Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Simple Joys

Welcome to the return of Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter!

Simple Joys was originally a one-off piece I wrote years ago. I was feeling good, had some wonderful things happening in my life, and wanted to list them to share with my readership.

The piece had enormous popularity and became a weekly feature. I cherished writing each week the various Simple Joys in my life.

It was a difficult decision to discontinue writing Simple Joys this year. I was feeling burned out between my five-day-a-week personal blog and my three articles per week plus two radio shows per week work schedule. Add that articles to edit, upload, add pictures to, and promote for my writers, my time was stretched to the limit. Something had to give and Chief 187™Chatter was it.

What I’ve found, however, is that I cannot afford to NOT write Simple Joys.

Without it, I lose perspective. I forget to look for the Simple Joys all around. In short, I lose joy.

So, it’s time to reinstitute this old friend.

It’s time to open my heart and mind to all the goodness around in my life.

My children frustrate the heck out of me, but they’re my favorite people.

My husband and I get off track, but he is the one great love of my life.

My friends are sometimes neglected by me, but they lift and cheer me endlessly.

My work can be stressful, but it satisfies me in myriad ways.

Overall, I am so blessed by my life.

But without consciously sitting back to write about my Simple Joys, I tend to lose sight of them.
I cannot allow that to happen anymore.

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

Visit. I haven’t seen my cousin since I was a kid. Thanks to social media we’ve been reacquainted for years and he even writes for me and attends races for Drafting the Circuits. Finally our paths crossed this week – he was visiting all sorts of family in the northeast. I was overjoyed to see my cousin, meet his beautiful family, and speak to him eye to eye once again.

Taking time for visits with loved ones is a Simple Joy I savor.

Hair. I have always touted the virtues of getting my hair done professionally and I’m not going back on those words. But this summer I decided to “freestyle” my hair and haven’t had it trimmed since May. The freedom of letting my hair be itself, wearing it in different styles that not having strict bangs allows, and just embracing a “newness” has been liberating and so dang fun!
I’m sure I’ll go back to the professional stylist I love and respect, but letting my hair grow freely has been a first-time Simple Joy for me!

Exercise. In case you don’t know me, I’m Human. I try to exercise and eat right regularly but have never fully succeeded in “dropping pounds and dress sizes” or stay consistent in my routine. But finally my size and health became a concern and exercising has become a joy once again. I feel instantly better, have a more positive view of life, and can see the scale finally go in the right direction. The best part? I’ve enlisted my oldest child to workout with me so he reaps the benefits and makes exercise a part of his daily life.

Adding exercise into my life is a valuable Simple Joy.

Birthday. It’s my birthday at the end of the week. I actually enjoy my birthday and don’t fret about aging. Let’s face it, it beats the alternative! I have nothing formally planned for my day, but look forward to fun times with my family!

Embracing my birthday with the same enthusiasm I had as a child is a powerful Simple Joy.

Cannoli. I make cakes a lot throughout the year for birthdays, dinner parties and the like. But I don’t love cake. So, for my birthday, I asked to have one of my favorite desserts. Cannoli. Done right there are few desserts I like more than the crisp cone, creamy sweetness, and chocolate chip-filled awesomeness of a cannoli.

Having what I like on my birthday is a sweet Simple Joy.

This is my list. The goal of this column is two-fold. First, it’s to keep my thoughts, feelings, and moods in perspective. Secondly, it is to offer you, the reader, a springboard to concentrate on your own Simple Joys.

Whatever you are going through, no matter how dire, consuming, and endless, Simple Joys do exist for all.

They can be fleeting, casual, or completely life-changing, but they are available to all.

I had forgotten that these last several months. My goal is to write this column weekly to never forget.

Let’s take this journey together.

Thank you for joining me for Simple Joys.