Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

Some weeks Simple Joys just fall out of the sky blessed by the Heavens. This past holiday week was one of those.

As I continue to grow and evolve as a human being living this Life I learn all of the time. This lesson was clearly evident: mental preparedness allows for greater capacity for Simple Joys to penetrate. I opened the window hugely for less stress, more joy, and kept burden at bay.

Result? A week filled with boundless Simple Joys!

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

Anticipation. What I love so much about the holiday season is actually a great deal of anticipation. Like a big vacation far off in the future, waiting for and dreaming of what the holidays will be like is often far more satisfying than what really happens.

Only this time I kept my daydreams to a realistic measure and when the Holiday Company and events actually occurred the reality far exceeded my anticipation.

Still, anticipation is a free, lavish, and boundary-less Simple Joy that I revel in throughout the year.

Left Center Right Dice Game. My mother-in-law loves to arrive with a new game for all of us to enjoy. This Thanksgiving she bought a gem. The Left Center Right dice game was simple enough for all at our table – from 93 to four years old - to understand and heartily enjoy.

Finding a game that holds attention, is easy to learn upfront for all ages, and is competitive but friendly is a Simple Joy that enhanced the holidays and will surely come out again to be played in the future.

Social Media. Adding to my enjoyment of anticipation was checking in everyday with my virtual friends and family. This is a force in my life that enhances my activities. Knowing I have a massive community outside of my walls to talk to, joke with, and share information adds depth to my life.

Social media is a Simple Joy I write about often because it really is that important to me.

Setting the table to the Nines. I woke up on Thanksgiving morning determined to set the finest table possible for all in attendance, including myself. As the only daughter and the first child married in my original family, I was graciously given family heirlooms to use and act as custodian. I’ve written about the Thanksgiving plates from my paternal grandmother here, but I also have her gorgeous jewel-toned wine goblets and my maternal grandmother’s silverware.

I awoke early to help my husband prepare the bird and a few side dishes and then dutifully got the silver out to polish. Luckily the silverware was in good shape so the job took minimal time.

Seeing the Thanksgiving table dressed to the nines in my home with my grandparents’ collective treasures all around made me feel connected to their celebrations from the past. I plan to duplicate the table setting this month for Christmas so my parents can share the Simple Joy with me.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. We are fortunate to have a children’s theater near our home. This season they put on Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer developed directly from the Christmas special that airs annually by Rankin/Bass – same storyline and wonderful songs.

My children, being MY children, know the show intimately so they were thrilled to see it all played out live on stage.

I was so happy to share the stage experience with all three of them as theater has always been a deep and pleasurable Simple Joy for me.

To capture the memory I asked my husband to purchase one stuffed animal for each of the children. My four-year-old daughter got a “Clarice” reindeer dressed in pink bow and scarf. My seven-year-old middle boy received a dashing Rudolph reindeer, and my eleven-year-old who I thought was possibly too old for a stuffed animal, delighted in receiving the “Bumble” snow monster.

All three children had wide, excited eyes when we presented them with their respective toy before the curtain went up and held on to their characters throughout the entire play, at bedtime, and during playtime the next day! In fact, they still stay close to them adoringly.

The play was a big enough Simple Joy, but adding the extra luxury of the stuffed animal that resonated with all three of my children was the whipped cream and cherry on my sundae of an experience.

These Simple Joys are mine but I encourage you to find and identify yours. As the holiday season is upon us in full swing, it can be stressful, lonely, frustrating, and sad for many – even those you’d least suspect.

Be mindful of creating too many expectations for a “perfect holiday season” as it doesn’t exist for anyone.

Try to stick with routine while enjoy some activities out of the ordinary that are timely this season. Try to reach out to those who are alone, in pain, down on their luck, or who experience sadness this time of year.

And, if that’s you, try to reach out to those who need companionship, too.

Simple Joys are not defined by me, I only define my own. Be the one who defines your Simple Joys and make sure to write them down, say them, or at the very least think about them once a week.

A positive perspective will grow and your happiness will, too.

Wishing you all a week filled with Simple Joys!

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