Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter. The Christmas holidays are behind us

and with them a cacophony of sounds, a plethora of emotions, and a litany of feelings. Once the day is over there is a mix of sadness for its conclusion and relief that normalcy is on the horizon. Even under the best of circumstances there are rough patches when life intervenes; a broken glass, hurt feelings, or burned rolls can put a pall on part of the day. Instead of allowing incidents of this nature to change the direction of the day, it is important to change perspective and seek out the Simple Joys of the recent past and the near future. With this being a holiday week and New Year’s Eve on the horizon it is as vital as ever to concentrate on the Simple Joys in life. Now, without further ado, is today’s Simple Joys.

Phone call. I don’t particularly like the phone. Last week, minutes before my parents were due to arrive, I got stressed. No, I went into full on panic mode. No matter where I cleaned and picked up my two year old undid the neatness. Everywhere I looked there were unfinished jobs, gifts to be wrapped, food to be baked, and piles of mess needing put away. I was putting pressure on myself that I write to y’all about avoiding. In the middle of my attack the phone rang; normally I would have ignored it but it was my big brother. He called to ask me if I was having fun yet, but instead of hearing my smile through the phone he heard my unrelenting tears. It only took a few minutes of him “talking me down” to work to change my mood. Having my big brother to calm and cheer me was a Simple Joy that carried me through since he couldn’t be with me this year. After our chat I as fine the rest of the weekend with my fears totally in check.

Dinner Party. My father turned 70 on Christmas. I invited his two brothers and their wives to dinner on the Thursday before Christmas to celebrate. It had been a long time since the families had all been together for a social situation and I felt fabulous that it happened at my insistence for my father’s milestone. These brothers who had grown up together, worked together their entire adult lives, and share infinite memories were fantastic guests. Witnessing the synergy, feeling the bond, and sensing the electricity in the room was priceless. My cheeks ached from smiling, my throat hurt from laughing, and my heart burst from the love that emanated from the gathering of these men. I heard stories that were sensational and definitely true as they all remembered them the same way. I compared features of the three brothers and asked questions about the generations of family I never knew. My aunts chatted away while my husband and I played host. My children hugged and kissed their kin before they scampered off to bed. The dinner party was far more than a Simple Joy, it was an enrichment of my soul and, according to my dad, the best birthday he ever had.

Bev. Bev works in my grocery store and a woman I see weekly, usually several times a week. She knew me pregnant with my daughter and has watched her grow into a lively toddler. We spend only moments here and there when I’m shopping in the store but I can tell you I adore her. I came to the store on Friday to do the last bit of shopping before Christmas. I sought Bev out, gave her a gift and chatted. Before I left she fawned over my daughter and gave me goodie bags full of candy (she asked permission first) for my 3 children. A while back Bev thought she might be transferred. A few weeks later, when I hadn’t seen her in a while, we saw one another. Tears sprang to my eyes because I was so relieved to see her; she was staying at the store. We hugged. There are people in your life you see in passing who matter; Bev is one of those people to me. Having Bev in my life is a pure Simple Joy.

Christmas Eve Brunch. A few years back I decided to host a brunch on Christmas Eve and invite a few friends to the mix of family we have every year. The party was so much fun that it became a tradition. My guests bring a dish or two, we sit around the dining room table and let the wonder of the season, the time to relax, and our chemistry take over. Laugher, stories, gifts, and good food fill the hours and before we know it the afternoon is deeply upon us and we part ways to get our Christmas activities going. Having our Christmas Eve brunch to reconnect and celebrate is an annual Simple Joy.

Sickness. My daughter fell ill on December 22nd and, even though I took her to the doctor and was told nothing could be done at present, her condition worsened by Christmas Eve. Feverish, stuffed up, coughing, and suffering from other ailments, our little girl was one miserable tot. Aside from warm baths, loving hugs, and some tidbits of food for sustenance, our daughter slept and cried. Christmas Day she felt a bit better and was excited about opening a few gifts, but she was by no means feeling well. No one wants their child to suffer during the holidays or any time, but having her ill led to a slowing down of our celebration. Gifts were opened at a more mo

derate pace and then played with while waiting for other events to unfold. Dinner was eaten while the child was napping so I was able to fully engage with my family who were visiting. And, once she was feeling livelier, I was fully immersed in the Simple Joys of watching my daughter thoroughly enjoy her Christmas.

Throughout the Christmas Week I was reminded how important Simple Joys are in my life. That certainly they make day to day life richer and fuller, but Simple Joys also serve me well during holidays as well. Whereas Mondays will bring a change for 2012, I cannot, in good conscious, conceive of changing Tuesdays. Simple Joys will have a home at Chief 187™Chatter as long as there is Chief 187™ Chatter. As attentions turn to New Year’s resolutions, perhaps yours can be as simple as embracing the Simple Joys in your life. Whether you write them down as I do or merely think about the ones you experience daily, focusing on Simple Joys is one of the keys to a much happier life. That’s a New Year’s resolution worth making! Thank you for your continued support, enthusiasm, and belief in Simple Joys!

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