I’ll confess, fall is coming too soon for me this year. Whether I’ve become a true devotee of highs in the 90s and long strings of evenings comfortable for going without a coat, or if it has more to do with battling the dark moments of widowhood, I’m not sure. Winter was long and bitterly cold this year; perhaps I’m craving more hours of daylight to offset that deficit. Whatever the reason, Lily, my inner fourteen-year-old, prompts me to find the joy.
Let’s have breakfast by candlelight!
We don’t have to sit in the shade on the patio, there’s still plenty of sun on the deck.
Darker than desirable evening?
Plug in the string of white lights above the fireplace.
Flame, sun, festive illumination. The key to inter-season survival? Perhaps. Light, light and more light.
A wise friend recently reminded me that lots of people live life in a quest for happiness. Happiness 24/7. Are we there yet?
That’s not how things work. Happiness, like any other human feeling, is not a constant state. News flash: we’re not in charge of everything that affects our lives. Our existence is peppered with contrast- -happiness, sadness, rampant joy and being in the dumps. And that’s okay. Our minds and bodies can’t withstand experiencing a single and exclusive emotion- -that’s my best guess. Humans must need tension and struggle in their lives; after all, we impose a lot of this on ourselves, don’t we? So maybe a quest for happiness isn’t a bad thing. It keeps us striving.
But wait! Is there something going on at this very moment that provides a glimmer of happiness, a flame of joy? Stop, look and listen. As I’ve been writing this, Grizelda, the Only Girl Cat, has crawled up on my lap and draped herself over my right wrist. I’m enjoying her company and the constant battle of readjusting the position of my hand so I can type. My favorite CD of all time, Buena Vista Social Club, is playing. I’ve been looking for it ever since we moved to this house in May 2018, fearing I’d lost it. This Monday, when I scanned the shelves of the CD cabinet looking for Rod Stewart, there it was, hiding in plain sight! I’ve been listening to it all week, spontaneously dancing along when I’m on my feet.
Hey, I like this!
So do I, Lily! Light, cats, a contagious Cuban beat. Minutes of happiness trickle through the day. All you have to do is acknowledge them. Joy. It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it almost never is.
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I think we have to get into ‘the habit” of doing this. I confess, I forget. My day might be two steps forward and one back. You’ve no idea how much I admire you and Lily. Thank you for all the positive thoughts you share.
Thank you, Janice. I understand how hard it can be to develop a Joy habit, especially when someone in your life suffers from depression. It’s helped me a lot, to salvage happier pieces of me, both now and earlier. Good luck with this and keep a sharp eye out for those wonderful little things that come your way! You deserve it.
Tension and struggle? Perhaps it is one of the magical ways that we discover and hopefully reintegrate lost parts of ourselves–your beloved 14-year-old being a case in point! It’s hard to fathom sometimes, but I think it’s one of the mysteries of Divine Intervention. <3
Divine Intervention- -one of my favorites! Thanks, Erin.