Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Simple Joys-9/11 Edition

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

Today is September 11th. Eleven years ago a tragedy befell our country and left it wholly changed. The demarcation is clearly “events that happened before 9/11” and “events that happened since”. For those who suffered firsthand from the terrorist attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon, whether it is the immediate victims, first responders, or those pressed into service to defend our country, life is irrevocably changed.

But for those who lived, survived, and persevered, life continues to go on regardless of the pain that exists. We must never forget but we must move on to embrace life, create goodness where badness and evil tried to defeat, and find the light in the darkness.

Simple Joys can be life-altering like the welcoming of a new life. Simple Joys can be mindless and forgetful like the Internet joke that makes you smile for an instant and then forgotten. And Simple Joys can be powerful enough to heal. Because, by simply allowing oneself permission to enjoy life in all of its forms – good, bad, mundane, exciting, horrifying and wondrous – and concentrating on the Simple Joys more than anything else, we have manifested the foundation for a rich and rewarding life.

Is silly as it sounds, as simple as it may be in this complex world, Simple Joys are the superpowers within us all to change our perspective, lighten our load, and raise us to the light. And, thankfully, they are available to anyone who seeks them out, opens their heart, and embraces their existence.

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

Organizing. Back in the days before I had children and I was a school teacher I was a rather organized person. I wasn’t the lady who had a bin for everything and everything in its bin labeled with my labeler, but I knew where things were, how to retrieve items, and could maneuver through my house.

Now that I have three children it is an ordeal to find the counter – I was going to type “not really” but I haven’t lied to y’all yet and didn’t want to start now – let alone keep three bedrooms spotless. It’s not hopeless, just harried!

But, I vowed before school started this year organizing would occur and it did. Bureau drawers were emptied, clothes tried on, and piles neatly arranged with only clothes that fit. And, instead of feeling a sense of loss for the fact that my children were growing “too fast” and lamenting their lost babyhood, I felt accomplished that they could find clothes that fit and drawers that closed easily because they were not overly stuffed.

Organizing before the new school year gave me an inner sense of pride and contentment which was surely a grand Simple Joy.

Routine. Last Thursday my boys returned to school. For the oldest it was business as usual but for my middle guy it was a huge change – he went from part-time school to full time. As education is highly valued in this house and structured schedules appreciated, school was embraced by both boys and, well, me!

My daughter and I are now figuring out how to manage alone together for six plus hours as she transitions away from her nap (oh no!) and finding her own voice while reveling in her “Mommy and Rosie” time.

Starting new routines in September, especially this year, is a Simple Joy I will not take for granted.

Pinterest. I’ve had a Pinterest account for many months now and I’m having fun with it. At first I was just throwing a few pictures up that interested me. But, as time wore on and other users of Pinterest and I talked, I realized I wasn’t getting all I could from my account. Now I use it to Pin my articles, both NASCAR and my work here, as well as for personal flights of fancy! From pinning recipes to holiday ideas, and passions to pursuits, it is a fun escape on my computer that is used mainly for work nowadays.

Having my Pinterest account has been a source of myriad Simple Joys. Care to jump in? Check out my Pinterest boards! http://pinterest.com/chief187/

Jeff Gordon. I rarely merge my NASCAR life with my Chatter life, but there are times I can’t help myself. On Saturday night I started watching the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the regular season from Richmond International Raceway. It was a race fraught with rain delays and yet still so very interesting and compelling. The biggest story of the night for me was that Jeff Gordon made the Chase and Kyle Busch did not. I stayed up until 1:30a EST Sunday morning to see it all play out before me.

I’ve been a Gordon fan since his premiere in Cup and now have my oldest son rooting for him. I was concerned Gordon wouldn’t make the Chase but now, for the next 10 weeks, my boy and I can root for him.

Having Jeff Gordon in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase and cheering for him weekly with my son are some fantastic Simple Joys for both of us!

Safety and Serenity. Eleven years ago my world, like countless others’, was turned upside down. I was reeling over the loss of life, the proximity to the terror, and the feeling of hopelessness. With time I learned to trust, relax, and smile again. Less than a year later I welcomed my first child into the world. Optimism reigned in my life and with each child – three in all – it continues to do so.

I consistently embrace my loved ones, tell them how much I love them, and reach out the hand of friendship far and wide. By refusing to give into fear and hatred I feel we have won and ascended from the ashes of the burned towers, fallen plane, and devastated Pentagon.

The world is not a perfect place and we are all inherently flawed, but Americans know how to band together, rebuild, and live brilliantly after tragedy. We are strong, we are loyal, and we have the capacity to forgive and love.

I will never forget 9/11. I carry the day with me inside. But I choose to move forward in a positive light and have dedicated myself to bringing positivity through my writings. It may just be a few who read my words, but I feel good knowing that they exist for my children to read when they are older. One day they will know the strength of their parents, their neighbors, their community, and their country.

Having safety and serenity in the aftermath of 9/11, three healthy and loving children, and a platform to spread a positive message daily are my grandest and most prized Simple Joys of a lifetime.

Sometimes getting out of our heads and finding compassion for those around us is a great way to stay grounded. Showing others how to find and utilize Simple Joys is paramount to good living.

As we mark this difficult anniversary, I’m so thankful to have my family and friends, my vocation and my readership, and, of course, my Simple Joys.

Peace. ♥


  1. Must make some time to checkout pin intrest thanks for the tip !

  2. I've been using Pinterest for fun and to pin articles as well. Sadly, I'm waaay behind on all that!

  3. Thanks for reminding us to think of those simple joys, especially on this anniversary of a day we'll never forget. Can so relate to your Simple Joys!