Finding Joy in the Little Things
I have been enjoying my sister’s thoughtful and positive essays about these times we are going through…
This morning I was thinking about joy. I remembered hearing Marie Kondo, expert organizer, saying that you should keep only the things that bring you joy. That may not always be the practical thing to do; my dish set does not give me joy, but I really need my dishes. But the idea of having things in our lives, in our homes, that bring joy, that I love.
Right now we have so much need for joy in our lives. The days run together as we try to just get through another day of schooling at home, working at home, cooking every 10 minutes…. It’s stressful. It wears on your soul.
But also, we have that awesome set of towels in the linen closet or guest bathroom, just sitting there waiting to be used and admired. Great grandma’s beautiful china, put safely away in a hutch. A bottle of wine…
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That is a lovely post! I tend to like to goof around as a rule and I have been finding a great deal of joy in the things I own (a favourite blanket, and especially the small knick-knacks my partner has bought for me over the years: he’s a real knick-knack guy (an owl made out of a pebble and pasted to a piece of log that becomes a wall hanging, anyone?) and I was always averse to knickknacks, but I am converted!). On the other hand, I do feel that it is important and reasonable to express unhappiness and pain. It would be unhealthy (at least for me) to suppress that. I consider myself to be a very balanced person on the whole, but being separated from my partner for the foreseeable future given that he is in another country can sometimes feel unbearable. That frustration needs an outlet, and even in my grandmother’s beautiful china there is not enough joy to be found to replace his company. 😦
Oh yes, I totally agree! And especially in a situation like yours. I have been reading your posts and following how you are dealing with all of this.
Right now my sister and I have not been tremendously impacted by Covid19 ourselves (except that she has lost work hours and is having to homeschool her grandson), and we would certainly not want to downplay anyone’s reactions at all. I think my sister was inspired by her friend, who is facing a greatly diminished career, a husband with cancer, and a son who doesn’t get to finish out his senior year with his friends, but they still celebrate the little joys of each day.
Also, we are about 20 years older than you are, and I know at this time of my life, I am astounded all the time at how much these little joys mean to me. I used to think it was crazy that my grandmother didn’t want a birthday present, just a phone call or a note, but that is exactly how I feel now too. It’s not that we think that the little pleasures erase the negative events in our lives; it’s just that we are so grateful for a little balance, a little memory of someone we loved. I think her message was more to not put off any touch of joy you can avail yourself of.
I hope I am explaining myself well! Thank you so much for commenting, Stephanie!
Oh I didn’t mean that there was anything offensive or insensitive/diminishing in the piece. It was lovely. I tend to try to err on the side of positive and cheerful, so I love it when other people are the same. I love the “best housecoat” photo!
Just this morning I was conversing with a colleague who is Italian and working on the same files but in Paris. Her family is in Lombardia, right in the epicentre of the epidemic and I can’t imagine how she is coping in her work right now. There is only so much that joy in our homes can erase those horrible fears and isolation from entire families, as well as loss of economic livelihood.
I love the point about how as one gets older one appreciates these little joys. That is something to look forward to. I hope that I can continue for now to focus as much as I can on those joyful objects. I was telling Gianni on the phone the other night about how all of his knick-knacks were giving me joy and he started listing them one by one, asking me where they were. We went through the list (and it was a long list!).
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Thank you, Chris