Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

The news in recent days has all but depleted my zest for life and the holiday season. The wickedness that exists in the world is palpable.

Try as I might I have tried to figure out the why behind the actions of others in these devastating situations yet cannot.

Bad things happen to good people sometimes. It’s not fair, right, decent, or explainable. The world is twisted, turning, and unfeeling in how it cycles. The only thing that can soothe those left behind is faith.

Faith is “an unshakable belief in something especially without proof or evidence.” It can be “complete confidence or trust in a person and/or a belief in something even when it is not based in reason.”

Braving each new day is an act of faith. But surviving and enduring is not living. To live fully one must also accept and embrace the Simple Joys this world has to offer.

If we as a society allow evil to dictate, fear to reign and anger and hate to dominate, then the world truly is over for us. By experiencing and sharing our Simple Joys we keep evil in check. We block it from spreading and counteract it with happiness, friendship, laughter, and love.

Many of us wrote about going home to hug our children after the heart-wrenching events on Friday, December 14th in Newton, Connecticut. But we must continue to do so as the days and months unfold. We must be ever-vigilant to never take our lives for granted.

As a parent and human being with a huge capacity to love I was horribly wounded by the recent tragedies. But I cannot allow this to define me, my holiday season, or my life.

The only way to combat evil is with love, joy, and friendship, and peace.

So, although I was conflicted about writing Simple Joys at first, I realized it was exactly what I needed to do for me.

So now, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.

Virtual classroom. Last week I was honored to be a guest at William Paterson University for a third year Sports Journalism class. The professor asked me to attend in person for my question/answer session, but with a three-year-old daughter as my charge I respectfully declined that offer and countered with a virtual one – I would Skype in my role.

It took some time and logistics, but the day finally came to fruition and it was fabulous!

Before I was a writer and stay-at-home mom I was a teacher. Being in an educational setting was exciting and exhilarating! The fact that I was the person being interviewed was super fun, too! The students were all well-prepared with questions based on their research of me and their own interests and curiosities.

Being asked to speak to the upper level college class, doing so using modern technology, and spending time with respectful and delightful students was a full blown Simple Joy!

Meeting Santa Claus. My daughter and I had errands to run last week that kept us out at lunch time. We ran into the local fast food restaurant, got our food, and started to eat when my daughter kept repeating “There’s Santa, there’s Santa!” I looked around and sure enough a man with long white hair and beard wearing a red button down shirt was bringing food to his wife at a table.

I tried to quiet my daughter’s excited voice but it was impossible. He overheard, of course, and smiled at her. Then he walked over to our table and engaged my wide-eyed daughter in conversation. He asked her if she’d been good to which she responded “yes” without hesitation. This made me chuckle and counter with “she’s three, she’s as good as she can be for three!”

Santa didn’t stay long, but his visit was wondrous and exciting and quite frankly a Simple Joy not only for my little girl, but for the little girl who lives in me as well.

Ornament making. Each year the Cub Scouts come together in December to make handmade ornaments with their respective dens to hand out to different people – a family in need who is being donated a fresh-cut tree, decorated with the Scout’s ornaments, members of a nursing home, and even one for their own families.

This is the last year for my oldest son who will be crossing over to Boy Scouts in February and the first year for my first grader who just started Scouting.

Working with the children, singing Christmas carols, and creating miniature works of art to hang on several Christmas trees was the highlight of the season to date.

Bringing home two handmade ornaments to hang on our tree was a glorious Simple Joy this season.

Clean bill of health. I had to take my eldest son to the doctor to check out something. I had faith he’d be alright, but there is always that nagging worry that the doctor will find something wrong.

Fortunately our fears were allayed almost immediately upon meeting the doctor. The situation was totally fine and normal and my boy was given a clean bill of health.

Navigating parenthood is always difficult when a child’s health is in question. Finding out he was fine was a huge relief of a Simple Joy.

Dinner at home. On Saturday night my middle boy received his purple belt in Karate that he earned earlier last week. It was a short yet well-run ceremony that was fun to attend.

We have dear friends that attend the same dojo whose daughter earned her first degree brown belt. We usually go out to the local diner to celebrate but this time we planned to eat at our home.

We had a delicious dinner, a relaxed time, the children played while we talked, and the night was chock full of Simple Joys.

Never were my thoughts far from those parents who suffered life’s most heinous. But I have to continue to live, love, laugh, and lift my children to the light.

We are a compassionate and caring society. We are charitable and supportive. And we rally around those who are too weak to stand on their own.

In the meantime, we must be ever vigilant to keep our children safe, valued, disciplined, and, most of all, happy and loved.

To do so requires Simple Joys in every day.

Wishing you all another week of Simple Joys to lift you and yours to the light.

1 comment: