Reasons to be cheerful, part infinity

By John Hales

Staff writer

Oct. 6, 2017


One Monday morning at the beginning of a recent work week, I started my day in the office of a local business.

Busy-ness was happening.

A worker in the office, for whom the grogginess of the morning had not quite worn off, made some small error. It was nothing egregious—not even a real “error,” if you ask me—just  tripping over one’s tongue, or perhaps an inconsequential losing track of one’s train of thought. The worker, though, made a mildly disgruntled sound in acknowledgement of the lapse.

A fellow customer offering some countervailing cheer, said, “Be happy.”

Another worker in the office said, “It’s Monday—what is there to be happy about?”

While the response was good-natured, it got me thinking about the the bad rap the beginning of the work week typically gets.

My mind immediately went to a song, “Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3,” by the indie-alternative group Franz Ferdinand. The song is really nothing but a list of things, most of them quite trivial, that make the songwriter happy.

The notation of “Part 3” in the title implies a great many other reasons to be cheerful have previously been given. I assume this since there is no “Part 1” or “Part 2” that I can find.

I pulled up the song on my phone and listened to it during my commute to work. It made me smile, as it always has in the past.

I determined to spend the next week creating my own such list.

An amazing thing happened during that following week: I began looking for—and finding—things to be happy out, which equates to things to be grateful for, which, through syllogism, equates happiness with gratitude.

Hmm—seems to me like I’ve heard something like that before…

So here is my list of “Reasons to be Cheerful, Part Infinity:”



  • Trees
  • A clear, unhazy view of the Sanpete landscape
  • Snow College football
  • Teamwork
  • Mint gum
  • A song: “Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3” by Franz Ferdinand
  • Good ideas (ones that are more than just “a good idea at the time”)



  • The mound of flowers west of the Manti Temple.
  • Coffee (or, for you temple goers, hot-chocolate. Or a cola in your chosen combination of regular, diet or caffeine-free).
  • An alternate way of doing things, so that you can jump over hurdles in your way
  • Coffee.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach.
  • Parents.
  • Fidget spinners
  • The sound a fidget spinner makes when you bring them close to your ear and just barely touch your earlobe with it while it’s still spinning.
  • Coffee (it was a rough day).
  • Public service, and those who honorably engage in it.
  • Colors.



  • A single strand of spider web glistening in the first light of morning sun.
  • Spray starch.
  • Puppies.
  • Being taken to lunch.
  • Warnings instead of traffic tickets.
  • Short meetings.
  • Not needing to have a meeting at all.



  • The energy and enthusiasm of youth.
  • Rocks of interesting shapes or colors.
  • Nieces and nephews.
  • Autumn leaves.
  • Birds out for a joyfly in a steady wind.
  • Stained-glass windows.
  • D-ring binders



  • The John Irving novel, “A Prayer for Owen Meany.”
  • Scented candles.
  • Art.
  • Newly purchased books.
  • People who are better at something than I am.
  • The clouds of latest summer/earliest autumn.
  • People who believe in and encourage you.



  • Sleeping in when there’s nothing you have to be awake for in the morning.
  • Books, physical ones where actual fingers turn actual paper-pages.
  • Learning something new.
  • The triumph of purpose, passion, hard work and time.
  • Spiritual insight-givers.
  • Crayons, watercolors and Play-dough.
  • Hot clam chowder on a cold, rain-drizzled evening.
  • Cold, rain-drizzled evenings—perfect for relaxing.



  • Predictions of the end of the world that don’t come true
  • Underwear
  • Antiques
  • Wearing a double layer of socks
  • Chicken and rice for Sunday dinner
  • That man week ago who said, “It’s Monday—what is there to be happy about?”
  • Lists of things to be happy about