The List of Awesome: Making Myself Feel Better About the Current State of the World



[aw-suh m]


  1. causing or inducing awe; inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear: an awesome sight.
  2. exhibiting or marked by awe; showing reverence, admiration, or fear.            Slang, very  impressive: That new white convertible is totally awesome.

awesomeGiven that I am a stickler for grammar, a student of language and generally hold firm to a fairly high standard of intelligibility when communicating in all its forms, I am an admittedly proud word nerd. And as such, I take particular issue with the overuse (or in my opinion, the misuse) of the word awesome. When I hear others throw the word around in casual conversation, I resist the urge to go full Inigo Montoya on them and blurt out: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” (See also the recent cultural linguistic appropriation of the word literally, which, oh man, I could write an entire essay about)!

I digress. Despite my awareness of the rampant misuse of the word awesome, I do recognize that it has a particular place in our cultural lexicon, and one that, true definition aside, I’m not inherently opposed to. Shit, there’s a whole book out there (which I own and have read a handful of times) called “The Book of Awesome” by Neil Pasricha, which consists of a whole bunch of things about life and living, big and small that are, indeed, awesome.

Given the current deep black hole of despair and awfulness the world has thrust me into, I have been trying to summon some awesome in my world, or at least my orbit. Being the eternal optimist that I am, I’ve been trying to, if nothing else, sooth my soul. Even just a little bit.

So, I decided that I would come up with my own list of things that make me smile, things that bring a light to my soul, fleetingly or permanently. These are things that bring me joy, or just make me say an internal “YES!!” to myself.

I offer you Ange’s List of Awesome:

  • When you end up, without counting, cutting the exact number of pieces of cheese for the number of crackers you grabbed out of the box
  • Cheese. Full stop. Cheese is awesome
  • When you get on the streetcar, or in the cab, or in the door right before it starts raining
  • Singing in the shower. Singing anywhere
  • Cuddling (with a pet or a human)
  • Babies laughing
  • The satisfaction of taking a bite out of the thing that you were craving SO BADLY
  • Successfully matching up all your singleton socks when they come out of the dryer
  • The smell of Thanksgiving dinner cooking when you open the door to your parents’ house
  • Doing anything by the light of a Christmas tree
  • Trying something on in a store and it not only fits perfectly, but looks fantastic on you
  • The first sip of coffee in the morning
  • The weight of a good book in your hands
  • That hearty, makes-your-stomach-hurt kind of laughter you share with your best friends
  • Accepting a compliment
  • Nailing a witty comeback
  • The smell of the pavement after summer rain
  • Getting through a whole day without spilling anything on your “shelf”
  • A beautiful sunset
  • The smell of sunscreen
  • That dead-tired zonked-out feeling you get after you finally get out of the pool you’ve been swimming in all day
  • Christmas music, any time of year
  • The first snowfall, especially if it’s at night
  • The smell of bacon cooking
  • Waking up in the wee hours of the morning and realizing, after glancing at the clock, that you still have a couple of hours to sleep before the alarm goes off
  • Discovering the really expensive ear buds you thought you lost on the floor just outside your apartment door
  • The smell of pencils and other school supplies in general
  • Waking up on your birthday and realizing that it’s your birthday
  • Overhearing someone saying something really nice about you
  • When your pets are really happy to see you
  • Feeling like a million bucks in a fabulous dress
  • Seeing your parents hold hands in public

I could go on and on. And perhaps I will. But for now, the exercise of compiling this list made me smile and feel warm and fuzzy. Small comfort, but comfort nonetheless.

Go forth and create your own List of Awesome! Or better yet, live it.