Small things from which to derive joy

In a recession-rife economy, the pundits encourage us to hunker down money into savings while still keeping money passing through the markets by spending. For those of us living in expensive cities (San Francisco or New York as examples), this can curb into an already cinched budget. And as the recession continues creeping into our way of living, it can possess the quality of opportunity rather than mere challenge to become creative about how to entertain oneself. Thus, I am in the process of thinking up a list of top 20 things to do without spending any money and look forward to your contributions. A roommate, JT shared some of hers, noted below. Here goes, the first bits of said list:

1. Yoga class with Kate- you get to discover your inner-gymnastic-child + think about exhale / inhale
2. Singing in church with Karl and the band
3. Walking through Golden Gate Park, through a hare krishna festival, past some old folks lawn bowling
4. Laughing with friends
5. Wiping my face with a hot washcloth
6. Making a mug of V*osges Parisian soy hot chocolate with mini marshmallows
7. “Freshly brewed coffee at the beginning of the day in my favorite ‘Life is Good’ mug”- JT
8. “Talking about politics or world events in a heated conversation”- JT
9. “Window shopping”- Jack
10. Reading a book of poetry- right now “Dreaming the End of War”
11. Color
12. Listening to NPR in the mornings on the way to work
13. Learning new things daily
14. Those extra 10 minutes when my alarm goes off and knowing I can snooze for 10 more minutes
15. “Petting Hazel (the dog), taking her for a walk or hanging out with her” – JT
16. Planning a Star Wars marathon
17. “Journaling”- JT
18. Staying in bed on a Saturday morning when it’s grey outside and reading a book
19. Playing Guitar Hero with K
20. The beginnings of a new poem or a line that gets embedded in the head


  1. 1. People watching: anywhere in the city, especially street fairs and/or parks.
    2. Listening to music . . . . just for the sake of listening to music.
    3. Playing “photo shoot” (Alan-style, but of course)
    4. One of my personal faves: daily crossword puzzle!! Especially now that there is a free (and printable) one on sfgate!
    5. Watching the waves crash on the beach.

  2. Michelle- I had an idea about the free yoga- what about youtube? I bet there are free videos there. Olga- Good ideas. I totally didn’t include any outdoor music concerts… which means I haven’t gone to any this year!


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