Things I Love In April

So this month has apparently gotten away from me blog-wise, but it's also been a good month for finding balance and spending time with the people that I love, so I'm trying to look at the positive. I also thought that it was a good time to share another list of things that are making me happy this month - because living a healthy life is all about looking at the good around you.

1. Songs I used to love. Recently, I pulled out the binders full of CDs that I've been storing on a shelf in our living room. I flipped through and realized how many of the CDs I'd never bothered to plug into my iTunes. I used to be a music writer and I have hundreds and hundreds of CDs from those days, so when I created my library it was all about the ones I loved at the moment. But when I went through my whole collection, I realized there was so much I had missed. So I set to work adding even more to my already over-sized iTunes collection and it's been a fantastic thing. It's felt like I'm re-visiting old friends. Some I've outgrown, but many I fell right back in love with.

2. Birthday celebrations. I enter my almost-mid-thirties tomorrow and my lovely friends have feted me well. I had a wonderful group get-together at O'Grady's on Church and the girlfriends who couldn't make it out are all looking to set up lunches, brunches and dinners soon. I love how birthday bring us together. Gifts are really the last thing I think about when my birthday approaches these days (though I have received some absolutely lovely ones) - it's all about seeing the people I care about.

3. This blog post from The Healthy Tipping Point on Being Proactively Kind. Read it and I think you'll understand why - I love the positive message it brings and I'm all about trying to live from a place of kindness these days. I wish more people would do the same - imagine how much happier the world would be.

4. Reading (and purging) old books. The other day I finished Da Capo's Best Music Writing 2001. A good friend gave me the book back in 2002 and I had been meaning to read it forever, but somehow just didn't get there until recently. And, honestly, I feel so bad that I waited. Sure, some of it was a bit out-of-date, but the writing still stood up as well as it would have at the time. Brilliant, crisp essays that just sucked me back to the time or riot grrrl and reading Rolling Stone. It inspired me to pick up some of the other books I've been meaning to get to for awhile and I'm now reading The Best American Crime Reporting 2007. I love this series and there is really no excuse to have so many old editions I haven't read yet. I also finally finished an Eileen Goudge romance that I've been meaning to ready since 2004 - when I read the rest of the trilogy. I'm sure the characters would have been fresher in my mind if I'd gotten to it then, so I'm making an effort now to really catch up on the backlog.

It's also time to say goodbye to a lot of my old books. I've always had trouble letting books go, but this weekend I pulled out a bunch of the pink self-help books that I really feel like I don't need anymore and added them to the donate pile. I also grabbed a bunch of books I liked, but that I'll never get around to reading again and added them to the pile too. It seems like time to send them out into the world to be enjoyed by someone else. They're still here, but I already feel a bit lighter knowing that they'll soon have other homes. And I had more than enough room afterwards for the five amazing literary best-sellers that I found in the lobby of my building. My hubby rolled his eyes, but they were all on my 'to read' list and I felt like it must be book karma.

What's making you happy these days?