1. waking up 5 minutes before my alarm – or, better yet, waking up early without one – and having time to myself in the morning
2. simplicity in food – I could live off of salads, hard boiled eggs, apples and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, broken into bites
3. simplicity in clothing – I could live in wellies, knee-high boots, white denim or trouser jeans, silk tanks or cotton tees
4. simplicity in space – true loft conversion and the preservation of original features
5. all animals, but especially horses. and my dog.
6. sensory experiences: the sound of mourning doves and passing traffic; the psychology of colors
7. regional design and planning; walking to get from A to B; the concept of public transportation and the experience of using it; street-level retail; analyzing the way lifestyles are built depending on a city's design
8. travel: the density of cities; open-air markets; the gritty, dirty, “ugly” parts; the design and study of the human experience
9. book stores and libraries
10. the ritual of "getting coffee" - particularly in the morning - and the taste of the first Guinness sip
11. trees: the poetry of their silhouette, the contrast of bright baby leaves against wet tree trunks in the spring; the feeling of being beneath them in the summer
12. random acts of kindness between strangers; the complexity of the human condition
13. the color brown: it's the color of what's real (it’s earth, rust, some horses, all skin)
14. the color orange: it's the color of vivacity and innovation; of brilliance; of challenging the status quo
15. being critical and disregarding “the way it’s done”
16. personal finance, saving, career planning, and being forward-focused
17. spontaneity and surprises in all else
18. the tactile experience of putting a good pen to a pad of paper; journaling; writing lists
Things like these define us. Life is too short not to dwell on them and build our lifestyles to include as many as we can.
What are yours?