I’m sure you all know that I am a big fan of making lists. Lists of foods to try, books to read, favorite things, etc… When I read Trish’s post about making a happy list I knew that this was a list I needed. Last night was rough. Persy has a stomach bug, I had very little sleep, and work is super-crazy right now with the approach of final exams. Making a list of small glad things that brighten my day reminds me to practice self-care and to be grateful for the small joys.
When making this list I decided to not include people on it. Sam’s humor and amazing foot massages help me relax, Hope sends me in a daily fit of giggles with her silly antics, and Atticus and Persy provide me with the best squishy cuddles. My therapist listens, my friends reach out, and I am insanely blessed with the support of people who love me.
If I’m anxious, grumpy, sad or simply feeling overwhelmed I find that reaching for a person is not the best thing for me to do. For one that puts a bunch of pressure on others; I cannot always ask Sam for a foot rub when I’m feeling glum, the man has math homework! Secondly, I find scaling back and sitting in solitude makes me calm and happy. Happy is such a slippery phrase and it implies an emotional extreme. I supposed I should have labeled this my “peaceful contentedness sprinkled with joy” list.
Blankets. I live in Georgia and that means our blanket season is limited. With the aide of my trusty box fan I manage to make blankets a year round pleasure. I have a quilt a dear friend made for me when I married and a thick electric blanket for our few cold snaps. Atticus totally gets my love for slipping under a blanket; he tells me it is because it is “so super cozy.”
I write journal entries, lists, and plans. My life past, present, and future is noted in these pages. Eight hours in front of the computer at work and all the other electronic media I consume and create leaves me craving the analog. Pens glide, tape decorates, letters, tickets, and drawings are stuffed between the pages. If I need to center my focus on what matters, my bullet journaling (and associated doodads) get me there.
Beauregard Fitzgerald James Capote. My sweet Beau kitty. I consider this one a cheat because he really is an important living-thing to me. He curls up on my chest and purrs. He turns his head to listen when I talk. He watches over my babies (he really does).
You knew this one would make the list. I love coffee, but truly it could be any warm drink. Earl Grey first thing in the morning or after lunch. A cafe au lait while reading a book in a coffee shop. Herbal tea before bed. Hot almond milk with nutmeg and vanilla when I cannot sleep.
Live or otherwise, I am certainly a music lover. I like many different types of music. Listening at work allows me to focus, at home it provides a soundtrack for our lives, and live events – oh live events! – excite me to no end. Expansive, beautiful, walls of sound. I’m certainly an at the front of the stage type of gal.
I’m not necessarily a “hiking, canoeing, adventure” person, but I do love being outdoors. A few quiet minutes on the porch, sitting by a stream, looking at the change of leaves or a flush of new blooms is such a sensory experience for me. Color, texture, smell, and sound all combine to make being outdoors one of the more calming places for me.
I’m amazed by how quickly yoga has become my go to resource for calmness, joy, and health. I’ve been doing Yoga with Adriene for a little over a month and it has made such an impact on my life. I’m accustom to weight loss DVDs that scream at me to sweat out my fat. Yoga asks me to grow and celebrate my body and my mind. What a difference.
There are so many more things I could add to this list, but I’ll wait for another day to share the rest. Let me know how you create a space for joy in your life in the comments.