The past year brought about much anxiety and it's been a challenge to find the light in what has felt like perpetual darkness.
"What gives you genuine happiness?"
Food brings people together, and that combination brings much happiness for these Redditors.
"Plenty of my favorite food eaten together with fam."
"Harvesting fruits/veggies from plants which I grew myself and then gifting the harvest to others. I love to grow blueberries and hope I will have lots next year."
Compliments To The Chef
"Seeing people enjoy food that I cooked, especially seeing my fiancee smile while she eats my from-scratch chocolate chip cookies."
The Little Things
"It's difficult to tell the difference between genuine happiness and enough distraction. Food, like video games or playing the piano, makes me joyful while I'm eating it. I believe that the things that make me truly happy are the ones that happen infrequently, if at all, and are beyond of my control, such as being complimented or receiving physical contact."
Being alone with our thoughts can be comforting.
Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
"Being outside with no people around. Live in a city and I get up super early and just walk around before everyone else is out. Best part of my day."
In Between Consciousness
"I think it may be the only time I am ever genuinely happy when I am in that state of going to sleep where I think, but at the same time I am neither asleep nor awake. It feels like I am entirely detached from the physical world; free of fear, and pain."
"Don't try heroin."
"I've noticed that some things can make you so happy that they make you happy before (anticipation) and after (reminiscing) you've done them."
Being with loved ones, both humans and pets, can be the very definition of happiness.
"Weekend mornings sitting on the couch curled up with my husband and cat, both of us reading a book. It feels like quality time even though we aren't talking. Just a lot of peace."
"Your comment made me imagine a cat sitting on a couch, reading a book, wearing reading glasses and that made me really happy."
Hide And Seek
"Watching my cat get stuck somewhere stupid, then yelling for help. The best place so far was in a cabinet over the stove."
Our Inner Comedian
"When I manage to make my friends day by making them laugh. I honestly get so happy when they are happy."
What Brings Joy To Others
"I really love to hear about other people's hobbies/passions/interests. It never fails to make me smile."
"Equally, my hobbies/passions/interests make me happy."
I'm a kid at heart.
So it's not surprising that going to a Disney park as an adult brings out the inner kid in me.
Having grown up in Southern California, I get nostalgic about all my trips to Disneyland with my family and friends.
Eventually, I got a job there in entertainment, where I've made lifelong friends and grew as a performer.
My glee quadruples when I bring friends who've never been to a Disney park before and I see the excitement on their faces.
And what brings me pure joy is hearing from these first-time visitors that, after a long day of running around for 12+ hours, they tell me they had the "best day ever."
Walt, you did a good thing.
Everyone has a bucket list, even if we haven't written it down. We all have a few ideas in the back of our minds about the things we want to do or see before it's lights out on life.
That's why the Make-A-Wish foundation is so special. They are often able to gift children extraordinary life highlights in the midst of tragedy and sorrow.
And every once in a while some of those requests are a bit surprising and off the wall. Hey, to each their own. Who knows why any of us love the things we love.
Redditor u/The_King123431 wanted to hear all about the wishes that have made people go... "Hmmmm!" By asking:
Make a wish employees, what was the strangest wish a kid asked for and actually received?
If tragedy had struck me at 5, I know I would've asked to meet ALF. I thought he was real...and Kermit & Piggy. Like I would've loved a tea and ice cream party with them. Actually... I would still ask for that now.
MulanChina Oops GIFGiphy
"I had cancer when I was very young and I was able to get a Make-A-Wish. Without hesitation, I said I wished I could eat Butterfingers with Mulan."
"It was my favorite candy and my favorite Disney character at the time so it made sense to me. But they didn't really know what to do, so they just sent me off to Disney World lol. Every time I go to Disney, I always bring Butterfingers with me & I always try to find Mulan in hopes my wish can come true. Maybe one day!"
"Ayo. Wish higher."
"I shot an internal promotional video for Make a Wish once. I got to read through a big book of wishes they had granted. Some of them were so extravagant and amazing. Family vacations, celebrity meetings. And then I saw a 3 year old who wished for a banana split for breakfast. And that's what they gave him. No one was like "Ayo. Wish higher."
