So many people wait. They look over the distant horizon hoping things will be better when. When they get the new job. When they lose a few pounds. When they can finally take a vacation. When they move out on their own. Rather than waiting for when, why not begin celebrating today? It can be easy to let moments pass us by — those moments that may not take our breath away, but that still bring us joy and delight right where we are. Here and now. In the present.

I have a little exercise I do from time to time and encourage others to try it as well.  Without thinking too hard about it, quickly list the things you love right now – things you may not take the time to really enjoy but that you should. Ready, set go!

Here’s my list of 10 favorite things at this very moment:

1. The smell of a fresh lemon

2.  The foam on the top of a latte

3.  The feel of my husband’s face right after he shaves

4.  Sinking my face into a fresh, fluffy white towel

5.  Socks

6.  Good olive oil

7.  Deep, snortle-inducing laughter

8.  A text from a friend

9. Seeing my breath on a cold day

10. The sound of a carrot snapping

Don’t miss the simple joys of today by waiting for something epic in the future. Live. Truly. Succulently.

What’s on your list of 10?

Image via Picotte Photography on Style Me Pretty


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  10. 1. Rosebud and Violette perfume
    2. Candles
    3. Purple Carrots
    4. Instrumental Music
    5. Iced Coffe with Vanilla
    6. A Clean Dorm Room
    7. Going to Bed and Waking Up Early
    8. Ballet
    9. Scarves
    10. Reading and Writing

  11. A little late to the party.

    1. My porch on a summer night.
    2. My 3 year olds body against mine
    3. An unexpected hug from my tween
    4. My kitchen on a fall evening; music, wine, cooking…all alone but for my family
    5. Tea lights
    6. Flowers…all of them, every single one. Planted, wild, potted, vased.
    7. A plane ticket
    8. Hotel room service in the morning
    9. A 3 hour lunch at an outdoor cafe.
    10. My grandmother’s perfume

  12. 1. The smell of fresh bagels
    2. The smell and feel of crisp, clean bed sheets
    3. The sound of chirping birds when I lay still on my bed every morning
    4. The sound of rain
    5. Star gazing
    6. Clean white towels
    7. Breakfast in bed
    8. Being kissed by the person I love
    9. Explore a new place
    10. Getting a note from someone I was thinking about

  13. 1. The smell of frag basil
    2. A well stocked fridge and pantry
    3. Pajamas
    4. Late night tv with my husband
    5. Sleep
    6. My son who reads well
    7. My very loving 4 year old
    8. My mom being just a few steps away instead of thousands of miles
    9. Second chances
    10. God

  14. 1. The smell of fresh herbs on my fingers after making a meal.
    2. The ritual of making coffee, from heating the kettle of water and grinding the beans, up to that rewarding first sip.
    3. The stupidly happy look on my dog’s face when he comes in from playing in the yard.
    4. Making visual progress in getting the house unpacked and tidy.
    5. Thoughtful gifts from friends and family.
    6. New knitting projects.
    7. Water with lime.
    8. Finding my old fitness tracker and seeing that it still works.
    9. Hearty laughs when my husband and I are being weird.
    10. Listening to geeky podcasts that teach me new things every day.

  15. 1. The sound of rain on a metal roof.
    2. The smell of fall in the woods.
    3. Clean sheets night!
    4. Friends around a campfire.
    5. A hug from a grandchild.
    6. Finding pictures in the clouds.
    7. Experiencing the presence of God.
    8. Game night with the family.
    9. Taking a sip of coffee poured two hours ago and discovering it is stil hot.
    10. The laughter of a child, or anyone for that matter.

  16. 1. Snow fall – It’s so wonderful to lose yourself in it’s dreaminess
    2. A wood stove and some chunky knits
    3. The accomplishment and pride you feel after completing a difficult assignment
    4. Old time friends, nostalgia, and memories
    5. A pretty space that nurtures inspiration
    6. Sweet, unexpected joys – like a fun dance with your mom
    7. The smell of home cooked food
    8. Kind remarks – someone told me the other day “I just think you have the most beautiful face”
    9. The sky in all of its forms
    10. And in the simplest sense, shelter, food, and the other essentials that are so easily taken for granted. God is faithful!

  17. 1. Quad-grande Americano
    2. Emails or visits from former students
    3. Crossing of items on my “To Do” list.
    4. Cuddling with my kiddos (including the big kid I’m married to)
    5. Smell of orange-ginger body wash during a HOT shower
    6. Parents who never fail to express their love through packages and phone calls
    7. A good 2-hour massage
    8. My kids singing “Frozen” soundtrack
    9. Dinner with girlfriends
    10. A gooooooood read

  18. Needed to see this article today. I’ve been re-evaluating my goals, outlook, and the impact I want to make someday, and I thought I was doing good until I saw this article. Living in the present is clearly a huge issue I am struggling with, since I myself cannot even list 5 things I enjoy in the now. This is something to think about!

