I normally end my day with a journal entry, all about my illustrious doin’s, how many steps I got in, what books I worked on. Not exactly late breaking news, but the process of reviewing and documenting the day helps me say good job and goodnight. I also list at least five things about that day that I’m grateful for.
That’s a good exercise for hitting re-set on my gratitude-o-meter, but I’m also aware that I’m tired of this danged pandemic. I’m tired of politics, financial upheaval, the publishing industry shooting around the room like a deflating balloon, and Not Being Allowed to Go to Scotland (I’m really tired of that).
So I’ve added another exercise to my sign-off routine. I ask myself: What did I enjoy today? It’s easy to know what upset me–my ignorant neighbor, Amazon’s “quality” dashboard, social media trolls, my sore thumb–and negativity has an insidious stickiness that makes dwelling on that stuff too easy. So I’ve been focusing instead on all the little joys, and they are myriad.
I have a cat named Oscar, a young male, all black. He is soooooo soft, softer than mink. He’s a shy guy, but he likes to be petted, and I have delighted in our growing friendship. I cannot touch his fur and be tense. He’s that soft and sweet.
The sunlight this time of year is to me the most beautiful of all seasons. There’s something especially clear and lovely about mid-autumn sunlight, and it makes me think of my mother, who associated that light with “the night before the first frost.”
Then there’s my daily cup of jasmine green tea–one cup only, though I could swill this stuff by the gallon–and how it never fails to taste special. I have to watch my caffeine consumption, but I would sorely miss this little indulgence if I had to give it up.
Another joy is the big, red dinner plate dahlias growing by my driveway. They are bold, bright, and coming on strong when all the other flowers are going peaked and wan on me. I want to be like those dahlias, a late season bloomer who doesn’t know when to fade into elderly obscurity.
I delight in my flannel sheets. My sister gave them to me and I can’t wait for the nights to cool off enough so I can bust ’em out and get snuggly. I’m still riding the horse only once a week, but the time I spend with old Santiago is peaceful and dear. I get off him with a sense of, “We still got it, dude!” when all we do is walk, trot, and canter (both directions!).
Mondays are my pizza day, when I let myself start the week with a pizza slathered in black olives and extra cheese. It’s my one occasion of carby-cheesy bliss each week, and it never fails to restore a sense of abundant pleasure. This is all it takes for me to look forward to Mondays. Wish I’d figured this out decades ago.
My days are full of joy and pleasure, but it’s easy to lose sight of my riches. The big, bad frustrating world is still there, and it’s still my responsibility to do what I can do battle the darkness and overcome the forces of eeee-vil, but I will be a more effective warrior if I also remember and delight in my joys.
What is delighting you these days? To three commenters, I’ll send a $25 Amazon gift card.