Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Passionate About Little Joys

I'm the sort of girl who gets excited about a pretty postage stamp, a heart rock, a handful of thistles from tiny loving hand. I'm the silly Momma who will sing loudly and off-key just to get a laugh - or a groan. I'm the teacher who has a party the last Friday of every month - because a month of learning is worth celebrating. I'm the aunt who accidentally embarrasses her nephew because she can't help but cheer for both T-ball teams.

I believe that it is the small things that make a life. That adding small joy + tiny moment + quirky thrill + easy delight = a life well lived. A life full of happiness.

I believe that life is rich and full only when we take the time to count our blessings, to notice all that is wonderful in this world, and to say "thank you" for all we've been given.

I am passionate about the little things that bring joy, a smile, a moment of pleasure or recognition. I choose to live this way. Yes, I get just as annoyed as anyone else. Yes, I have bad days and struggles and stress.


I am a woman who has been blessed. And I know it. And I choose to focus on those things. I choose to live a celebratory life. I choose to be delighted rather than jaded. Enthusiastic rather than bored. Happy rather than frustrated. I do fall off my own bandwagon - far too often. But, when I do, I choose to climb right back on. I choose joy. I'll say it again.

I choose joy!! I choose little things! I choose delight!!

And. Because I love my dear readers and I love lists, I offer you a list of delightful little things, precious tiny moments. For you. For me. To savor. To add to. To help us all choose joy.

Easy Delights
* blowing dandelion heads * reading aloud * music, music, music * the funny way a song can get caught in your head * finding a new magazine in your mailbox * a pen that feels just right in your hand * that Rice Krispies really do "snap, crackle, pop" * double rainbows * rewatching Disney Sunday Night movies - and still laughing * the way a child will tell you a "joke I just made up" that was old the first time you heard it years ago * the smell of freshly mown grass * family movie night * when you fill up your gas tank and realize that gas has gone down 2 cents a gallon * a brand new toothbrush * the "Kshhhhhhhhhhh" sound when you pop the tab on a soda can * tossing a Koosh ball * Spring sunshine * freshly painted piggies in strappy little sandals * windblown hair * daffodil borders * an email just to say, "Hello, friend." * the smell of a used bookstore * the ticklish feel of a really good sneeze * love notes signed with Xs and Os * laughing till you need to pee * second grade tooty humor * the tickle of grass on newly bared feet * bird feeder antics * mooing loudly at any cow you happen to be near (note: they always look up) * that slightly-embarrassed feeling you get when you realize a Far Side comic applies directly to you * the delicious way laughter feels when it is inappropriate, say in church * a pretty rock, shaped just like a heart, an egg, or a rock * slipping food scraps to a neighborhood dog * a personal letter via snail mail * lists * daydreaming * doodling * a new coloring book * swinging * the delighted smile when a child earns a medal or a trophy * Easter bonnets on tiny heads * art walks, art shows, art museums, art galleries *bubble gum flavored toothpaste * expressing appreciation * crunchy, juicy apples * the start of strawberry season *animals * books * a puzzle table * grandmas * stuffed animals (the best invention in the whole world, according to Sloane) * a new box of 64 Crayola crayons * strawberry or banana Laffy Taffy * pipe cleaner crafts * root beer in a frosty mug * hot coco on a day when you've been rolling in the snow * blog and Flickr friends * simple kindness * generosity * balloons * stick ponies that neigh when you squeeze their ear * treating yourself to pretty office supplies instead of settling for the plain ones * kids running around in homemade masks * noticing the scent of things * the pleasure of a fleece blanket on a chilly night * the purr of a cat * the lick of a dog * someone to listen to your stories * hugs * hugs * hugs * kisses * laughter *kisses * hugs * hugs * hugs *
What's delights are on your list? Happy Spring, dear friends.

All pictures are by Yvette Inufio and are used with permission. Please visit her Etsy shop to bring some of her talent into your home. Nearly twenty years ago, I bought a book called 14,000 Things To Be Happy About. Talk about a perfect book. Grab a copy for yourself, won't you?


ELK said...

well done my friend ~glass is always half full ....yes...there are some truly wonderful and priceless thoughts in this extensive impressive list ...I am in awe...but I most always am when I visit you here! !

Anonymous said...

I love when you do these sorts of lists Relyn!

spread your wings said...

as i was reading your list i was thinking "I love her" . what a wonderfully, delightful list

smith kaich jones said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!! The way a used bookstore smells!! One of my very favorite things. You've listed so many that I, too, would list. I could add warm sand under your feet come summertime (that brings up childhood memories), laying in a hammock at night & counting satellites as they pass overhead, the way tulips lean over all lazy-like in a vase - so many things that are just joy bringing.

Thank you!
:) Debi

Jessica said...

Little things that make me happy are really my passion. That list is many of the same would be on my list!

TheChicGeek said...

Beautiful list:) It's so true that it's appreciation of the small things that build a happy life. When we take the time to look around there are so many blessings to be found!
Love your attitude!
Have a Happy Day :)

tangobaby said...

I wonder, by choosing joy as you do, that you realize how much joy you bring to others. If this blog and your writing and love of the "small things" keeps us feeling centered and smiling, I can only imagine how people who actually encounter you must feel.

yes, you are blessed, but we are too through knowing you.

Thank you for being you. xoxo

Joanne said...

We share much on your list of delightful moments! But what I like best here is how you CHOOSE delight and enthusiasm and happiness, even on bad days, stressful times. What an uplifting thought, that our happiness is often a conscious choice. :)

Char said...

