Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

If it’s one thing I’m learning it is to enjoy life daily. All too often I get caught up in the minutia of life. Of course, it’s important to remember to pay the bills, sign up for classes, clean the sink traps, and shower, but worrying about things - death, illness, missing an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - doesn’t fix them.

When I worry I rob myself of limitless opportunities to find and enjoy my Simple Joys. By relaxing the “worry muscle” I can concentrate on simply living. Life will happen.

Man plans. God laughs.

Well, I’ll always be a planner, but I’m learning to be more flexible and just let things be.

When I make room for spontaneity, allow for variables, and smile instead of fret, my life becomes abundant with Simple Joys.

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

Pumpkin Seeds. Carving pumpkins is an annual tradition in our family like many who celebrate Halloween. But, in addition to creating faces and scooping out pumpkin guts, we do an extra step in our family. We sort out the wet, gooey seeds to be rinsed, dried and roasted in the oven with olive oil and salt. They come out toasty, crunchy, and salty and are completely addictive!

Yielding a ton of luscious pumpkin seeds from our three awesome Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns is a tantalizing Simple Joy.

Halloween. In my part of the world we’ve been robbed of a Halloween for two consecutive years. This was the first time in a long time we’d been able to dress up without snow boots on actual Halloween (October 31st) and hit the streets of our community to Trick-Or-Treat.

We all dressed up, set out to collect mounds of delectable candy, and enjoy the completeness of the holiday. We did and it was a Simple Joy we all savored!

Bike Riding. Every member of Team 187 finally has bicycles and can ride them. Most of them are relatively new – less than 2 years old – and then there’s mine which is about 50 years old but still works beautifully.

We took to the trail at a local park and took in nature’s glory at this time of year. As a family we spent time outdoors, exercising, and appreciating natural beauty. Spending quality time together – again – in such a quality way is a Simple Joy we are making a regular part of our routine.

Grandpa. I’ve had occasion to write about this dear man in the past and am so blessed to have the opportunity again. At 93 years old, my husband’s grandfather is still making visits to see us. He is still mobile, with help, and able to carry conversations with us and our children knowing who we all are.

It is never easy to go through life on terms that aren’t your own. I’m sure if Grandpa had his druthers he’d be physically spry and still have Grandma by his ever-loving side, but he does the best he can with what life has dealt him. I learn a lot from that man.

Having a wonderful man and a priceless resource to learn life lessons in the family is a Simple Joy to the Nth degree.

Time alone. With the grandparents in town to celebrate my husband’s Halloween birthday we were relieved of our parenting duties while the children spent the night at the hotel with them. We couldn’t believe our luck, but as veteran parents we didn’t look the gift horse in the mouth. We set out immediately to enjoying our time alone and enjoy it we did – immensely. It was the shot in the arm needed to jumpstart our marriage and remind us that we are more than Mom and Dad. We have tried throughout our marriage to do that, but sometimes time and resources work against best laid plans.

Having a rare night all alone in our home was a wondrous, restorative, romantic, and mind-blowing Simple Joy.

What I’m trying to do is learn from those around me. I mentioned the life lessons I’m gleaning from observing and talking to Grandpa. But I’m also taking note of my daughter. At four no matter how dismal things seem for her one moment (and she is a dramatic child) she is ready to laugh heartily at the drop of a hat.

Her mood is elevated, her cares behind her, and her grudges gone. Carefree, uninhibited laughter that belies only the joy it brings. Her world is populated with Simple Joys.

So, as I go about my week I try to incorporate these important elements to my overly taxing, stupidly stressful life. By being more accepting, relaxed, and flexible the Simple Joys will just naturally occur more frequently for me to enjoy.

These are my personal Simple Joys. I hope you take a few moments each week to write down, speak, or at least think of the Simple Joys you’ve been blessed to experience in the past week. The action brings me a balanced and positive perspective and I hope it does the same for you.

Wishing you a week filled with Simple Joys.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoying plenty of pumpkin seeds here too, something to do with the time of year ;-)