The Ordinary Joys

The ’50 happy things’ meme & why it makes me happy

So why am I about to write about 50 things that makes me happy?

The short answer is because I was tagged by the lovely, funny Kerry from Doctomum. This delightful list is currently circulating many blogs. Once finished the author tags more bloggers to continue the trend. It gives a beautiful insight into the blogger and a healthy dose of positivity.

Previously, I declined to join in when kindly Lisa from Into The Glade nominated me for a couple of awards that involve making a list of fun, unknown facts about the blogger.

I know, I know how boring of me. Although I was touched and delighted to have been chosen as one of her nominees I’ve been trying, albeit somewhat unsuccessfully, to focus my blog.

So why have I suddenly resolved to find more fun in blogging. Well here’s the thing; I think writing about 50 happy things is more than just a fun blogging trend. I think it’s useful for me, both as a doctor and a parent. (Oh and go on then because I do like to join sometimes too)

One of my thoughts behind ‘Tenminatesspare‘ is that striving for emotional fitness is as important looking after physical health.

Of course trying to look after our emotions and minds does not necessarily protect us from becoming mentally unwell. In the same way that looking after our bodies does not necessarily protect us from becoming physically unwell. That doesn’t negate the importance of aspiring to protect our overall wellbeing.

As a doctor, or indeed any health professional, it is easy to spend all day tending to the needs of patients and barely have time to empty the bladder, let alone take a minute to reflect.

Oh yes and that also applies as a parent. Even worse when we finally do make it to the bathroom it is most likely to be in the presence of a small child.

‘Ten minutes spare’ to ourselves can be difficult to achieve, but really important. You know – for emotional wellbeing in addition to attending to bathroom needs.

So in my few spare minutes tonight I have thought about fifty things that make me happy. This has been entertaining and I have appreciated all the lovely things I am fortunate enough to have in my life.

Sometimes life can be tough and all the positive reflections in the world may not help. But often when we are struggling with only ‘ten minutes spare’ for ourselves, appreciating the little things; the ordinary joys can help.

Umm so that was the long answer. A reminder again of the short version:

Doctomum tagged me. It sounded fun.

Without further ado and in no particular order, here are 50 things that make me happy

1. Sunshine

2. Pumpkin clapping

3. Coffee

4. Running

5. Uninterrupted sleep

6. Sleepy baby cuddles

7. Hot chocolate

8. My friends – Couldn’t cope without you ladies

9. A lie in

10. Toddler logic: On learning the correct name for the back of the lower leg (calf) Sunflower proceeded to rename her knee ‘rhinoceros’ and her eyelashes ‘giraffes’.

11. Getting my haircut (although I’m not sure about the time it was ultra-short)

12. My job – a huge privilege

13. Planting lettuce seeds with Sunflower

14. My parents too many specific things to actually list

15. Visiting the countryside

16. Holding hands

17. My little sister

18. Being able to do a couple of pull-ups

19. A bath just for me

20. Naps – mine or Pumpkin’s.

21. Eating Mum’s home-grown vegetables

22. And fruit

23. Herbal Tea

24. Pumpkin’s face when he eats something sour

25. Baking. Especially when Sunflower joins me in her fairy wings

26. Love

27. A shower after a disrupted nights sleep

28. A bowel of porridge – breakfast is probably my happiest meal of the day. This may also be a reflection of the mood of my little ones at this meal.

29. A night out with my husband

30. Holidays

31. Hearing Sunflower laugh

32. Time to read

33. Pilates

34. Kind comments left on my blog

35. Decaf coffee

36. Apples from our miniature Apple tree

37. Sweet peas growing in my garden

38. Mr R. Always.

39. Cooking: Although preferably without having to simultaneously play with Duplo and sing ‘The Wheels on the Bus’.

40. Family swimming time

41. My church

42. A real fire in Winter

43. Books

44. The beach

45. Photographs of precious moments.

46. The changing seasons. Currently Spring is making happy

47. Being able to see and talk to friends far away using modern technology

48. Time to myself to complete my home exercises

49. Candlelight

50. Baby giggles.

EDIT: For any newcomers to my blog firstly hello and welcome (friendly wave). Secondly it would probably be useful for you to know that Sunflower and Pumpkin are pseudonyms for my 2 year old girl and 10 month boy respectively. I hope this makes more sense of points 2 and 13. ‘Pumpkin clapping’ and ‘planting lettuce with Sunflower’ are not new-fangled musical instruments or nifty gardening techniques but somewhat more prosaically activities with my children. Thanks Doctomum and What Katy Said for bringing these unintentionally humorous phrases to my attention.

Ladies below I’m not sure if this is your sort of thing but if you’d like to join in with writing happy things I’m sure your lists would be amazing. Otherwise hope you have fun simply thinking happy thoughts.

Anyone else fancy joining in? It has been a fun and positive experience. Any North East bloggers interested too – I’d love to read some of your lists but there are too many of you to tag.

