Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys by Chief 187™Chatter.

Each day is an opportunity to learn and grow. Sometimes I succeed in just that, but other times I become stagnate or regress a little. Most days I build on my knowledge and that is a very good thing.

When I simply live life, allow it to unfold naturally and go with the flow instead of manhandle its outcome, I find it so much easier to get in touch with my Simple Joys.

Embracing change, staying in the moment, releasing stress, and choosing laughter over aggravation are ways I’ve tried to squeeze the most out of life.

My husband, a most wise person, told me long ago never to let somebody who doesn’t pay rent occupy space in my head. That holds true for situations beyond my control.

The news is overwhelmingly disturbing – negativity is at an all-time high and the country is reeling from it. I can’t change that. But I can change me.

For several years I have dedicated myself to being positive, especially publicly. The gesture has come back to me tenfold and more.
Being positive and kind is contagious and I’m delighted to report that I find most people are open to and hungry for the positive to – in some way – counteract the rest.

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

Brownies. Friday was my middle son’s seventh birthday. He was beyond excited to reach the milestone and, more importantly, open his presents. As luck – for the boy – would have it, a storm the night before his big day had left one school in our district without power… his school! My son had no school on Friday, his birthday.

I had promised the lad I’d make his favorite dessert for the Cub Scout Den meeting we’d be attending that night. He chose my brownies. EVERYBODY chooses my brownies.

These were chocolate fudge brownies with semi-sweet and peanut butter chips with some Hershey’s syrup to keep them extra moist.
The two pans I made for the meeting – 13X9 Family-sized – were GONE by the time we left.

So, on Sunday night I made my son an extra pan of birthday brownies to show how much I care about him. He loved them.

Spoiling my son with home-baked goods made me feel like a hero and was a scrumptious, love-filled Simple Joy.

Den Chief. My eldest child became a Boy Scout in February and has taken the move up from Cub Scouts very seriously. Over the summer he went to sleep-a-way camp for the first time for a week and learned a lot away from home.

At summer’s end he took an online course and then another course to fulfill the requirements to become a Den Chief.

A Den Chief is a Boy Scout who is trained to assist the Cub Scouts in his community. He literally works as an aide to the Den Leaders to facilitate meeting activities and be a positive role model to the younger Scouts.

My son’s first meeting was on Friday night and he impressed the heck out of me. It was not because I was his mother as I am a rather critical being at times. I was a middle school teacher, a high school teacher, and a Den Leader.

This child of mine was engaging, enthusiastic, helpful to the leaders, and an all-around positive Scout. I was bursting with pride as was his father – one of the Den Leaders to whom my son is a Den Chief!

Watching my son continue to evolve into a productive, helpful, and wonderful young man is a Simple Joy I never tire.

“High On You”. I was in the car taking my daughter to pre-school when this song came on the radio. Usually we listen to my iPod but on this particular day I was running late and decided to take my chances on FM.
When this song, “High On You” by Survivor, came on I was transported back in time to the mid-1980s. And, although it is now an “old” song, it is still a dang good one. I listened to the entire ditty with my daughter in the background asking, “Can’t we go in to school now?”

“Not until Mommy’s song is over!”

Listening to a gem from my past that dredged up so many memories and emotions was a crazy cool Simple Joy.

Drive-In. Over the weekend my husband, children, and parents decided to go to the local drive-in restaurant that looks like a classic one from the 1950s. My parents took the children in the Studebaker Lark while my husband drove me in the Daimler.

We enjoyed delicious cheeseburgers, fries, and chocolate shakes, had fun in our respective vintage cars, and spent a carefree evening walking around looking at all of the other classic cars on hand for “Cruise Night”.

Taking time to enjoy one of the last nights of summer was a relaxing and fun-filled Simple Joy.

National Anthem. While waiting for our food at the restaurant the DJ who was spinning “oldies” promptly played a recording of the National Anthem at 6:00pm ET. I didn’t hear the first strains but my ears quickly picked up the tune and I immediately stood as did the rest of my family and the entirety of the restaurant-goers.

There was complete and total respect for the song, our flag, and our nation. Not one person spoke, ate, worked, or sat. Hats came off, children were hushed and put their hands on their hearts, and some even sang to the instrumental version.

I was so pleasantly proud of my fellow diners who felt as passionately about their country as I do. In fact, I was so moved a tear crept down my face.

Being a part of a random and total patriotic scene with my family and a roomful of strangers was a most impactful Simple Joy.
God Bless America!

Everywhere I look there is goodness. Sometimes it is difficult to pinpoint at first, but the more you train yourself to look for the positive, the more readily you see it.

Like Simple Joys that are lurking at every corner, positive occurrences are, too.

My wish is that everybody who reads Simple Joys feels encouraged to look for the positive, experience Simple Joys, and share them.

One person alone can be a catalyst for change, but it’s the masses who need to embrace it. Let’s show the world how Simple Joys can enhance our every day lives!

Wishing you a week filled with Simple Joys!

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