  19. 1. The sound of my little girl’s laughter.
    2. Smell of first rain.
    3. My hubby’s embrace.
    4. Coffee hubby makes for me in the morning.
    5. My daughter’s voice mail messages.
    6. My sister’s pajamas on me.
    7. Tres Leches cake.
    8. 49er game with my dad and brother.
    9. Lazy morning family cuddle in bed.
    10. A good song I nailed.

  20. Thank you for the inspiration and encouragement, Darling Magazine & lovely Penny. Waiting on the when is so distracting from the beautiful now! I can (and plan to) use this wonderful reminder every single day! Here are my 10…

    1. Q-tips (the fuzzy little ear fairies that bring me so much joy.)
    2. Laughter (particularly my 2 year old’s belly laugh, which quite literally completes me.)
    3. A hot shower or bath (just purchased a new jet tub and it has become my escape!)
    4. Tears (strange, I know. But its the healing that they bring that I love.)
    5. God’s small still voice.
    6. The smell of my husband right after his shower (there’s nothing better than a underarm snuggle with a fresh and clean stud muffin.)
    7. When a quote from a movie is the perfect addition to the conversation.
    8. A devotional that feels as though it was written specifically to meet you where you are.
    9. Writing a song and feeling that you are being written through .
    10. Lastly…Two words… Cookie. Dough.

  21. LOVE THIS! What a fantastic way to approach each new day! There was a suggestion on Facebook at the beginning of the year to write down something great that happened that day. I think it is extremely helpful for spouses and parents to “accentuate the positive” for so often we get hypercritical of those we love. In essence, what we focus on grows. So, whether we choose life and affirmation or death and criticism, we will find just that. So, what present joy am I celebrating and focused on loving right now?
    1. Waiting for my husband to come home
    2. Peoplewatching
    3. Those who aren’t afraid to speak truth
    4. A clean car and outfit that has no trace of any animal
    5. Walking in the sunshine
    6. Four day weekends (Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
    7. Contemplating a great sermon
    8. Tanktops and sandals in January
    9. Snow on Pikes Peak
    10. Italian sodas – two in one day

  22. 1. The delightful squeals of “Mommy’s home” I receive after a hard day of work outside of the house.

    2. The smell of fresh brewed coffee

    3. The sound of crunching on a fallen leaf during an Autumn stroll

    4. The warm embrace of my husband

    5. A deep conversation with a close friend.

    6. The peaceful smooth experience of being on top of the water while water skiing

    7. Dark chocolate melting in my mouth

    8. Mountaintop views

    9. Dancing when no one is looking

    10. Watching a young child delight as they discover the world around them

    1. ” Amazing how in reading other peoples’ 10, it prompts you to enjoy some of them yourself,” she says as she gets a piece of dark chocolate coated pumpkin seeds!

  23. Lately….

    1. sent letters
    2. received letters
    3. waking up to snow falling
    4. spiked hot chocolate
    5. weekend nature walks
    6. staying-in on a cold night
    7. mid-week outings with friends
    8. reading in bed on Sunday mornings
    9. new love of bold lipstick
    10. hosting in beautiful, clean spaces

  24. 1. cappuccino foam
    2. baby giggles
    3. a good night’s sleep
    4. pillow talk at the end of a long day
    5. penne alla vodka
    6. sunshine on winter days
    7. the success felt in peeling a clementine all in one peel
    8. bananagrams
    9. skype dates with my mom
    10. strolling down cobblestone streets

  25. 1. My bed
    2. Shopping with my sister
    3. Care packages from my mom
    4. How fresh the world feels early in the morning before everyone is awake and going.
    5. Random trips to Disneyland
    6. My 10 year old ipod
    7. Butterflies
    8. Alone time
    9. Pancakes
    10.My dogs 🙂

  26. 1. That my horse perks up and is noticeably happier when I can get to see her.
    2. The first sip of coffee in the morning
    3. That I can call myself a writer
    4. Sweet fire pickles
    5. My little lemon tree in its shiny red pot
    6. When my dog wags his tail in little thumps on the bed when he realizes I am awake
    7. Wide-legged forward folds in yoga
    8. When my daughter hugs me and cuddles (she is 13 – it’s rare)
    9. Finding a perfect pair of jeans
    10. Getting real mail

  27. 1. The way my little guy nuzzles into the size of my neck after his nap
    2. The greeting my husband receives from my boys after a long day at work
    3. Girlfriends who keep who inspire you to be better
    4. The beginning planning stages of a trip
    5. Nightcream
    6. Oatmeal in the crockpot
    7. The feeling you get 3/4 of a way into a long run when you hit your stride, but know you’ve got more in you
    8. Watching a sibling relationship blossom
    9. The perfect pair of jeans
    10. My sweet husband.

