness is homemade.
Opal Flinn is a member of The Hays Daily News Generations advisory group.