Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

This weekly column is a mix between my favorite thing to write and my most challenging. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that having Simple Joys to write keeps my perspective in check, my gratitude list long, and my capacity for joy high.

I am still fraught with baggage, dealt difficult hands to play, and plagued with stress just like everybody else, but by concentrating on the Simple Joys I experience every week, regardless of the rest, it keeps my life going much more smoothly than before I wrote them down.

Simple Joys are the things in life that make you smile, laugh, feel good, and delight you whether for a brief moment, a daily basis, or for a lifetime. From phone calls and texts to favorite television shows and comfortable clothing, creature comforts to scrumptious foods, and, well, especially for me, music and expressions of love, Simple Joys take many forms.

Simple Joys are not only different for everybody, but available to anybody! There are limitless Simple Joys for people to experience daily no matter what is going on in life. People simply need to open their hearts and minds to the existence of Simple Joys, and Simple Joys will find them.

Once Simple Joys are experienced it becomes easier to find them. Eventually Simple Joys not only just occur, but they are also created!

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

Taco Tuesday – Our schedule changed this school year and we have Tuesday nights as a free night. So, knowing my children love this particular dinner (and that is a miraculous thing that they all enjoy the same meal) I have instituted “Taco Tuesday” the first of which was last week.

That’s it, having tacos on a Tuesday night and not having anywhere to rush off is a fabulous Simple Joy that I hope continues smoothly throughout the school year.

Snack. My middle boy’s birthday fell on a school day this year. He was very excited to bring snack to school. I offered to buy a packaged treat like a Rice Krispie Treat but was met with disappointment and vehement refusal.

Instead, my son requested my homemade brownies – dark chocolate brownies with marshmallows, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and white chips – that I make in mini-muffin pans so they are easy to serve and eat for little hands.

He proudly took the treats in to his classmates and returned with a near-empty box with a huge chocolaty smile. My son was so proud and happy of the snack he shared with his class on his actual birthday.

It was a huge and satisfying Simple Joy to be asked to make the special snack by my son and for he and his classmates to enjoy it so thoroughly!

Lunch. With the boys in school my parents asked my daughter and me to lunch to celebrate my son’s birthday. We went to a delicious restaurant and dined leisurely. My daughter behaved so well considering her young age, the food was superb, the mood festive, and the time passed so quickly. The only bittersweet thought was that the summer is nearly over and my parents gone with it.

Spending an afternoon together with my parents and my daughter celebrating my son’s sixth birthday (in his absence) was a Simple Joy that I will remember fondly when I am missing my parents this winter.

Turning Six. My son was over-joyed at the prospect of his birthday. He was almost beside himself waiting for the magical moment when I gave the green light for him to open his presents.

Once he was home from school, homework completed (yes, I’m THAT mom), I gave the approval. He tore into the package with reckless abandon and squealed with delight! The Lego set he had been coveting (one of the many) was under the paper and he screamed loudly and excitedly! He threw his arms around me in an appreciative hug and kissed me then he grabbed his big brother, the Lego box, and flew into the “Lego Room” to begin construction of the set.

My father rushed into the room asking who was hurt! He laughed when he understood it was unadulterated excitement that led to the outburst.

Watching a six-year-old boy see his birthday wish realized in such pure enthusiasm was a fantastic Simple Joy that I hope is emblazoned in my mind forever!

Birthday Party. My husband and I gave our son a birthday party on the Saturday closest to his big day. We had several children over and the parents who all happen to be our good friends. The children had a great time playing outside, in the “Lego Room” and, for a short while, in front of the computer.

Meanwhile, the adults had a marvelous time, too. We had five couples over, not everyone had met before. The chemistry was evident and the conversation never lulled.

By the end of the evening the adults had forgotten it was a child’s birthday party until one of the children said, “Shouldn’t the Birthday Boy open his presents?”

Why, yes, yes he should!

Throwing a birthday party that both the children and the adults enjoyed so well is a Simple Joy we hope to duplicate next month for our daughter’s birthday!

Simple Joys are the wildflowers that brighten the landscape. They grow haphazardly, multiply exponentially, and simply beautify and enrich their surroundings.

When my life is seemingly spiraling out of control, nothing is going right, and stress and tenseness become overwhelming, I literally step back and focus on the Simple Joys.

The perspective change helps immensely. Once I concentrate on the Simple Joys more occur.

Wishing you all a week filled with Simple Joys!

Please join me tomorrow as I wax poetic on yet another topic on Freestyle Wednesday on Chief 187™Chatter.

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