  28. 1. The clink of chocolate covered almonds in a mason jar 2. A handwritten thank you note 3. Washi tape 4. The smell of a new book 5. Slow mornings 6. Clear, blue skies 7. Colorful meals 8. My black, .7 Pilot pen 9. A perfectly organized planner 10. Someone playing with my hair

  29. 1. Reading in front of the fire all day long on a Saturday
    2. Listening to Nat King Cole while I’m cooking
    3. An uninterrupted writing day
    4. A walk
    5. The first night in clean sheets
    5. A bubble bath, a book, and a glass of wine
    6. Dinner with friends
    7. Snuggling with my grandchildren
    8. Vintage table cloths
    9. Bike riding on flat land
    10. The morning’s first cup of coffee, a quiet house, my journal and a pen

  30. I sat down with my journal just now to do this. Without thinking too hard, to list 10 things I love. love. Love? It’s such a powerful word and feeling. Enough to move mountains and bull-headed men. To spark conflicts and wars. To pull triggers on so many planes of existence. Love throws people in front of speeding trains to save another. Love passes on far flung job opportunities. It pulls one out of bed for the 67th night in a row and draws us to the bedside of the helpless. It compels us to give until there is nothing left to give and also it fills us up entirely. It is no small thing to love. It is no small thing. It’s challenging and life affirming. It fashions the edges and the center of our being. It gently and quietly questions every belief we’ve ever held until we can’t hear our thoughts over the dull roar and must make up our own mind. It is comfortably held silence between two hearts. It is a heat from passion and a warmth from comfort. It is brand new and ancient, simultaneously. It is finite and infinite. It is an agreement. Sometimes it’s a treaty. Sometimes, it’s a promise. Actually, maybe it’s always a promise. But everything having to do with our physical selves is breakable. So, I suppose it’s a breakable promise. I guess promises are nothing if not breakable. But even broken promises leave behind pieces of themselves. Shards. … All of this to say: 10 things I love, listed so cavalierly as to not be considered too deeply is, I think, an impossible list. Mine would be a list of names, which is so cliché. But when I think about it (but only just barely,) it is those names that float to the surface. And also, those names are the points on my compass, how I get my bearing.

    I know I failed at your assignment, but thanks for the encouragement to find my feet. :o)

  31. 1. Fresh, clean sheets 2. Almond latte 3. My android phone 4. Travel 5. Friends 5. 3 day weekends 6. Retirement plans at my work 7. My husband 8. My imagination 9. My daughter’s humor 10. Spas

  32. 1. Hot, fresh French pressed coffee
    2. Laughing with my girls till we cry.
    3. Snuggles with my girls
    4. Cuddling with my husband
    5. A good book
    6. Creating with my hands using yarn and fabric
    7. Family days
    8. Fresh bread straight from the oven
    9. A hot bath
    10. A hike outdoors in a beautiful place

  33. 1. The sensation of beginning to appreciate a new music genre
    2. The feel of secret solace in reading a book by flashlight
    3. Singing and dancing with my younger brothers and sisters
    4. Chai tea’s comforting aroma
    5. Finishing a project well
    6. Braiding my hair in new ways
    7. Running in cold weather
    8. The feel of blending homemade pie crust with my hands
    9. Spontaneous philosophical discussions
    10. Encouraging notes from strangers

    (I remember doing this after Zach wrote about it in Lose Your Cool)

  34. 1. The satisfaction of working with my hands.
    2. Butter melting on a warm muffin.
    3. A clean kitchen.
    4. Reconnecting with friends.
    5. Soft music.
    6. Warm sunshine in January.
    7. The support of family.
    8. Having a job that I love.
    9. Twinkle lights:)
    10. Learning something new about life.

  35. 1. A cup of espresso after an authentic Italian meal
    2. The smell of fresh cut grass
    3. The first big jump into the lake on a hot summer day
    4. Bread hot out of the oven
    5. Strawberry picking
    6. People watching at Starbucks in Greenwich Village on a snowy day
    7. My husband’s squeeze first thing in the morning
    8. My children’s hysterical laughter at their private jokes
    9. Scented soaps
    10. Listening to someone’s remarkable life story

    1. 1. A completely silent room.
      2. A walk somewhere/anywhere
      3. A windy day
      4. A great Chapstick
      5. Meeting someone new
      6. A cool glass of water
      7. A new food.
      8. A phone call
      9. Snoozing the alarm
      10.Turning your phone off

  36. 1. Snuggles from my kitten, Eleanor.
    2. Fresh sheets.
    3. Waking up to a beautiful sunrise.
    4. Being lost in the worship of my sweet Savior.
    5. The smell of cilantro.
    6. The flicker of a candle in a dark room.
    7. Getting to turn off my alarm clock & sleep in.
    8. Enjoying a good cup of coffee.
    9. Finding a new artist or band that I love.
    10. Singing around the house.

