58 thoughts on “One Does Not Simply Walk Into Joy

  1. I like this quote. I call myself a fatalistic Pollyanna (everything is always going to be somewhat terrible, so be happy, dammit) sometimes and this quote seems to apply.

    I’m happy I’m running a 5k this morning. Well, mostly happy. It was originally supposed to be 10 miles, but life wasn’t cooperating with training, so I switched to the shorter race.

    Let’s just say I’m happy I listened to my own body and common sense.

    13+
  2. I spent 16 years being seriously chronically ill. (I’m still not great, but better. Functioning, so yay.) Initially I was really depressed for a long time. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I since I couldn’t do anything about the illness, I had two choices: Be a depressed sick person or be a mostly cheerful sick person. I chose the latter, because no one wanted to hang out with the former, even me. Plus, I believe it helps you to heal better when you have a positive attitude.

    One of the things I did was to make myself embrace every moment of joy, no matter how small, and enjoy it to the fullest. Some days (most days) this was something as little as hearing a bird sing or having one of my cats cuddle up with me and do something cure. But those individual small moments of joy got me through the day.

    There are so many things around us we have no control over. But we can control whether or not we choose joy.

    Also, there’s bacon. JOY!

    24+
  3. I made biscuits and gravy for breakfast (ok, I cheated and used Pillsbury Grands, but with a toddler as my kitchen assistant someone’s I have to cut corners to keep him from, say, launching the carton of milk across the counter by trying to open it with tongs…). Joy is much easier on a full stomach, and he went from throwing a tantrum to all sweetness once he’d had a few bites (looks like someone may have inherited his mother’s Hanger issues).

    Actually I think today’s quote may very well be the key to surviving parenting a toddler… Choosing to focus on the joy and not the milk rocketing across the hot stove! 😃

    11+
      1. A biscuit in the US is like an unsweetened scone, right? That could be good with gravy… Or I guess I could just eat mashed potatoes for breakfast.

        5+
        1. and by ‘gravy’, is that a sauce made with the meat juices in the bottom of a roasting pan? Cos I have to say, I’m thinking it must be something else as that doesn’t sound like breakfast to me.

          Saying that, I have a french friend who thinks porridge is the work of the devil (if so, thanks Nick), so each to his/her own.

          1+
          1. Biscuits for biscuits and gravy are usually completely savory — I believe they are a bit fluffier and more tender than scones, too. Flour, fat (lard or vegetable shortening or butter — so not much more different than toast), and a little salt and water/milk.

            The gravy part is like a bechamel. It could contain pan drippings. It often contains crumbled sage sausage. So, that part is very much like Eggs Benedict.

            Growing up, a favorite brunch was SOS (shit on a shingle — military boys named it, you know), which was on American biscuits. There was a white sauce with sliced boiled eggs, chipped beef (I think you need to soak it to get rid of some of the saltiness) and green peas. Colorful and yummy!

            (-: I can understand your feelings of wariness. I don’t completely understand why baked beans are a part of a full English breakfast. For me, that’s picnic food. (It’s tasty, though, and certainly would provide a lot of energy.) Also, weiners and green salad that are part of a Japanese western-style breakfast. Weird. Good, but weird.

            2+
  4. I keep having to reboot myself at the moment, so this is timely. Just off for a long walk in search of spring, since the sun’s come out (and my car’s still in the garage, so
    I can’t drive anywhere).

    My plants are good focus points: the pots of cowslips and narcissus on the balcony are coming out, along with sky blue anemones. And my seedling tomatoes and dahlias are growing their first true leaves. Plus the stephanotis I was given a year ago is about to flower again. And I’ve just bought a book on growing meadow-like plantings from seed, which is something I’m intrigued by.

    House purchase has moved forward half an inch: apparently the other side have answered some of our queries. (I’m focusing on every positive I can here.)

    10+
  5. Had a rough week for no known reason (the bad things that happened seemed to flow from the having a hard time, not the other way around). The good news is that it ended well, and actually many nice things happened. Sometimes it is hard to reach for that joy, and I have a pretty darn fabulous life so it should be easy. Practice practice practice. Sister and brother in law gave me an unreasonable amount of lovely birthday presents, friend made me soda bread which is fantastic, and we are going to the French restaurant for dinner on Tuesday. And the sun is shining.

