Joy Is Mine

joysAs I was maundering about on about the nature of addiction, dead rats, and social change, the quote to the right caught my eye. It’s attributed to Rita Schiano, and this week, I’m taking her advice.

Ten things I love about my life (my daughter and my family goes at the top of the list, of course, so here are ten OTHER things):

1) My writer job. I LOVE using my imagination to create tales of love and courage triumphing over fear and hurt. THAT is the human narrative I believe in, and I get paid to sing it.

dante heather rainbow2) My readers. Writing has put me in touch with some of the most wondrous, delightful, thoughtful, kind, interesting people in the world, and I would never have met you otherwise.

3) My animal friends. They are my companions, a significant source of amusement and affection, a source of security. They’re also beautiful, generous and warm. They’ve given me a way to stay connected to my daughter, even to this day, even when she and I are living 1600 miles apart.

4) My schedule. For the most part, I’m the boss of me. I get to organize my days and evenings for maximum efficiency, and that is SUCH a delight.

UK Spring of 2011 0065) Where I live. Yes, I’d like to spend more time in Scotland, but my part of Maryland is beautiful, has delightful seasons, big trees, plenty of water, and even a huge woods ten minutes away from my door. This is… wealth beyond measure, to be within sight of the woods and living where I can plant all the flowers I want.

6) Writin’ buddies. If I’d known how wonderful the romance author community is, I would have started writing 25 years sooner. The most good-humored, creative, compassionate people you’d ever want to meet, and their Prime Directive is, “You will never hurt your career by helping another author.”

highland cow7) The freedom to travel, especially to the UK, where many of my books take place. That I have the means, the health, and the time to pick up and go is such a gift. I’m also free to visit my big and widely scattered family (and that nephew in Sweden had better be on the lookout for me, too).

8) Well of course my health brings me joy. I’m not going to win any iron woman competitions, but I’m healthy enough to do what I love, and I’m healthier than I was a year ago.

Voltaire9) I love language. I love that we can connect with each other through words, written and spoken, and that through language we can even communicate with people long gone or very far away.

10) A good night’s sleep. I’m not as accomplished at these as I once was, but the bliss of laying my head on my cat on the bedown pillow, in my own beddy-bye, with my own Cosmo kit-teh purring at my side is profound.

Your turn… talk about your joys! To three commenters, I’ll send an audio version of “Darius: Lord of Pleasure.”


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32 comments on “Joy Is Mine

  1. Besides the obvious – my dear ones who are the loves of my life – I find joy in –

    My faith in God. It calms my fears and gives me great peace, joy and hope.

    Retirement. While I’m not as active as I would like to be, it is nice not to have to get up and go to work after I’ve had a bad night.

    My two kitties. You know you are a cat lover when your leg is aching from the weight of the cat sitting on your lap but you don’t want to wake her up. As if she wouldn’t be able find another place to sleep (smile).

    My health which I sometimes think of as a negative, but it could be so much worse. I’m grateful that it is not.

    My finances. I’m comfortable and have all that I need, and even enough to share with others.

    My age. It gives me the ability to focus on the things that are really important and to let go of the things that are not. An ability I was sadly lacking many times when I was younger.

    Laughter. It’s the best medicine in the world. I love the books and TV programs where I find that laughter. No, I’m not ashamed of watching TV (smile).

    The changing seasons where I live here in the Midwest. We are in the sorriest season right now but Spring is just around the corner.

    Romance, I love a good love story.

    Love of history – my other reason for loving historical romance books.

    Writers like you who have provided so many hours of entertainment.

  2. Family first.

    I find joy in—

    Peaceful mornings to read, write or have a cup of coffee with Molly & Irish. Need the time to myself to prepare myself for the day ahead.

    I enjoy my morning walks with the corgis. Great excersise and a fabulous way to start the day!

    Coffee, chocolate & tea. Three comforts (in moderation).

    My schedule. I work mid-shift and I love it. I spend my mornings at home, work afternoon to early evening. Works for me.

