Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter. This week, according to the news, is supposed to contain Blue Monday, the third Monday in January. It is called “Blue Monday” because of a combination of drastically cold temperatures, limited daylight, large Christmas bills rolling in, and New Year’s Resolutions that failed yet again. I don’t buy into this anymore.

Neither the media nor anyone else is going to have power over me to tell me when to be blue. Since writing Chief 187™Chatter and, more specifically, Simple Joys, I have been able to keep the blues at bay and channel more positive times in my life consistently. I do suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) as I self-diagnosed myself years ago. By exercising in the morning, trying to eat wiser, and staying connected to friends both in person and virtually I have weakened the effects of S.A.D. in my life. Simple Joys seem to be the cure-all for what ails me periodically. Staying positive, doing the next right thing, and keeping myself constantly on the lookout for Simple Joys has enhanced my life tenfold. I hope it will help you through this week with “Blue Monday” and through the long, cold winter! And now, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.

Pictionary. At my son’s Den Meeting last week we had little business to discuss with the boys as things are winding down with the Blue and Gold Awards and Moving Up Ceremony next month. While I made sure the boys understood their responsibilities to complete their requirement to earn their WEBELOS badge, my co-Den Leader allowed the boys to choose their Blue and Gold stage presentation and table centerpieces through brainstorming. She is most creative and truly can tap into easy-to-create with huge results projects. The boys and I are so lucky to have her! Then she whipped out the idea of finishing the meeting with a rousing game of Pictionary with topics she and I wrote on the spot. The boys laughed, drew, guessed, and ribbed one another good-naturedly. My son, typically a poor drawer, eagerly took his spot at the paper. He set to work, and, when the guesses weren’t accurate, kept adding fantastic layers of detail to his drawing. Finally a teammate guessed the picture correctly. I was so very proud of my son for not giving up, not losing his cool, and for continuously adding more to get his idea across. Seeing my son participate, enjoy, and thrive in what used to be a difficult situation for him was a Simple Joy that warms my soul.

After Dinner. On Friday night my husband and I put dinner on the table for our children and ourselves, fed them, tried to converse with them, and, when food was inhaled and the children were off and running to far more entertaining pursuits, we sat back and exhaled. I’ve written about this very same thing before, but it doesn’t lose its meaning. My husband and I sat around the dining room table and really talked. We caught up on important family business, talked about my business, and then talked about NASCAR (which is part of my business). We talked for well over an hour. Finally my husband, who always has a Friday night appointment outside of the house, said he should really leave. I never try to stop him. This time, however, with the brutally cold temperatures outside, the warmth between us, and the need to stay connected, he stayed. Sharing rare nights like that with my husband are the Simple Joys that make our marriage work and last.

Girls’ Night Out Cancelled. Several weeks ago my friends and I planned a Girls’ Night Out for this past Saturday Night. On Friday night we had two cancelations due to illness. The three of us who were left still were determined to go out. After a full morning at the Pinewood Derby where my eldest placed first in Den and my middle guy finished 3rd in the Siblings’ Competition, I snuck off in the late afternoon to pamper myself. A luxurious bubble bath with my iPod blaring my mix, hair and makeup retouched, and a dazzling yet warm outfit that showcased my brand new earrings my husband gifted me for our anniversary was completed in an hour. I strolled downstairs, collected compliments from my three adorable children and my handsome husband, and… I received a text. Our third friend bowed out at the last hour (minutes?) so we were down to two of us. I called her to see about still making the evening a go, but she was battling an illness, didn’t want to face the bitter cold, and would rather stay in with her husband and kids. We agreed to reschedule and there I was, dressed to the nines (well, seven and a halves), smelling of my new perfume I got for Christmas, and ready to walk out the door, but with literally nowhere to go. My husband and children were thrilled to have me home; I slowly ascended the stairs to “de-doll” myself. With nowhere to go I replaced my pretty outfit with my softest and warmest pajamas (hey, they have a faux animal print!) and joined the family downstairs. We salvaged a fantastic evening and my husband and I were able to continue our bonding that began the night before. Although I enjoy a great Girls’ Night Out, it was certainly a Simple Joy to be greeted with rousing cheers when my plans got canceled. From extra-long cuddles from my middle boy to the extra fantastic time with my hubby, the night was filled with fabulous Simple Joys!

Movies. It is difficult going to the movies with a two-year-old. We’ve tried it a couple of times with varying degrees of success, but, as difficult as it was, I was determined to take my little girl to the movies again. I had a good feeling that the movie we wanted to take her she’d sit through and I was right! We took our little Princess to see the re-release in 3D of Beauty and the Beast. No one in our family had ever seen it so it was a big outing for us all. Our darling daughter sat through the entire show and enjoyed the film immensely. I must admit, when Belle came out in her yellow gown ("Pretty Dress, Mommy!!!") tears escaped my eyes. Sharing this movie without any interruptions was a tremendous milestone and Simple Joy!

Senna. A documentary about Ayrton Senna was made and released in 2010 called Senna. My husband and I tried in vain to find it in a local theater to watch. We’ve been waiting patiently for our opportunity to see it. Just yesterday a FB friend posted he had just seen it. I inquired how and he told me “Netflix streaming”! We have that! So hubby added it to our queue and, once we put the children to bed early, sat down to watch. I was mesmerized; I was not following Formula 1 when Senna was living so it was all new information to me. His career was incredible, the documentary was seamless and very well done, and the story was fascinating. I highly recommend the show. Finally getting to see Senna is a Simple Joy finally realized!

Not too many years ago I would have been morose, depressed, not exercising, and isolating during mid-January; a way of life that would have lasted until late into the spring thaw. But Chief 187™Chatter and Simple Joys changed all of that for me completely. I now make a conscious decision to exercise in the morning, take pride in my work, and look forward to staying in touch with my offline and online friends alike. Simple Joys are the catalyst for keeping my life humming and rolling in the right direction. Whether you write yours down or merely think about them, I hope your Simple Joys give you peace, good feelings, and the motivation to keep going when times get difficult. If it can work for me, it can most certainly work for you!

Please join me tomorrow when I wax poetic on yet another subject on Chief 187(TM)Chatter.


  1. Gald all's well that ends well :-)

    Blue Monday is still a simple joy :-


  2. Congratulations on the Pinewood Derby showings... James came in 38th out of 39 cars, but received 1st in most unique (it was the Titanic). I jokingly say that a Hendrick car won 1st place, since the scout's dad works there. ;)

  3. You do know the song Blue Monday, no? Classic 80's http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOWb3ui7iwQ

  4. You want to see another one of the "BEST" drivers ever, look for the Richie Evans story on Speed Channel.

  5. I met a man who was a bartender on the ferry from Long Island to Conn. He got a book deal for his stories and called it "Ferry Tales". Might I be the one to suggest that you send 20 or 30 or 500 of your "Simple Joys" posts a publishing company? What is the worst the could say? But IMAGINE if they saw your TALENT and said YES, and here is a 'Great Big Check', We would love to do Series of books called "Simple Joys"!!!
    You are finally fulfilling you dream of being a writer, "You Have Proved That You Are Good At It".. SHOT FOR THE STARS !!!!!!!!!