  37. 1) When my coffee is just right.
    2) Making people laugh.
    3) Warm laundry out of the dryer.
    4) Winged liner and red lipstick (watch out world).
    5) Finding good music.
    6) When the worship leader in Church stops singing and it’s just the congregation singing the verse.
    7) A new haircut.
    8) Connecting with someone.
    9) Getting a magazine you love (aka Darling).
    10) Taking pictures.

  38. 1. Sleeping In (in a cool, dark room with big comfy blankets)
    2. Guitar lessons I started taking this year
    3. Bourbon poured over a large round ice ball
    4. A great live show (concert)
    5. A good run
    6. Conversations w/ good friends that go from deep to shallow and back to deep again in one smooth motion
    7. Sunsets through the bare winter trees
    8. A good book/magazine
    9. Netflix/Hulu/DVR
    10. A wonderfully fresh-smelling candle

    1. The heavier the blankets – the colder the room – the better! 🙂 I have also discovered the joy of a fur covered hot water bottle in said room/bed.

  39. 1. Tiny feet on hardwood floors.
    2. Baby coos
    3. A blank canvas
    4. A new book by a favorite author
    5. Big fat snow flakes
    6. My son’s handwriting
    7. Vanilla coffee
    8. Chicken soup with lemon and dill
    9. Hot showers
    10. Crisp white sheets

    1. Have a great Avgolemono Soup recipe 🙂 Love white sheets – bonus – you never have to search for a matching pillow case if all of the sheets are white!

  40. 1. Holding a baby while they sleep
    2. Blueberry tea with cream
    3. Receiving an unexpected text from someone I love
    4. Feeling inspired
    5. A bed covered in pillows
    6. Warm clothes straight from the dryer
    7. Sweat after a good workout
    8. The sounds of students worshiping
    9. Long drives with my sister
    10. Writing this list of 10 things

  41. 1. my grandkids (all 6 of them)
    2. glass of red wine in front of the fire
    3. listening to an album for the first time
    4. the smell of fresh basil
    5. salted caramels
    6. finding a new restaurant
    7. friends who are like sisters
    8. my sweet daughters
    9. sitting in my backyard right after the grass is mowed
    10. snuggling under a blanket on a cold night

  42. 1. A warm house to live and work in.
    2. And sleeping in!
    3. Soy coffee creamer.
    4. Having fun with my hair as it grows out.
    5. Cuddling with my niece.
    6. Having time to cook!
    7. Going for a walk just after it has snowed.
    8. Sunshine on my face.
    9. Making a piece of jewelry that I know is just how I want it.
    10. On Being

  43. -having 45 uninterrupted minutes to read
    -the sound of birds chirping this beautiful January day, as if it’s mid April
    -my Monday yoga class
    -possibility
    -one of my favorite dreamers, Martin Luther King, Jr.
    -trying a new breakfast place with my love
    -Love Crunch granola with apples and peanut butter
    -my fur babies Fival & Lacy
    -poetry
    feeling better post-flu

  44. 1. Waking up to coffee
    2. A good book
    3. A hug from my best friend
    4. Fluffy blankets
    5. A genuine compliment
    6. Uncontrolled laughter
    7. Hi-speed internet
    8. Old people holding hands
    9. Hope
    10. Purpose

    1. 1. Snuggling with my German Shepherd
      2. A new album to listen to
      3. My new baby cousin, Mattie
      4. Renewed relationships
      5. My best friend
      6. Performing/singing
      7. Chocolate (in any way, shape, or form)
      8. Cuddly things
      9. Jesus moments
      10. Laughing!

      1. Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your
        site on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I
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  45. 1. cup of coffee in special mug
    2. birds on a wire bathing in the light of the sun
    3. foggy mornings
    4. hugs from my love, Cleve
    5. friends who are family
    6. music
    7. my iphone camera
    8. lives that inspire
    9. art
    10. the promise of a coffee shop date with Cleve

  46. 1. My 15 year old’s baby pictures
    2. Sweet potatoes (What can I say– I am on a carb free diet.)
    3. Brene’ Brown’s books
    4. Uninterrupted sleep
    5. Finishing a knitting project/starting a new one
    6. New, thoughtful friends in adult development class
    7. A snow day
    8. The smell of lavender in a freshly cleaned closet
    9. Towels right out of dryer
    10. Ben and Jerry (because I am not -always- on a carb free diet).

  47. 1. A good cup of coffee
    2. A cat’s purr.
    3. Smiles and laughter from my school kids.
    4. A text from my kids.
    5. Vacuum stripes on the carpet.
    6. Sore muscles from a good workout.
    7. Freshly fallen snow.
    8. Knitting.
    9. A warm pair of socks.
    10. A hug from my sweetie.

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