"I helped host a visit to a planetarium by a kid whose wish was to go to the moon. The front office folks thought I could just give her a personal tour of the planetarium and show her some nice high-resolution visuals, but I thought she deserved better than that. I commissioned a jeweler friend and meteorite enthusiast to make a silver crescent moon necklace, which he graciously donated to the cause, and I donated a small lunar meteorite from my own collection."
"It was a gorgeous necklace very much to the credit of my friend's artistry and generosity. We couldn't take her to the moon so we gave it to her instead. She was thrilled, but later said her real highlight of the trip was the astronaut ice cream. Ah, kids."
A Few Ideas...
- "To be a "merman" (a boy mermaid). He got a tail and swam in the giant tank with other mermaids at the aquarium.
- To play football with "the red team" (no pro or college preference - just had to be red). USC made it happen."
"3) To be a "cool kid": Got a limo ride to the mall.. red carpet entrance with cheering fans, signed autographs, shopping spree for clothes. 5 years old- So cute- and very "cool."
"4) To be Robin (not Batman... he said he wasn't ready for that). Went on an epic adventure fighting crime with Batman."
Thanks VlasicBig Deal Sunglasses GIF by Dietz & WatsonGiphy
"There was a Make-a-Wish kid in a class I taught once and their wish was to tour a pickle factory. Pickles were their all time favorite food and they wanted to see how the sausage was made so to speak. Apparently Vlasic rose to the occasion in a major way and she had the time of her life."
Now I want a pickle and I think I need to rewatch "Mulan." At 12, I def would've asked to meet Madonna. No, I would've asked to go on tour with Madonna. And I would've wanted an endless supply of Fun-Dip. Remember that?
2 of a Kindbaby delivering GIFGiphy
"I know someone who was granted a wish. Of all things they could choose, they asked for 2 tiny birds, 2 budgies."
What up LEGO??
"I worked at a LEGO retail store in the 2000s and Make-A-Wish approached us for a child with terminal Osteosarcoma who wanted to be in the store for a day. LEGO unfortunately denied the request (which surprised myself and the rest of the staff because LEGO was a pretty great company)."
"Staff decided to honor the request ourselves. We closed the store early on a Sunday, then invited the kid and family in. He had a full run of the store, we collectively paid for like $1000 worth of toys for him to take home, and just spent the entire evening building w/e he wanted. He died a few months later 😭."
People Share The Craziest Lies They've Told That Came True | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
"In wizard 101 there's a quest with an NPC named Brandon, named after a make a wish kid who played the game, and his request was to design a side quest for the game. You meet Brandon and go help him clear out this dungeon with 2 really freaking hard bosses, was a lotta fun. At the end you get a gem you can socket that lets you summon Brandon into battle as a follower, pretty cool. Not sure what ended up happening to Brandon, but it's really cool that thousands of ppl have gotten to enjoy being a part of his wish tbh."
The Doc is In...
"I was approached by a similar organization who wanted to arrange a day for a kid to shadow a veterinarian. I'm just a small animal veterinarian with a small hospital so I found it odd that I'd be approached. I said yes (who tf would say no?) and we picked a day and had our regular patients in the hospital and the kid got to watch us do our thing for a day."
"We gave him a lab coat and a stethoscope and let him tag along and see x rays and ultrasounds and watch surgeries. I brought my dog in so he could try the ultrasound on her. He seemed to enjoy it. It wasn't a terribly strange request really, it just seems like my day-to-day isn't something anyone would consider their dream experience."
FORE!!golf swinging GIFGiphy
"My cousin was a Make a Wish kid. He loved golf, like had a scholarship to go play college, he loved it so much. He got to meet and play a round of golf with Payne Stewart. Unfortunately, he died not too long after that. I hate you cancer!"
