1. Accepted a few compliments with a smile.
  2. Allowed myself to be very, very, very lazy and (even more importantly) go with the flow.
  3. Appeared in the program of a theater play (under "Musical design"). Undeservedly, if you ask me.
  4. Ate with friends every Sunday.
  5. Booked an AirBnB for Stockholm.
  6. Danced outside in the grass.
  7. Discussed piano techniques with three different jazz/blues pianists. Even though I barely know how to get a C chord out of a piano.
  8. Discussed royalism with a Spaniard at a terrace in Paris.
  9. Drank Aperol-Spritz while a band from where my mom currently lives was playing (in Germanland).
  10. Drank a beer and laughed myself silly with a professional film editor.
  11. Drank my first port tonic.
  12. Eighteen concerts, all outside.
  13. Explored an unknown city with a friend.
  14. Flew to Portugal. And to London.
  15. Gave fashion advice. Me!
  16. Glided on the water (once in a small rowboat, once on a river cruise boat).
  17. Had a conversation that looked like it was coming out of a cheap telenovela, except that it was happening at my kitchen table and that it was real and that I thought I was going to fall apart and shatter in a million pieces afterwards except that I didn't.
  18. Had dinner in London with a friend from California.
  19. Had drinks with the cast after a premiere.
  20. Had fish and chips with Germans in Cambridge and pizza with Americans in Germanland.
  21. Hand-wrote and mailed a real letter. (Which either didn't arrive, or was bad enough that the recipient chose to never mention it so that we can both pretend it never happened.)
  22. Helped picking and wrapping 12 presents. Half of which were for people I've never met before.
  23. Hugged people from Argentina, France, Georgia, Germany, India, Italy, Russia, Spain, and the United States.
  24. Hung out with a friend I had seen about three times in the last fifteen years, as smoothly as when we were going to school together.
  25. Learned a number of nursery rhymes.
  26. Learned about sugar lifts in aquatint. No, this isn't a dance move.
  27. Listened to old friends playing four-handed boogie woogie on an old piano in the street.
  28. Made piadinas.
  29. Morning hugs with friends so close they're almost family.
  30. Played with pink sparkling play dough and brightly colored paint, all hand-made.
  31. Proof-read a real, non-science book while drinking white wine.
  32. Read Karen Russell and Ursula Le Guin and Leonardo Padura. In trains and planes and outside in the sun.
  33. Sat on the floor while a pianist and a guitarist were putting together a new song.
  34. Shared a table at Prêt with a dude in a suit and the recruiter(? headhunter? someone whose job was apparently to put him in touch with companies he could work for) he was having an interview with. Realized ten minutes in that "they pay 30" didn't mean £30,000/year but £30/hour.
  35. Showed some sights to an Indian friend living in Germany who was visiting Paris for the first time.
  36. Smiled upon learning that... French acquaintance got a faculty position in the city she wanted; American acquaintance got a faculty position on the coast he wanted; Spanish friend got his dream job; the mother of the World's Best Baby got a fantastic job about 15 minutes on foot from where I work; a good friend and great scientist is joining our team soon.
  37. Snuggled with ferrets, and the World's Best Baby.
  38. Started feeling very competent by contrast with a Very Incompetent person I met. Let's hear it for Schadenfreude!
  39. Stood in a small kitchen, brewing coffee next to the warm stove and the dude juicing oranges.
  40. Surprised colleagues by walking into a bar they picked only to see the (extremely cute) bartender coming out from behind the bar to hug me.
  41. Took a train to Germanland and a train to Cambridge and a train back to Paris.
  42. Took part in a professional photo shoot.
  43. Took pictures of baby feet.
  44. Walked barefoot in the grass.
  45. Walked next to the ocean.
  46. Was mistaken for German a startling number of times. I need to hear much more native English if I don't want to go back to sounding French.
  47. Went to the theater. Three times. For a grand total of five euros. Because people kept inviting me.
  48. Woke up with the World's Best Baby babbling right next to me.
  49. Wore a flower headband.
  50. Wrote a well-deserved congratulations email to my PhD student for an awesome result.

I write this down, and smile, and try to keep it in mind on the few occasions when I pick, like one picks at bad scars, at the memory of the rounded belly of my childhood friend and the look of love between her and the father-to-be, and feel like sobbing that I just want someone to hold me. There's nothing wrong with want. Let's not mistake it for need.