    10+
  6. Caught a pregnant stray (refuse to believe she’s feral) cat this week, and she tested negative for all the nasty feline diseases. That was my joy for the week. She’s due sometime between April 24th and the beginning of May. She’ll be living in my laundry room in a huge dog crate until then. Watch for joyful pictures at Instagram’s #workingwednesdaypix once I get my camera working.

    13+
          1. No. I checked the hashtag and it looks right to me. Your link works so it’s obviously up on Instagram.
            Anybody else have an idea why it’s not showing up? I keep thinking it must be the hashtag, but I can’t see a problem.

            0
      1. And Thursday and Friday and so on and so on, all the way to the end of the nursing. Pictures of kittens please! (I completely understand why we spay and neuter pets, but I do miss being able to visit litters of newborn pups and kittens in the neighborhood, and wish my kids could experience that…)

        4+
  7. I actually really liked the character of Boromir in the books and movie. Complicated fellow. The actor who played him was amazingly good.

    2+
  8. We’re going to visit a corgi breeder this afternoon. Happiness!! How could anyone be surrounded by corgis and not be happy? And later this week my daughter and I will be visiting my sister and pick up a new labradoodle puppy. My house has been dogless too long. Puppies!!

    6+
    1. OOOOOOOH I WANNA CORGI. I used to watch one and I still miss her,

      I also uh, decorated my volunteer job in corgi pics and got everyone else to do it too 🙂

      2+
    2. I had a rescue Corgi once. Absolutely darling dog. Stubborn as all hell, but so sweet and funny.

      2+
      1. That sounds like the dog I watched! If she didn’t want to move, you could not move her! “Walks” were more of a “just sit there…” She was obsessed with water hitting her in the face and stopping that activity was…difficult!

        I like the idea of getting a rescue corgi. But I live alone in an apartment and am hardly ever home, so I can’t justify having pets. Ah well.

        0
        1. Mosey loved the water. We used to take walks in the field behind our house and there was a little creek there in a deep cut at the back of the field, like six feet deep, so Mosey, who was partly blind, couldn’t see it and there was nothing to hear. Then one day we had a massive rainstorm and the creek filled up and was rushing by, and Mosey heard it and flung herself into it and was swept away. I freaked and ran like hell downstream until I found her caught in a tree branch. And like an idiot, I jumped in, grabbed her by the scruff of the neck, and threw her up on the bank. Then it occurred to me that I was in a creek at flood that was over my head. Meanwnile Mosey stood on the bank above me, looking at me like I was doing something interesting. I’d do it again, too. She was so worth it.

          15+
          1. We had a corgi when we were doing a lot of sailing along the coast of New England – he was a pretty good boat dog, but he was a dog, and he had ideas; about his needs, and his capabilities. We were docking after a longer sail than usual, and he was moderately desperate to get ashore, and as we were approaching the dock, he leapt for it… and missed. My mother, who was handling dock lines, flung her line at the guy on the dock, threw herself onto the deck, grabbed Cinnamon by the scruff of the neck and chucked him onto the dock, before he was flattened between boat and dock. I still remember that as a piece of heroism from my mom!

            5+
  9. In my late 40s, having been a cynical pessimist for most of my life, I decided to be a happier person. The big break through came several years later when I decided to start smiling at everyone I met (I was born with a resting bitch face). It’s a work in progress but As I edge closer to 60, I focus more on the positive than negative and feel happier. Yesterday I discovered that despite the cold and snow, I’ve got crocus and snow drops coming up in my garden. Spring flowers = Pure unadulterated happiness.

    13+
    1. I resemble you. I’m in my 40’s and am a cynical pessimist. Here’s hoping I too change into someone who is more positive & filled with joy.

      0
  10. Woohoo, Jill Q. I walk 5ks maybe once a week. It takes me just over an hour at my worst. Maybe 45 min at my best.

    Yay for puppy and kitty happiness. I’m a grownaz adult and many of my happiest moments involve running around the yard with my dog when he’s got the zoomies. Sometimes we play catch/keep-away by running and ducking around the car in the driveway. It makes me very happy.

    I’m feeling a lot more optimistic, even though I spent far too much time watching Grand Designs, Restoration Man, The House that 100K built, and Unplugged Nation. It was all procrastination. Now I have to do 3 weeks of work in 1.

    But during that same time I mostly de-hoarded and put in a new shelf. So maybe it was a peace-of-mind trade-off. Shelf assembly pics on twitter. I put in pins and placed shelves, nothing else necessary. Filled shelfie maybe later or tomorrow.

    7+
  11. While I will continue to stay informed about world events and do my best to effect change, I decided to switch my browser home page from the BBC news to Cloth Paper Scissors dot com slash blog. My blood pressure is already thanking me.

    8+
    1. I decided – again – today to restrict myself to half an hour a day reading the news only. I’ve banished the Guardian app to the third screen on my iPad. Hope I stick to it this time.

      5+
      1. I start the day with Axios and WaPo. I really have to stop. I’m really just waiting for impeachment or indictment, whichever comes first.

        6+
  12. Friday after running a few errands we came home just in time for the last of the season’s snow. The kind of snow that is big, nuisance flakes, that cover new grass but melts on the street. Yesterday after doing minimal but necessary chores and finishing a book I glanced out the window to see what the slow down was in traffic was. A huge lobster boat was being brought to the marina from winter storage with four men on board helping to guide it along the route. I’d like to say the wind was whipping their hair about but the truck was only going 10 mph, much to the annoyance of cars behind it. The season is changing, the snow is gone, summer will be here before you know it. Instant joy! Oh, and that actor looks like Sean Bean.

    3+
  13. I went for a hike/walk with friends along the edge of the big reservoir near us, and we messed about in the streams running into it and threw big rocks that went “PLOONK” into it, and hiked up a vicious little hill to get get an excellent view right into New Hampshire and Mt Monadnock, and then back. There were three bald eagles surfing the breeze, and a pair of kestrels fussing about, and my friend found a vertebra and gave it to me, and we inspected coyote poo (mostly mouse fur) and fungus on birch trees and whatever it is that runs some dead trees a deep blue-green, like copper verdigris. It was breezy and sunny and cheerful, and excellent all around.

    5+
  14. I had the weekend to myself and managed to do a bunch of the house chores that are hard to do when others are around (like putting sealants on counters that take 3 days to dry.) so I’m feeling productive .

    I planted two kinds of Siberian iris and two kinds of gladioli—then I checked to see what others bulbs are still coming and apparently I -also ordered bulbs for 5 foot gladioli. I have GOT to start checking plant height more carefully. They will all fall sideways in the first wind. But even horizontal gladioli are beautiful.

    My giant snowdrops and dwarf daffodils are blooming, my overcrowded tulips are going to bloom, and if all my planting works I will have converted half the flower garden to perennials, which is good since DH has decided to make a garden bed lining each side of the path to the house and I will have to plant that too.

    I keep thinking of something Nancy Mitford had one of her characters say about how American gardens have too much color—I think she meant they weren’t elegant. Well, lots of color in my garden makes me happy. Right now the flowers are white and yellow and red, and today I planted lovely purples and blues in one bed and magenta in another. You’ll need sunglasses to look at my house in July.

    7+
    1. We’ve got some gladioli flowering in the garden right now. They’re the most gorgeous bright red and make me smile every time I see them. I make sure I look at them often.

      2+
    2. You need to tie each of the tall gladioli to a cane half its height. It’s a bit of a fiddle, but if you plant them in a mixed border, the canes won’t be obvious. Also, plant the bulbs deep – at least, that’s what I do, but winters here are relatively mild. I use gladioli as accent plants in exotic borders: they’re much hardier than cannas. (Sarah Raven should have planting advice for temperate areas like the UK.)

      1+
      1. I planted the 3 foot ones with stakes next to them to be ready to tie them up (I gather this is recommended). And 8 inch deep. I now need to go even deeper and taller stakes. But I’m guessing the wind will still prevail…

        1+
        1. I grew lilies from seed a few years back and those suckers top 7 feet. Well, I have a set of 6-foot tall iron lily supports that came with the house 35 years ago, so I thought I was good. By the time the supports were planted in the ground and the lilies threaded through them, the top of the support came just below where the lily buds opened. A wind storm came through and snapped them off just above the support. Last year I used the supports then I used garden twine above the supports to lightly tie the scapes to one another. They did not break off but neither did was the wind storms that bad.