    Great friends. I have corgi friends, neighbor friends, book friends, work friends all who are very important to me. Treasure each one of them.

    After surviving breast cancer and treatment I am grateful for my health. The low carb- low sugar diet is working. Have lost 9 pounds. Goal is to make better choices and walk the corgis every day.

    The Internet. I keep in touch with a lot of friends and have meet a lot of wonderful people on Facebook. Also, I am able to use FaceTime to communicate with my daughter who is in England for six months. Talking with her last week and seeing her face brought me so much joy!

    Irish & Celeste. Nana Irish and her grand daughter. Two garden digging barking imps who make me laugh and smile each day.

    Authors and their stories. Romance, historicals, contemporary–so many wonderful choices.

  3. 1. My health; I went vegan 7 years ago and I’ve never felt better in my life. 2. My family and friends; though they’re 300 miles away, they are my support system. 3. My job as a reference librarian; it’s so fun! 4. Ordering the romance novels for my library. πŸ™‚ 5. Historical romance; my only reading pleasure since I want to laugh and smile. 6. A roof over my head. 7. Food in my belly. That’s all I can think of for now!

  4. Great way to break the habit..focusing on what brings us joy!

    Sitting in a comfortable chair in front of a window to read, or just watch the world go by, or let the sun shine on my face.

    A family that gets along and genuinely enjoys each other company.


    When a picture of my 7 month old grandson randomly is texted to me from the kids

  5. Besides my son who is the light of my life, I find joy in–
    My kitty Angel, she has been with me since she was a small kitten and we have been through many things, including hurricane Katrina.
    My love of reading, it brings happiness and contentment.
    My health is good and so is my family members so that is a blessing.
    I am blessed to have so many things that bring my happiness

  6. It goes without saying my husband and my three sons are my Joys but the others are:

    1. My home–have been in this house for almost 21 years and it *became* our real home within months
    2. My community–diverse and interesting. Close enough to the city to enjoy the culture but far enough away to be country-ish
    3. My profession–I love what I do and love the people I do it with
    4. My music–filling the house and the air, in all forms from the grand piano in the living room to the sound system in the family room and the IPod and computer where ever I want them
    5. My collections–milk glass, china and books–they bring me joy when I use them or read them or think about where they came from
    6. My time to reflect–usually with a cup of coffee or tea, a *cuppa*–and I try to make a bit of time for it every day
    7. Wool socks in the winter and flip-flops in the summer–both bring me joy and comfort in season
    8. My friends–professional friends, parenting friends and long time friends
    9. My younger brother–he’s been such a rock during Mom’s illness, death and the aftermath. Always a great person but I suppose I didn’t realize what a good man he turned into until now
    10. My voice lessons–I have been studying classical voice since forever( part of my degrees and part of my life) but then went back to seriously studying ten years ago. My teacher is a retired voice professor from a respected music school who lives near. It is sometimes the only time I feel like *me*…before marriage and kids and conducting and life and it refreshes me. Once a week I have joy from remembering who I was..and am!

  7. Four of the biggest joys in my life are my boys. Everyday they find new ways to make me laugh. This week we had some real funny moments. One that is still making me laugh 4 days later.
    My youngest son, Seth, is just a real joy giver to almost everyone he meets and I love that so much.

    Another Joy is being able to stay home and take care of these boys. Yes, it has been financially difficult but, my boys need lots of extra care and that would cost us a great deal if we had to pay someone to do it.

    Books bring me great joy as well as the authors who write those books. I have made some true friendships with a handful of authors and just the friendships alone have been a great source of Joy. The bonus is they also write wonderful books.

    Along with the books and the authors come the wonderful friends I have made in the book reading community. While most of those friends I have never met in person, I do count my daily online interaction with them a joy in my life.

    Most importantly my relationship with God brings me tremendous joy and it is something that has been with me my whole life and I know that relationship is what has gotten me through all the hard times I have been through.