The Back Up
"My daughter was a Make A Wish kid. She asked to go to Australia to meet the Wiggles. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to travel that far (we live in the US) health wise. She made a second wish, to meet Captain America. We never told Cap that he was a back up wish after the Wiggles were a no-go. LOL"
"but it can be anything you want!"
"When my sister was 5 and I was 8, she had cancer and had the opportunity to make a wish. When our mom and the make-a-wish person sat down with her, they told her she could wish for whatever she wanted. She just kept saying she wanted macaroni. They kept saying "but it can be anything you want!" Yet she simply wanted macaroni and cheese. After some strong encouragement to think bigger, and the make-a-wish person suggesting Disneyland, she chose to go to Disneyland."
"My friend, I'm 14 and my good buddy had ALL leukemia. He asked for a ride in a fighter jet and he somehow got it! I was surprised because the doctors would say how his bones where getting fragile and weaker and I guess I though the G force of the jet would hurt him but he was fine and had a blast. He's doing better now and is scheduled out in about 3 months. :)"
Christmas ForeverDespicable Me Dance GIFGiphy
"After I survived cancer at 17, I was offered a wish. I went to Christmas Island with my family to see the spawning of the red crabs - reckoned to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world."
"Picture it, a million fist sized red land crabs making their way down to the sea edge to release their eggs into the ocean over a period of just three hours or so. The make a wish volunteers looked horrified as I explained it. And Im typing this now, so yes, I lived thanks. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure my wish caught my family a bit off guard too."
"I had a coworker at my student job in college who had leukemia as a child. He wished to be in the Iditarod so they flew his family to Alaska and he got to meet all the dogs and ride in a sled for a leg of the race. If I remember correctly he also got a husky puppy."
"He was 20 when I met him. I was a couple of years older and graduated college and never saw him again. The leukemia came back and he died in 2016. I don't think he was much older than 25. One of the nicest guys I've ever met. I hope heaven is real just for you, Ben."
"I was granted a wish after beating brain cancer in 2015. They flew my mum and I out to the capital city of our state and we stayed in the flashiest, most expensive hotel suite with all the bells and whistles. We got free dinner, drinks and dessert on arrival, got to chill in the VIP lounge while we were waiting for our room. Our room was decorated with teddy bears and chocolates and MAW decorations."
"The next day we were chauffeured to the local mall in a limo and I went on an eleven hour shopping spree with a pre-loaded VISA card and bought every solitary thing you would imagine a 16 year old girl wanting. I ended up having to buy another suitcase to take everything home with me but it was the most epic 3 days of my life. I'll never forget it."
"I was a chef at a fancy steakhouse in Jacksonville Florida, one day my proprietor came To me and said this is Stacy the new girl she'll be training with you, I look over and it's this adorable little girl in bright pink chef coat. I babysat my little cousins at the time. So I was actually pretty used to entertaining 10 year old girls at the time."
"So I showed her the ropes, we made all kinds of stuff, that were on the surface kind of random, candied bacon, cornbread, prosciutto wrapped Boursin cheese stuffed asparagus, a sweet tea brined pork chop, a sorel garnish salad type thing and some other cool garnishes. We were having fun, I then made a purée out of the cornbread let her plate up the dish a few different ways to show how you can play with ingredients and height to showcase different parts of the dish."
"She had a blast. It was only at the end when the father came up to me In tears that I realized what was goin' on. In the moment I was a little upset because nobody told me. But I realized after it was for the best. I probably would not have been as bright and vibrant with the "lessons" had I known of. But it was a fulfilling experience for sure. I hope their family is doing well. Side note ( I have re worked and re ran the dish as a special a few times in memory of that day, it was that impactful)."
"When I was on a carrier they flew a kid and his parents out. They routinely fly distinguished visitors but we thought it was weird there was this kid. They got tours and watched flight ops but he couldn't fly with us so they asked us to have dinner with him so he could at least meet pilots and ask questions. It was really humbling when we realized this is what he was there for, he literally wished to just come see what we do and hang it with us."
Get the Meow Meow...
