“We don’t need to have just one favorite. We keep adding favorites. Our favorite book is always the book that speaks most directly to us at a particular stage in our lives. And our lives change. We have other favorites that give us what we most need at that particular time. But we never lose the old favorites. They’re always with us. We just sort of accumulate them.” –Alexander Lloyd
Allow me to light up your day! Come along with me and play a game we will call “100 Loves”. The rules are simple. I will name a category, and all you have to do is quickly name ten of the things you love most in that category. There will be ten categories, so ten lists of ten. Hence, 100 Loves!
My one caveat/suggestion: Don’t try to get your list exactly right! In any of the categories, of course there will be many contenders to make your Top Ten. Don’t give in to the temptation to agonize over which ones get those last few spots and which get left off the list. Just write the first ten that come to you. [Secret from the game designer: no one is going to bust you for making your lists a bit longer. If longer feels better, go for it!] This is all about thinking of things that give you good memories, inspirations, warm fuzzies, giggles, and smiles. If you are feeling pressure to get your list right, you are playing the game wrong. And just because you are making a list from one to ten, this is not about dividing up your heart into exact amounts. As long as your answers make you feel good, anywhere on the list is wonderful. Don’t rank them! Got it? Good! Let’s play!!!
Category #1: Books
- Walden—by Henry David Thoreau (my all-time favorite piece of literature)
- Autobiography of a Yogi—Paramahansa Yogananda
- The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance—Robert Pirsig
- Into the Wild—Jon Krakauer
- The War of Art—Steven Pressfield
- The Catcher in the Rye—J.D. Salinger
- Conversations With God (series)—Neale Donald Walsch
- On the Road—Jack Kerouac
- The Kite Runner—Khaled Hosseini
Category #2: Foods
- Monster Cookies (the ones my wife makes are divine and so naughty!)
- Garlic Bread
- Root Beer Floats (A&W preferred)
- Giant Burritos from Chipotle (I like them all!)
- Caramel Rolls (the ones my Mom makes are the best!)
- Grilled Halibut
- Dr. Pepper (I am not really a soda drinker, but when I indulge, the Doctor is in!)
- Pizza (I am not picky, but a simple pepperoni is lovely.)
- Smoothies (the one that my kids call “Mango Pineapple Pink” is delightful!)
- Chocolate Malt (made by my daughter after school—heavenly!)
Category #3: Inspirational Figures
- Martin Luther King, Jr.—Live your purpose. “The time is always ripe to do right.”
- Mohandas Gandhi—“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” He was.
- Henry David Thoreau—Be unapologetically you. Don’t just exist; LIVE!
- Ellen DeGeneres—Be you, be kind, and be generous. Oh yeah, and be silly.
- Mastin Kipp—Follow your heart. Stick with your biggest dream.
- Barack Obama—With the audacity of hope and lots of work, anything is possible.
- Dalai Lama—Spread positivity to every corner of the world. Be happy!
- Jimmy Carter—Spotlight or not, do good for all of the days of your life.
- Van Jones—In the most contentious of times, reach out across that chasm to find that we are rather more alike than we are different. Lead with love.
- My daughter, India—A contented soul makes the best company. Kindness first.
Category #4: Music Videos
- “Beat It”—Michael Jackson. Love that fight/dance scene!
- “Centerfold”—J. Geils Band. Those first bars were unmistakable and sent whoever was manning the family room TV into hysterics, yelling, “Centerfold’s on! Centerfold’s on!” so that the rest of the house would come running.
- “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”—Cyndi Lauper. With Captain Lou Albano as her Dad, how could this not make the list? It really was fun!
- “Her Mercy”—Glen Hansard. One of the few from my adulthood. My spirit rises with it. So beautiful.
- “She’s A Beauty”—The Tubes. I can’t explain it; I just loved this from the start.
- “Parents Just Don’t Understand”—DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. There’s no need to argue.
- “Headphones”—Matt Nathanson. A documentary set to music. Makes me smile through my tears.
- “I Love Rock & Roll”—Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. This is everything about my childhood. The best anthem!
- “Brave”—Sara Bareilles. It is a masterpiece of inspiration and fun.
- “Thriller”—Michael Jackson. An absolute EVENT. Captivating!
Category #5: Actors
- Julianne Moore
- Don Cheadle
- Cate Blanchett
- Daniel Day-Lewis
- Emma Thompson
- Anthony Hopkins
- Kate Winslet
- George Clooney (man crush)
- Helena Bonham Carter
- Sean Penn
Category #6: Games
- Taboo—a highly amusing holiday tradition with my extended family!
- Ping Pong
- Mario Kart on Wii—I love this with my kids!
- Super Mario Brothers on Nintendo—my Mom bought one of the Classic Nintendo consoles at Christmas, and between my sister, brother-in-law, and my kids, that game was going continuously the entire holiday break. Ahh, nostalgia for the many hours wasted on that game in the old days….
- H-O-R-S-E (Basketball)
- Capture the Flag—My brother and I still get the kids going on this one at the lake every Summer. This was my backyard in the Summers of my youth. So much fun and so many memories!
- Rock Band on Wii—because, at one point or another, we all dreamed of being in a band, right?
- Scattergories—Great for a large group. Inevitably funny.
Category #7: People (Not immediate family to take the guilt out of it)
- Uncle Bob
- Aunt Caryl
- Ruby Red
- Karen a.k.a. lizzy
- Cousin Becca
- Uncle Lloyd
Category #8: Songs
- I Go To Work—Kool Moe Dee
- Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters—Elton John
- Rochester—Mat Kearney
- No One—Alicia Keys
- Shame On You—Indigo Girls
- Walking In Memphis—Marc Cohn
- Let’s Get It On—Marvin Gaye
- Mrs. Potter’s Lullabye—Counting Crows
- Stand By Me—Ben E. King
- Seasons of Love—The Cast of “Rent”
Category #9: Activities
- Building a snowman
- Playing catch
Category #10: Movies
- Dead Poets Society
- The Thin Red Line
- Stand By Me
- Cinema Paradiso
- Slumdog Millionaire
- Almost Famous
- Home for the Holidays
- Beautiful Girls
- Moulin Rouge
- Life is Beautiful
Whew! We made it to 100! That was just a ton of fun! When I was making it up and deciding on categories, it seemed like fun, but it was so much more than that. It was nostalgic. It was emotional. It was deeply gratifying. Truly, that is what I take away from it: an astounding Gratitude for all of the wonderful blessings in my life, past and present. I am grateful, smiling, and inspired. Hooray!
How about you? What’s on your list of 100 Loves? Which categories were the most enjoyable to list? Which ones were hardest to keep to only ten items (I had a tough time keeping my Movies list at ten and made an extra-long list for that one on my paper). Which categories were the most emotional for you? Which brought you the most smiles and laughs? Did you break out any music, movies, or YouTube while you wrote? Which list had your most favorite memories? Were there some lists that just didn’t do much for you? If we were to make a second 100 Loves, which categories should we add (I toyed with bands, writers, locations, movie lines, even apps)? Was this as fun for you as it was for me? I hope you are smiling, anyway. Thanks for playing along! Leave me a reply and let me know: What are your 100 Loves?
P.S. If this made you smile, please share it. We could all use more of those!