Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Simple Joys

I posted last Tuesday with this same title. I intended it to be a one time offering, but as soon as I posted I felt the topic take off. Simple Joys are the key to living a happier, more serene life. Although dream vacations, huge purchases, and awesome experiences are all wonderful to anticipate and collect in one's life, they are usually so far flung that they cannot keep one going during the day to day drudgeries we endure. The Simple Joys are the ones that pop up unexpectedly or are pleasantly there regularly that make life worth living day to day and hour by hour. I am choosing to open this topic as a regular feature because I keep thinking of more and more I'd like to include, and I know my readers do, too! So, expect to see Simple Joys appear to help us focus on the positives in our life. A redirected perspective can be refreshing but sometimes hard to attain. Hopefully this feature will assist.

This week my Simple Joys are once again numerous. They begin with Legos. We have a colossal amount of Legos in our home. I have two sons ages eight and four and for several years the Legos have been accumulating for birthdays and Christmas. From Aqua Raiders to Star Wars, Bionicles to Harry Potter we have an exorbitant supply of Lego building bricks and sets. And I cannot get enough. I adore the sets we have, but like my sons, I pour over the Lego catalogue, stare at the shelves at the toy stores, and wait feverishly until my one year old daughter is napping so we can "go into the Lego room".  Recently my boys were being disciplined for a reason that will not be aired publicly. Their punishment was banishment from the Lego room. How tortuous for me! I was not banned, of course, but, although I did go in the room once or twice to play, it just wasn't the same without the boys. They are Lego savants. I can hold up a piece we received three years ago and my eight year old can tell me what set it came from. He can reconstruct things beautifully, and now my four year old is showing signs of the same talents. It thrills me to no end. What fun combing through the storage boxes we have looking for this piece and that. I could lose myself for hours in the Lego room and have! Yesterday I lifted the ban for the four year old and while my daughter was napping we played, rebuilt a set from the Toy Story series, and simply had the best time. Legos definitely make the list, but mostly when it's with one or both of my sons playing with me.

Music is another great yet Simple Joy for me. I do not have tens of thousands of songs on my iPod, but what I do have I relish the time I get to listen. I have hand-picked my favorites and can pinpoint exactly what I want to hear when I'm in the car, just getting out of the shower, or while I'm typing. I will tell you unapologetically that my iTunes reads like a who's who of love song recordings. Well, throw in some Broadway and Seventies rock and you've got nearly the full picture. There are some more modern hits, some edgier stuff (I love Tull), and other surprises, but pretty much if it is about break-ups or love, I own it.  I must be hitting a nerve with others, though, because I started a YouTube page to corral my favorite songs in video form. In four short months it has garnered over thirty-four hundred hits! I guess I'm not the only one who likes this type of music!

Along the lines of music, Glee is another Simple Joy for me. I am a Gleek! I am not ashamed nor embarrassed. This show is highly entertaining, purely hysterical, utterly moving, and filled with terrific versions of music that spans genres, decades, and styles. This former high school teacher, former Choir member, and current lover of music cannot get enough of this show. The reality is, it is a preposterous look at a show choir in an Ohio public school. They've tackled teen pregnancy in an unrealistic way, have over-sexed teens displayed, and run past decency at every turn, but couple that with the most realistic look at teen homosexuality, bullying, and teen relationships. The dichotomy keeps me enthralled. I can laugh at the hyperbole and characterizations, but cry at the poignant depictions of what I know firsthand to be accurate accounts of teen life The music, my favorite part, keeps me coming back week after week. Glee is for me, and, for the record, my husband, too. This Simple Joy we share.

So that's the list for this week. I would love to read the Simple Joys that are keeping you humming. When we force ourselves to find the positive it is hard to stay mired in the negative. I find the weeks, days, and hours much easier to get through when I have a positive attitude. Join me in making your list of Simple Joys and take a step in a more positive direction.


  1. For the record, the music and performances on Glee are outstanding, top-notch talent coupled with top-notch production. The plots, dialog and character development I couldn't really care less about... except that Sue lady, she makes me laugh. if that makes me a Gleek, then so be it.

    Along with Pawn Stars, Pickers and any form of "Auto Racing", those are my simple joys, TV version.

  2. I want a Lego room ! (with space for a hot wheels track) :-)

  3. I'm with you, Racer!

    Jules, sounds like Heaven!

    Art, dream it and it will be! In the meantime, you can come and use ours (we have both) anytime you'd like!

  4. The simple act of driving one of my cars. Be it antique or modern. Porche Cayman or J2Allard,31 Chev. or Suzuki sx4. The thrill of getting the best performance or economy or both is what it is all about for me. No need for music, the sound of the engine, road, wind is all that I need.
    Even red lights are no problem. I use them to check instruments, adjust the mirrors, the seat and looks for other interesting cars.

  5. It seems like all of my simple joys these days involve my Children. When one of my kids look at me out of the blue and say "I love you Dad", or refuse to let go of me when their hugging me, those are the most important moments of my life. They make me strive harder to reach my goals, which of course are all for them anyway.

  6. A cold coke and a IN&Out hamburger is quite rewarding for me and a trip to a nearby car show does it for me.