          0
  15. Second garden tour of the season, up the coast a bit, so like growing conditions to ours. Gardens ranged from suburban heavily designed backyards to huge highly-planted estates. Favorite belonged to a tile artist of great reputation, pots everywhere, overgrown greenery, and a kiln in an old chicken coop. Bought a beautifully glazed and shaped pot. Weather – like the pot – was perfect. Came home and planted all the lavenders. Our neighbor gifted us with her overrun of wood chip mulch. All the yay!

    1+
  16. I had the joy of spending the weekend with my Brother and 2 year old niece. He’s had a rough time lately, splitting from his wife and trying to make sure he gets 50/50 custody has made life a bit interesting for him.

    He lives in a city 2 hours flight away and face to face contact has been fractured over the last 20 years, but we realised over the weekend that it’s the first time in 15 years that we’d spent extended one on one time together. All the other times between then and now was either a very short visit or included family and his partner at the time.

    Was a great weekend – and my Niece is the most awesomest niece in the history of nieces. Just sayin…

    🙂

    4+
  17. My husband and I had a date and (finally!) saw Black Panther. Wow! I loved it from the very first side eye the general gave the king. I want to go see it again because the design elements were so flipping cool, I know there were details I missed. What a ride!
    And there were two separate times this weekend when both girls and both pets were all tangled up up snuggling on me, and that’s pretty awesome. My big heads off to outdoor school this week, so those moments are becoming further and farther between, but I’ll take them and the giggles while I can.

    4+
  18. I just sent a bunch of pictures of my trip to a friend, and realized that I really had a lot of fun! So good to see family. And I bought a new ukulele that’s bringing me a lot of joy. I had a choice: get tickets for a show, or buy a ukulele, and I think I made the right choice.

    Getting home yesterday, the daffodils are already four or five inches high, and the darling buds of spring are there. So, there’s a joy that’s outside my choice, but joyous all the same.

    4+
  19. My tulips are just starting to come up. At least the ones the damn squirrels and rabbits have left me. But I’m taking joy in the ones I have. Maybe this is the year I remember to plant more bulbs in fall.

    Also, I still have some of the church music from Easter Sunday in my head. I’m happy about that too.

    Ooh, and I found a gym that my husband AND both kids actually want to go to. So now I have no excuses for not going to the gym. Which makes me both happy and sore. Squats and jumping jacks do NOT bring me joy but I do them anyway. And if anyone cares, it’s a Ninja gym, like American Ninja Warrior.

    3+
  20. My pollinator garden, only two months old, is already getting the job done. Butterflies and bees are visiting.

    DH helped me knock out a bunch of home-improvement jobs this weekend … the new old house just looks better every week.

    We went out dancing yesterday (YES YES YES) and then had dinner with friends.

    An excellent weekend.

    (Also I finished drafting the tax returns and we are due a fat refund + credit on 2018 estimated taxes.)

    3+
  21. We were in Marin County this weekend for the rosary and funeral of my bff’s father (he was 90, so sad but not tragic, thankfully). As we drove to dinner after the rosary, we spotted a nursery with signage saying that they specialized in native California plants, so yesterday we headed to the funeral a little early, and spent a little while with gorgeous plants. We only bought 8 (good for us!), including four of the prettiest little native irises – can’t wait to stick them into the ground! Nans was a gardener, he would have been quite pleased with our little detour.

    3+
      1. O’Donnell’s Fairfax Nursery. Paul O’Donnell is the owner, and is quite the native plant advocate.

        1+
    1. Yay native plants! We are going up to Mendocino for vacation in May. Probably a good thing I have to take a planting break for a while, or we would have a back seat full of plants on the way home to LA.

      1+
  22. I’m filled with joy that I got our taxes done on Saturday. Doing them – not joyful, but being done totally fills me with joy!

    0

Comments are closed.