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What is it About Favorites?

Today, at a meeting I attended we were asked to introduce ourselves by giving our name and the name of our favorite flower.  After giving it some thought I narrowed down my flower choices to two: Lilacs & Lilies of the Valley.  
I chose Lilacs because of the I love the wonderful aroma that fills the spring air with even the tiniest gust of air.  To me, the smell of lilacs is a sure signal that the snowy cold days of winter are gone.    

Lilies of the Valley are dear to me because my grandma had them in her garden.  She pointed out to me that the Lilies of the Valleys were the flower for May birthdays.  My grandma, grandpa, aunt and I all have enjoyed our May birthdays.

It was fun listening to other people’s choices, some of which were very unique.   Later when I was reminiscing about the clever way the leader had us get to know each other, my ADHD mind suddenly went into high gear.  I began thinking about choices and how we elect certain ones into our exclusive list of favorites. Furthermore, I deduced that determining a favorite may not be as random or simple as we think.

Think of all the potential favorites one can have: favorite color, favorite place, favorite food, favorite restaurant, and favorite person.   Then there is favorite holiday, favorite movie, favorite song, favorite TV show, leisure or sporting activity, favorite animal and for some, like me – a favorite number.  In this day and age electronic devices allow us to keep a record of our “favorites” so that we can easily find them at a later date.  Picking a favorite can be serious work, for example, when we are required to pick a favorite “something” (like on a FB profile), it can be very difficult.  The choices for potential favorites are endless, I could go on all day, but I’ll stop as I’m sure that you have gotten my point.

Now, back to the real question on my mind – how does something (or someone etc.) become a favorite? Many things that become favorites obviously involve our senses.  Food, for example can make the top of our list because of the way it tastes, looks, feels and/or smells.    Our first choice in dining could be tied to our favorite food, e.g. we love spaghetti so we choose an Italian restaurant as our favorite because they make the best spaghetti in town.   In order for flowers, perfumes and air fresheners to make the favorites list they must have a smell that is pleasing to us, akin to the Lilacs I mentioned previously.  Often time we are initially attracted to our favorite people because we like the way they look. 

The way the items above might have been chosen is fairly obvious, but what is it about a certain song, television show, or movie that causes it to slide into first place?  These don’t have a taste or smell, although we can relay on our sight and /or hearing.  For me, it is the feeling that comes from listening to or viewing them.   I have many favorite T.V. shows and movies.  Sometimes I like them because of the characters or an actor who plays the role.   Of course the story line is also important, but by far the most crucial element is how they make me feel.   We often choose a particular program based on our mood at the time. They have the ability to make us laugh or cry, learn new information or send us into a fantasy land.    If we want “reality”, endearing situations, or to be scared to death – it’s all available and more!   We can escape to wherever we want to go.

Why do we declare a certain place, near or far as a favorite?  There could be many reasons, the climate, and the beauty of the landscape, the people or simply the location.    These things are all important but even if all the above were true about a place you visited, would you be likely to return there if you did not have a good time?  
I guess my point, after all of this writing, is that even though we may love something because it looks, tastes, or smells good or sounds great – what is paramount is that it makes us feel great (or another emotion if we choose)! Perhaps it evokes a special story or memory (the Lilies of the Valley) or maybe it’s the smell or sounds it projects that remind us of a special time, place or person in our life.   This idea can also apply to favorite color,      animal or number choices.  

Favorites can be useful in another way. Think about and remember why you choose each of your favorites. Cherish the feelings they each evoke.  When you are having a difficult time or just need a release, picture yourself back in the place you were when you discovered one of your favorite “favorites”.   Remember the emotions that it evoked.   Close your eyes and reminisce about how it affected your senses.   Take your time, relax and be in the moment.  Hopefully, this will help you feel better.

If that doesn’t work, go ahead and have that bowl of ice cream – we all know that’s what you really wanted. (LOL)  LHK

Do you remember why you chose your favorites? 
Do you have a “favorite” story to tell?
“Make the smallest details of your life reflect your highest ideals.”  Dennis Fairchild

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