    I know there are a lot of other things that bring me Joy but these are the ones I think of first.

  8. There are WAY too many to number here, so I’ll stick with Sunday joys (since it’s still Sunday and all):

    –a Sunday-morning walk in the quiet
    –Sunday mornings spent over breakfast and coffee with my dad (including fresh homemade cinnamon rolls this morning: my recipe, his oven)
    –wide-ranging, intelligent, fun conversation with one of my best friends (who ate up the leftover cinnamon rolls for me)
    –lots of snow on the way, and no reason to head out for the rest of the day!
    –planning this year’s vacation (Scotland at long last! sorry, Grace, I booked my tickets just before I spotted your newsletter!)
    –re-reading Mary Balogh’s Survivors Club series (right after re-reading Grace’s Captive Hearts series, a nice fit)
    –re-reading lovely handwritten thank you notes from all three “nephews” (ages 5 1/2 to 13 1/2) — such thoughtful young gentlemen!
    –and a pot of tea that is about to be brewed!

    Hope everyone else is finding lots of joys today!

  9. Life holds so many joys for me so limiting to 3 requires some thought. Here goes:
    1) first and foremost would be my husband. A more patient and supportive spouse than I could ever have imagined. I had foot surgery, again, last week and he’s been waiting on me hand and, well of course, foot.
    2) my 4 grandchildren (3 boys and 1 girl). They make me laugh. Each summer I run 4 individual weeks of Camp Grandma. Each child gets one week of individualized attention with activities specially tailored to their likes. We just have fun and they are a joy to me.
    3) quilting and any form of sewing. Talk about relieving stress!
    Thanks, Grace, for nudging me toward thinking about the joys in my life. Being confined to the couch since last Thursday has been a challenge.

  10. I saw the top picture in this blog and said, “Wow! Wow.” That is so true. Why do we spend so much dwelling on our problems? We’re just complaining about them not trying to resolve them.

    I enjoy time spent with family and friends more than anything. I love that my siblings and I are well on our way to NOT being those siblings who haven’t talked or seen one another in years.

    I love a good meal and I’m thrilled by a full night of restorative sleep.

    When it is all said and done, the simple things are the best.

    • You are so right… sleep and I aren’t as cordial as we used to be, but I’m sure that’s temporary, and when I do get a solid eight hours… I can conquer the world.

      As for why dwell on the negative, our brains are wired that way, because it keeps us alive… up to a point.

      The news media passed that point about five years ago, if you ask me.

  11. Thanks for this post. I read everyone’s list and found them all uplifting!

    My joys include:

    1. Gracie, the perfect cat for me
    2. A love of books and the blessing of access to them
    3. My cozy, sun-filled studio apartment that felt like *home* the day I moved in
    4. Medication that helps me cope with depression
    5. Way above average temperatures for January! I haven’t worn socks in a week. Or a winter coat. And I live six hours north of the Canadian border!!
    6. Theatre – both as a patron and a participant. I had a truly superlative experience at the theatre on Friday that fed my soul. And I’m rehearsing for two plays that are challenging me and bringing me true joy.

    Again, thanks for this reminder and chance to share, Grace! It lifted me. πŸ™‚

    • I have a pretty mug too! My sister Gail gave it to me after I admired a pair she had in her cupboards. Gail tracked down a comparable set for me from the same place she’d found hers. It’s a little like sharing tea with Gailly every time I put the kettle on.

  12. My family and friends are of course, a given.
    Reading/listening to stories also a given.
    How about the joy of sewing, crafting?? I could happily spend my days doing those things.

    • Making stuff… I also think handling fabric is inherently soothing. What little quilting I did, I loved, and I’m always tempted to pick up the knitting needles when the temperature drops. I don’t watch TV though, and for me, knitting is a TV activity.

  13. 1. My God who loves me unconditionally
    2. My husband who also is my best friend and champion
    3. My retirement years that gives me lots and lots of time
    to read my favorite authors, like, say…Grace Burrowes

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