Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187 Chatter. When my life is in chaos, my desk
unorganized, and my day in an uncontrollable spiral downwards, I’m learning to pause and breathe. I’m beginning to understand that I am in total control of how my mental mindset will play out. If I give into the negativity, I will be negative and thus the entire household will be, too. But when I look for the good, the positive, I can actually change the mood and peace can reign once again. Have I perfected this? Absolutely not! But by trying to be attuned to my moods, I can try to head off the bad ones, start my day (hour, minute) over, and learn to find those Simple Joys. Now, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.
Singing. Music. Song. Singing. My blogs and memoirs are filled with these words. Music is vitally important to me and I share it liberally with my children. At the beginning of summer I created a new playlist on my iPod for my children. This playlist had far more songs that I liked than not. My oldest son picked the songs, but he was totally influenced by my taste as he chose from a selection of songs on my iPod solely. His father’s has far more diverse choices, but we used mine! Two songs stick out this summer that, to this day, cheer me and make me smile from the inside out when my children sing them. The first is from the Broadway musical, Les Miserables.
It is the opening number called “Look Down”. It is only about 4 minutes long, but it is quite theatrical and moving. My boys love this piece and have committed it to memory, acting as they sing, and completely commanding their chosen roles. Hearing nine and five year old children sing the gritty, mournful and dramatic opening number of this Broadway legend is an overwhelmingly pleasing Simple Joy!
The other song that makes me laugh out loud is “We Will Rock You” by Queen.
It made the playlist and has the boys singing the song and often requesting we start with that selection when we get in the car. I don’t mind as it’s always been a favorite to me. Well, now my nearly two-year-old daughter, with her ever-expanding vocabulary, has been singing for weeks in her little baby voice, “We will we will wock you!” She bobs her head and actually rocks out while singing! Priceless Simple Joy!
Canoe Ride. During the weekend my husband suggested on a rare Saturday morning free from swim lessons or obligations, that we take our two canoes out on the lake we live near. I relented but was honestly not interested at first. I had always enjoyed canoeing, but now that we have another little child we are forced to take two canoes instead of crowding into one like we used to do. We hadn’t been out for two summers in a row so I was rusty and nervous to pilot one of the canoes myself. But, not wanting to be a buzzkill, I agreed. The day was perfect; sunny but not too hot, clear with no wind. My oldest paddled with me and the two younger children accompanied their dad. We had a marvelous time exploring the natural habitats including gorgeous lily pads, undisturbed woods, as well as elegant herons, and sturdy turtles. The children, my husband, and I stayed dry, I steered perfectly, and we all had a truly wonderful time. Rediscovering an enjoyable activity together with my family was a pleasurable Simple Joy that I plan to revisit often!
Birthday. My middle son’s birthday is today. He is turning five and embarking on his second week of Kindergarten. He is bright and engaging, adorable and talented, and very loud. With his undying exuberance for life, he shouts his every thought to his father, siblings, the rest of the world, and me. I keep wondering if he’ll outgrow this trait, but I don’t see it. Besides, it truly is a big part of who he is. It’s been a difficult month for this little guy who had to endure his brother’s August birthday when all of the relatives came to visit, a summer atmosphere reigned, and his brother got to open his super cool presents. Now, school is in session, the extended family has returned home, and well, he’s still super excited about his super cool presents! His desire for this birthday? “Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting!”. My pleasure little man. Happy 5th Birthday! You are one of Momma’s three all-time favorite Simple Joys!
Chief 187 Chatter 1 Year Anniversary. It was one year ago today I sat at the computer for the first time with a goal to begin my own blog, monetize (Amazon link) and start on the road to creative expression and financial independence. One of those goals came to fruition quickly and completely; I am constantly exploring my creative side, reaching deeply into my soul to share ideas, hopes, strengths, and fears. I offer advice, ask for it, inform, and try to entertain. This year was one of the fastest on record and I have the body of work to prove it! I took no weeks off, missed maybe one day due to illness (Thanksgiving 2010) and have been inspired by those of you who continue to read, comment, and revel in my words. I must believe you truly enjoy what you read; the “being nice” time period is long gone, if you didn’t like my work you’d stop coming by to read. So, I am encouraged, grateful, humbled, and proud of this project. I have truly no idea where the future will take me; I write for several more sites now, but I cannot, at this juncture, even imagine not writing Chief 187 Chatter. It is, quite simply, a part of me and what I consider a great legacy to leave behind to my children. Have I reached financial independence? Not by a longshot, but I am tickled by those of you who use the Amazon link and try to support me in that small way. Now the goal is truly to make money using my writing and/or radio talents. Patience, I am often reminded, is necessary in this career and, with my husband’s continuously supportive and loving foundation, I am able to be (trying to be) patient and just do what I do best. In the meantime, I am just so excited to be embarking on the second year of Chief 187 Chatter with you all. With over 25000 pageviews this year, it’s unfathomable what the next twelve months will bring in topics, readership, and news. I hope you’ll all come along for the journey!
When life is getting too heavy, sad, or frustrating, take a break, breathe, and decide to look for your Simple Joys. You’ll discover that the more you exercise this prerogative, the easier it is to come by all the joyous things that happen to you in any given day. I write mine down to keep me focused on the positive. Whether you write yours or simply make a mental note of them, I wish you all the wherewithal to make it through the rough patches between the wonders that are Simple Joys!