1. Getting to work with good people. For example, I got a new camera for work this week, a fancy grownup one, and the day I took it out of the box, I was scheduled to take pictures of some interns in action for a series of blog profiles at CSU. I didn’t know what I was doing, either with the technology or setting up the shots, but with the help of my colleague who knows so much more than I do, the pictures turned out great and I learned some stuff. Another example is I met with my interns for the last time this week, published their final profiles, gave them their parting gifts, and reflected on how lucky I am to get to work with such dedicated, enthusiastic, creative students. And finally, there’s that guy who stops by my office and steals my candy who always has such nice things to say about me, and seems to show up and say them just when I need to hear it.
2. Spring. The bird song, the blooms, the 1000 shades of green, the promise of summer break and a garden, and yes, even the rain, (although, after a week’s worth of it, I’m having to work really hard on that one).
3. Healthy, happy dogs. We are nearing the sweet spot with these boys, that moment in our lives together where they are grown up enough to be easier, calmer, but they are also still young enough to have lots of energy and good health. We’ve got about 2-3 years of that, five if we are lucky, before the inevitable down turn starts to happen on the other end of things, where Sam starts to get older and can’t quite keep up — at least, that’s the hope. We’ll be so lucky if Sam gets old. Obi was still in the sweet spot when he got his cancer, and Dexter was just barely starting to slow down when he got his. I tell Sam and Ringo all the time that they are going to be my old dogs. #fingerscrossed
4. Sangha. Community and connection. My yoga friends, the Open Heart Project, the Daily Dharma Gathering, all the other creatives and healers I’m connected to, my writing companions, and all the other humans who help me to cultivate an open heart, softness and strength, practice, faith.
5. The ability to choose. The luxury to have space and time to listen, to sit quietly with myself and consider what I need, to contemplate what I want, and to be able to choose.
Bonus Joy: how curious Eric is, how excited he gets when he’s telling me about something he saw or read or heard, how he makes me laugh, how he makes himself laugh, the stability and comfort he offers me, sweet potato corn chips and hummus (yes, I’m still obsessed), lemonade, cabbage rolls, smashed potatoes, knowing that I can only do what I can do and what doesn’t get done is okay too, humans who care and are putting so much effort into making things better, how happy Ringo is when I get his favorite toy out for him to play with, how I’ve watched him lately catch himself when he’s about to make a bad decision and independently redirect, how sweet Sam is, how he just wants everyone to be calm and nice, books, being able to give — gifts and attention and effort and encouragement and attention.