This post is a mashup of The Little Bliss List and Joy Jam, and as such is meant to celebrate: the little things that brought me hope and happiness this week, the sweet stuff of life, those small gifts that brought me joy this week. By sharing them, I not only make public my gratitude, but maybe also help you notice your own good stuff and send some positive energy out into the world.
1. The smell of lilacs on the breeze, still sweet even as they begin to fade away.
2. Spring morning birdsong. I’m not tired of this yet. It makes me so happy to hear them out there, chirping and singing and fluttering, even when it’s still dark, before the sun rises.
3. Avocado and figs. There are some foods that I actively hated as a kid (brussel sprouts being one) that I am loving now, and these are two of them. So rich and creamy and satisfying.
4. Sick days. Getting to read a new, whole book that I’d been looking forward to, being able to finish it in just two days; watching an entire disk of Downton Abbey episodes, one after the other while in my pjs and purple bathrobe on the couch; taking long naps; cuddling with my dogs who were so sweet and calm; having Dexter (who hasn’t slept in the big bed with us for months and months, maybe more than a year) bring his Little D in and cuddle next to me for almost the entire night; and Eric making me breakfast for dinner, including pancakes. When you can’t do anything else, you are forced to be gentle and take care of yourself, and even as wrong as sick during a beautiful spring can seem, it can also be a gift of sorts.
5. Brave Intuitive Painting: Let go. Be bold. Unfold. This book is gorgeous, precious. If you are a creative type or an artist of any kind or just a lover of all things beautiful, I recommend you get a copy. What’s so wonderful about the book is that it’s an invitation to anyone who wants to create. You do not have to be a painter. Just bring your open heart, desire to make something, and willingness to get messy. I suspect that especially if you are feeling blocked, stuck, stale, bored, or cramped, this book is just the magic you need to start moving again, to let go, be bold, unfold. Just looking, doing nothing more than gazing at the pages, not even reading or painting, makes me soften, feel giddy with grace and warm with joy. The riot of color and play that fills these pages is inspiring.
Bonus joy: I was gifted so many kind words, so much generous feedback this week about my writing. My husband in the kitchen, a friend in the locker room at the gym, two emails on facebook, comments on various posts, feedback on my pieces for the Telling True Stories class I’m taking, and an email from a dear friend. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the love, the validation. I know I shouldn’t need it, but it’s so nice to hear that what you are doing touches others, helps them in some way.