Brilliant blog posts on



Mums' Days
Mami 2 Five

22 thoughts on “The Ordinary Joys

  1. Doctomum April 14, 2015 / 9:15 pm

    The best bit for me was your intro – a beautiful insight into you and I wholeheartedly agree with all of your points (I’m also not very keen on these tagging things but gave this one a go for the same reasons).
    I was about to ask what is pumpkin clapping…but I just realised you are referring to your child clapping their hands not some new aged musical instrument! I need more naps, love a nap. Thanks for taking the time to do it, it’s a wonderful list, love it.


    • tenminutesspare April 14, 2015 / 9:32 pm

      Oh no I’ve also planted lettuce seeds with Sunflower that’s just ridiculous! Should have chosen more sensible pseudonyms!

      Oh and thanks for kind comment too. I was actually delighted to have been tagged and particularly by you as I still feel a bit like the GMC might peer over my shoulder and tut at too much personal information. Reading your blog always puts things into perspective, it’s ok to have a bit of fun too.

      And witty. That’s a better word in my intro about you. Will edit.

      And naps. Yes. Zzz


  2. DrJuliet April 14, 2015 / 9:35 pm

    I love your list. It’s a great way to get to know someone better and to learn what makes that ‘Ten Minutes Spare’ clock tick! I share many of your favourite things. Will spill the rest when I do mine. Thanks for thinking of me for the tag x


    • tenminutesspare April 15, 2015 / 8:19 am

      I’m really looking forwards to reading your list. I was a little worried you’d be too busy getting on a doing the 50 million things that make you happy to actually write about them! Every time I read your blog or facebook it seems that you’ve taken on a new challenge. Congratulations on being ukrunchat doc too. I shall be following the Twitter now with even more interest!

      Liked by 1 person

      • DrJuliet April 15, 2015 / 10:03 am

        Thanks, life very exciting at the moment!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Marina April 15, 2015 / 6:46 am

    I love your list. I think we all should write this down so we can read it every time we are feeling down!

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare April 15, 2015 / 8:21 am

      Thanks that’s really kind. I do think it’s helpful to take a bit of time out to think happy thoughts. Please do join in too – let me know if you make a list and I’d love to read it.


  4. Katy (What Katy Said) April 15, 2015 / 7:17 am

    Haha took me a min to realise you meant Sunflower was helping you plant too- thought there was some nifty way of planting lettuce seeds! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare April 15, 2015 / 7:19 am

      Yep I’m definitely going to add a sentence or two somewhere to explain!! Doh.


  5. dearmummyblog April 16, 2015 / 3:57 pm

    Great list, we’re hopefully joining in with this tomorrow too 🙂 Its such a great way to see at a glimpse what people value in life 🙂 x #BrilliantBlogPost


  6. frazzledbeauty May 3, 2015 / 6:46 am

    Great list of things that make you happy. Your hair looks fab short ! I could never pull of that look ! And I agree homegrown vegetables are the best ! Xxx #sundaystars


    • tenminutesspare May 3, 2015 / 2:04 pm

      Thank you! I do wish I could grow vegetables myself but have never had much success. My Mum is amazing though,


  7. mummascribbles May 3, 2015 / 7:02 am

    I was sat there wondering what pumpkin clapping was hehe! Great list and I love your intro. I also think you look fab with short hair 🙂 #sundaystars


    • tenminutesspare May 3, 2015 / 2:05 pm

      Thank you. 😄 I should probably have put my edit before the list really, but at least you have the answer now anyway!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. thejoyoffive May 3, 2015 / 7:43 am

    Such great things that are important to you, many of which would be on my list.
    The pumpkin clapping has me baffled until the end!! X

    Liked by 1 person

  9. travelingchristie May 3, 2015 / 9:30 am

    Great list, I love to get to know the person behind the blog, I don’t think you hair is too short it looks great, and i too love a real fire, I love the smell, the atmosphere and watching the beautiful flames x

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare May 8, 2015 / 1:45 pm

      Thank you so much. You’re right it’s such a lovely part of winter to be able to snuggle next to one.


  10. Jenny May 5, 2015 / 5:25 pm

    Love your list, especially your introduction! I find tagged lists hard to do sometimes, but love the 50 happy things one too, it’s not as hard as I thought to think of enough things! 🙂 xx


    • tenminutesspare May 5, 2015 / 7:51 pm

      I agree, I was pleasantly surprised to find how easy it was to think of 50 things. It did make me feel very grateful too.


  11. hannah mum's days May 8, 2015 / 4:22 am

    I feel happier just from reading that a List 🙂 And I love your long and short reasons for doing it! I think you’re totally right, it is important to reflect like this and I bet when you started you thought you’d struggle to come up with 50 and then had too many by the end! Thanks for linking up lovely xx #Thelist

    Liked by 1 person

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