simple, brilliant things


I recently read an article on author Neil Pasricha, who has a forthcoming book called "The Book of Awesome." Inspired by little, everyday things, Neil began compiling a list of awesome occurrences that inevitably and surprisingly brighten your day, cheer you up, or bring a smile to your face.

In Neil's own words: "I'm a no-name 30-year-old guy who started a tiny blog called 1000 Awesome Things back in June, 2008 with the goal of writing about one awesome thing every weekday.

I did this as my world was falling apart. In addition to all the bad news about melting ice caps, swirling hurricanes, and raging wars, like many of us I also had personal issues. My best friend took his own life and my wife and I went separate ways. We sold our house, I moved to a tiny apartment, and I tried to get things back on track by talking about one simple, universal little joy every single day -- like snow days, bakery air, or watching The Price Is Right when you're at home sick.

When I started the website I got excited when my mom forwarded it to my dad and the traffic doubled. Then I got excited when friends sent it to friends and strangers started sending me suggestions like: when cashiers open up new lanes at the grocery store, the smell of rain on a hot sidewalk, and waking up and realizing it's Saturday."

Enjoy a few excerpts from Neil's book (go to his blog for, literally, 1000 more. #959 is my personal fave!):

The Other Side of the Pillow
On nights when you just can’t sleep, one of the greatest things invented is simply Turning Over The Pillow. Yes, flipping over your pillow and checking out the other side cranks Bed Comfort up a few notches and is a simple and easy way to help you relax and get comfy.
The other side of the pillow, folks. Because it’s flat when you’re sagging, fresh when you’re stale, and cold when you’re hot, baby.

The Moment at a Concert After the Lights Go Out and Before the Band Comes Onstage
You go early, you grab a drink, you buy a T-shirt, you find your seat or you edge up to the stage, you listen to the opening act, you people watch, you watch watch, you talk to your friends, you guess what songs they might play, and then the moment finally arrives: the background music fades down, all the lights suddenly go out, and there’s total blackness.
You feel a massive wave of anticipation sweep across the crowd, people stand up, raise their arms, and scream — and everyone clamors for that first view of the band walking onstage.

Fixing Electronics by Smacking Them
Like The Fonz kicking the jukebox in "Happy Days," Grandpa smacking the TV during "Wheel of Fortune," or the bandana-clad mom shaking the washer when the heavy towel load gets it rocking, there is something great about fixing electronics by smacking them.
I mean, for once our instincts work. That doesn’t always happen in nature. Slap a bear on the snout when it’s picking through your trash and you might get a friendly mauling. Pull your brother’s hair when he steals your Xbox controller and you could find your toothbrush tossed in the toilet. But when a CD is skipping in the car, a friendly smack might just do the trick, so how about that?

Old, Dangerous Playground Equipment
Slides used to be dangerous.
After climbing up those sandy, metal crosstrax steps, you got to the top and stared down at that steep ride below. The slide was burning hot to the touch, a stovetop set to high all day under the summer sun, just waiting to greet the underside of your legs with first-degree burns as you enjoyed the ride. And there were no cute plastic side rails which meant if you went too fast your shoes would grip-skid on the metal and you’d spill over the side, landing face down with a sickening thud in a bed of pebbles, cigarette butts, and milk thistles.
These days old, dangerous and fun playground equipment is hard to come by. So please, when you find monkey bars taunting you from ten feet off the ground, extended seesaws that allow for maximum elevation, and rickety, sagging rope bridges with planks missing, run around like crazy, bump your head a few times, and twist your ankle. Because tell me something – is there anything quite like it?

Wordless Apologies
Tension fills the room and black clouds linger by the ceiling fan. Dinner was late, bills piled up, nobody called home.
Now you’re steaming in front of the TV while they’re crying softly in the bedroom upstairs. The stalemate burns quietly until they come down, enter the room slowly, grab your shirt sleeves and look right at you with a pair of warm, moist eyes while starting to give you a soft, smiling apology.
But you see them coming and your stomach churns with a wave of regret so before they even get it out, you interrupt with a head shake and a hug.

The Smell of Rain on a Hot Sidewalk
There’s just something about the smell of rain on a hot sidewalk. It’s sort of like the rain cleans the air — completely hammering all the dirt and grime particles down to the ground and releasing some hot, baked-in chemicals from the pavement. It smells best if it hasn’t rained in a while and the sidewalk is scalding hot — then it sort of sizzles and steams up into a big, hot, intoxicating whiff.


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