"I'm a MAW volunteer. The volunteers get to do all the fun stuff, like meet with the families, get the kids excited about their wish (we send little gifts and stuff along the way) and then be there when the wish is granted. We don't have to do any of the boring admin stuff."
"I have a little girl right now whose original wish was a unicorn (6 y/o with severe epilepsy, has like 15 seizures a day and has been through like 10 surgeries already). She wasn't having any of that "fake" stuff, like a stuffed animal or a costume. She insisted for weeks on a unicorn. That one was hard to manage. She's getting a cat."
Yo Adam...adam sandler snl GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
"Wasn't weird or anything but one of my friends had leukemia in 8th grade and her Wish was to meet Adam Sandler. So she got to spend the day on set of The Longest Yard with him."
I love these stories when I hear them. They make me believe in humanity, briefly. At my current age... I'd still want to meet ALF and Madonna but also, bourbon and tea with Adele. And you?
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
The best advice I ever gotten helped me become way less self-conscious.
We all go through awkward phases, and it can feel like everyone is always looking at you and noticing all of your flaws. But one day, a friend pointed out to me that people are too busy obsessing over themselves and their own flaws to be paying attention to mine. It helped me become more comfortable in my skin.
Redditor u/yesasinyes got free life advice when they asked, "What was the best advice someone has ever given you?"
10. Don't worry about what you can't change
"If you have a problem and you can do something about it, do it. If you cant do anything about it, what's the point in worrying?"
9. This sounds hard
"Show up. No matter what you do, just show up."
8. Don't be a bad driver in the rain
"My dad is a man of a few words but he did give me very sound advice when I got my driver license. He said, 'Make sure you don't get pulled over when it is raining. The cop has to get out, get wet, and by the time they get to you they will be grumpy. They will give you a ticket for their trouble.'"
7. Let go of grudges
"Holding a grudge is like letting someone live inside your head, rent-free.
Evict them, and use that space for something positive and constructive."
6. Can't win them all
"No matter how nice or good you are some people are just not going to like you and that's okay and you need to learn to be okay with that."
5. Be kind to yourselfGiphy
"What advice would you give if a friend was coming to you with this problem? Sometimes we get so bogged down with our own personal biases and issues we forget that we actually have valuable wisdom to give ourselves"
4. Invest in your 401K
"Start contributing to your 401K, even if only a small percentage to start.
Solid advice from the parentals."
3. Failure is okay
"Successful people are often the people who were willing to fail the most."
2. They'll make it worse for themselves
"If someone's arguing with you and won't let you talk, just don't say anything and let them dig themselves a deeper hole."
1. Shot of bourbon, pleaseGiphy
"My great-grandmother had her 92nd birthday, I asked what's her secret. She replied with 'don't sweat the small things and a shot of bourbon will always help'"
New year, new attitude. And we have some advice on how to accomplish that.
Redditor u/TheReyzer asked, "What are the rules to live a happy life?" While there's no correct way to be happy, many people offered up some sage advice and revealed their personal methods for staying in higher spirits. It's been a long year and an even longer decade. It's a good idea to clean house of some negativity and start the new decade with a brighter outlook.
10. Don't worry about what other people buy
"Stop comparing yourself to others. All because someone got a new car doesn't mean you need to get a new car too. This goes for other stuff too, I just used cars as a example."
9. Be happy for others instead of getting jealous
"Be kinder to yourself, and happy for others.
Instead of beating yourself up over not being able to afford the things some else have, say to yourself, 'l'm proud of what I've accomplished, and I'm happy for them for accomplishing what they have.'
Realize that someone else's accomplishment does not affect your worth."
8. Fake it til you make it
"When someone asks me 'How's it going?' I respond with, 'You know, I'm doing so great I can't even stand it.'
It throws them off so much. Lots of laughs and 'I love that!' in return. Even if I'm not having the best day, it's partially a fake-it-till-you-make-it mentality. And it passes cheer to the person asking a mundane question."
7. Always learnGiphy
"I will lump this with the best wisdom my father taught me:
Always seek knowledge, the minute you stop learning, you start dying.
Learn when to hold onto something, and when to let go.
The world is yours so long as you're willing to put in the work that earns it."
6. Listen to Terry
"I once heard Terry Crews say 'there is no way to happiness, happiness is the way' and that really resonated with me. I took it to mean, take every opportunity you can, treat every day as a blessing and enjoy the little things, and it's helped make some bad days brighter
5. Try to smile more
"Practice smiling more in conversation, people will see this and find you more friendly, and you will have people nicer being nicer to you, and it'll make you feel good too. Also, meditate, just 10 minutes a day can help you focus on things better, have more control of your mind, and can help relieve stress. Another thing, whatever that thing you've always wanted to do, do it; if you've wanted to start a hobby and don't have any, try it out, and if it doesn't work look for another hobby until you find one that you enjoy."
4. Be generous to your community
"Always give back to the community. As much as you can."
3. Don't take things so personally
"My top rule for living a happy life is just to always assume the best of others. By which I mean, if somebody doesn't invite you to event (or whatever), it's almost always easier to assume that they had good intentions and just forgot etc. It's sort of like innocent until proven guilty and it saves so much time feeling angry or upset at somebody."
2. Mind your expectations
"Really low expectations."
1. Bad days are okayGiphy
"Realize that it's okay for not every day to be sunshine and rainbows. Some days are going to be sad, painful, or mentally and physically exhausting. It can be incredibly difficult to get through these days, but they are an important part of life.
It's okay to feel sad. Take your time, and when you're ready, take another step forward. When you take enough small steps in the right direction, you're sure to come to a better place, some day."
Making changes can be difficult, but they're totally worth it when improving the quality of your life.
2019 is ending soon. As a year comes to its end, we tend to think back on how much our lives have changed.
Redditor u/Burn-It-For-Me wanted to know if anyone made big life changes and asked, What's been the biggest change in you over the past year?
10. Your job can really impact your happiness
"Found a job that makes me happy. Overall biggest change, I am happy."
Coming into work happy every day is such a huge change to my life and something I've never really experienced before."
9. A long commute can drive you crazyGiphy
"Moving closer to my workplace, reducing my commute from 1 hour to 25 minutes changed my life and I was much happier."
8. Look the world in the face!
"I started to walk with my head up rather than looking at the ground. That first tiny step meant over the next couple years my confidence improved dramatically"
7. Mindfulness leads to happiness
"I started meditating. I went through something not super great about two years ago, and last year (after trying a ton of different things) I decided to be open minded and give meditation a shot.
I can say with confidence it's the best thing I've ever done for my mental health. Therapy and medications did help me, but meditation was the biggest thing that helped me retrain my brain."
6. You also save a lot on hair productsGiphy
"Started shaving my head.
Gettin' old, the baldness was getting bad enough that I finally got to the 'shave the whole thing' point."
"It looks great on a lot of guys. Accepting baldness with dignity is the best way to go, IMHO."
5. You don't know how strong you really are
"Spent 8 days in the hospital, during which we closed on our first house. Got married three days after getting out. The whole thing gave me a lot of perspective and I learned exactly how much stress I can handle before melting down."
4. Love is love
"Started dating my best friend of several years. I don't deserve her, she's the best thing to ever happen to me. Kind of sucks, because I have to hide it from my family. We're both girls, and most of my family are strongly opinionated Christians."
3. Cutting out toxic people is always a good idea
"I quit drugs and partying. I cut ties with a lot of toxic "friends" and moved away from the city I lived in. I've spent the year searching myself and preparing myself for a better future. I did it alone for the most part, which has definitely taught me a whole lot about myself and others as well. I'm beginning to live my life for me and that feels so good."
2. The best button is the "mute" button
"Started muting people on twitter/facebook. Used to not do it because 'real life doesnt have a mute button' but guess what. Twitter does."
1. Two people's lives were changed...
"I adopted a baby from a family member who wasn't ready to be a parent. I've started to realize that it's not always about what's right or wrong or taking responsibility. Sometimes it's just about helping someone when life is rough. If you just support the people around you, you will be happier."