I needed those reminders

Marilyn Miller said...

Your list is amazing! Singing Happy Birthday when it isn't even you birthday brings me great delight! Daffodils in spring time. Warm summer sunshine! Trees in blossum. The song playing on your blog all bring delight.

Amy said...

So glad I found your blog. This post was lots of fun for me since I share your heart in this area. My blog is titled "Daily Pleasures." I do believe in looking for the joy in every day.
I'll be back!


sallymandy said...

We have to choose it. You're right, Relyn! We get free will in this life, and that's the choice we get to make every day. Thank you for your inspiring list and words. So encouraging. You have a wonderful heart.

Suvarna said...

yay, a list of joyous goodness!
I shall add; the way sunlight reflects off a high rise in Burrard Inlet and makes perfectly round shimmering circles on the water,
the pungent smell of roasting coffee,
the acrid smell of fermenting hops,
the way a turtle splays it's legs in all directions while basking in the warm sun,
a beautiful, artful photograph,
holding a steaming hot cup of sweet smelling earl grey tea on a cold winter day,
the way time seems to stand still when your standing at the top of a tree lined viewpoint, looking out over the ocean,
the way HE looks at me with those twinkly blue scandinavian eyes,
the softness of my nine year olds skin and the little dimple he gets in his cheeks when he's thinking of something funny ....... :-)

paris parfait said...

Beautiful, inspiring post, Relyn. Yes, choosing joy is always the best. We do have many blessings for which to be thankful.

Patti said...

I love your list (and everyone elses) Relyn! You are so inspiring! There are just so many little joys and passions out there free for the taking! Have a wonderful day!

My personal joys: walking into a book store or Archivers and knowing I have time to browse, a cup of flavored coffe with a splash of flavored creamer, Friday afternoons ( I can put up with anything then), my craft room and all its possibilities, an old barn, tail wagging dogs after a long day away, a hug from my daughter and husband

Miko's Girl said...

You always brighten my day and give me pause to think. Thanks for the perspective check.

My little delights include baking with my daughters (more on that tomorrow), the sight of my children sleeping, small green shoots that I have planted breaking ground.

Have a lovely day!

misty said...

oh, i love this makes me happy!
my friend and i shared this book in high school, we would read it together, pass it back and forth, and write a ton of our own happy things in it.... i had forgotten about it until now, thank you for reminding me about that wonderful time in my life...
wishing you a very happy day!

Jeanne said...

Gorgeous as are YOU
I love you

Spring and Love 2 of my inspirations and all those I love
flowers, sunshine, happiness, health many others
music books
and and and YOU

Joan said...

Thank you so much for sharing so much warmth and so much Joy.
My kitchen feels a little warmer, my dove is cooing a little louder, and my heart is feeling so much lighter... thank you.
I was reading your list and thinking of how beautiful your spirit is, and of how openly invited you always make me feel...
as I kept reading I was thinking "me too! me too!", and by the end I surely thought there might not be anything that I could add, but then I thought of...
the ring in the bathtub made by the little boy with the 'bubble beard'* rolling out dough for apple pie* leaning your feet out of the car as you brush off all that beach sand* a new pair of mary janes* being 49 years old and still calling your father Daddy* roasting marshmallows until they drip off your branch* catching hermit crabs with a plastic neon pail* your first pair of roller skates* hopscotch* jelly beans* standing in the pouring rain with your eyes closed and your face pointed towards the sky* writing with new chalk on a school blackboard* Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries* the smell of line dried bed sheets* sleeping with the windows open* peanut butter and jelly sanwiches* watching jiffypop pop* learning to whistle* double dutch* lifting up your pillow to see that the tooth fairy really is real* tiny cartons of chocolate milk* sitting on the front porch snapping the ends off of garden grown string beans* butterflies* ladybugs* dragonflies*
fireflies in a mayonnaise jar* sparklers* sprinklers* popping caps on the sidewalk with a big ol' rock* a milk mustache* a baby's toes* the Sunday morning paper* chai tea* a favorite spoon* 'spooning'* a cresent moon* tootsie pops* popping your gum* a new journal* converse sneakers* kitchen curtains blowing in the breeze* rubberbands around your wrist* heartstrings* the very first minute you crawl into bed* hearing a sleepy "sweet dreams mommy* and waking up in the morning to do it all over again ~
I guess there are a million more reasons to feel joy, and gratitude, and love.
Thank you for sharing all of these things... you have truly made a difference for me today.

so much love,

Cam@Journey Wildly said...

"I choose joy"

That is why I choose you, Relyn. You spread so much love and light around, and I just love you!

On the top of my list right at this sunshiny spring day moment? fresh lemonade

robin bird said...

purest sweetness, so like those wonderfully pale hued photographs. i feel warm and there is a calmness i find when i come here. i listen to the music, read your words and see the photographs and think who is this woman? can i meet her please? i come here and can count on you to be consistently joyful in your view of life, your blog the world.

Christina said...

You slay me Relyn! You really do. Wink.

I just love the happiness and truth you share.

I am so honored, to have you as a friend.

PS: You have inspired me. ; )

anna said...

Oh, my heart is infused with "small joys"! Thank you for sharing your list... and all these other posts- wow!
My small joys are- holding hands with my children, throwing open the windows on the first warm and breezy spring day, watching my bees come in with spring pollen, pouring two cups of coffee- one for me and one for a friend.... and so many more!

The Seeker said...

Can I ask you a favour? If you are inclined, would you be so kind as

to pop over to

I just would love if you would vote for your favourite. Better if you vote for me. :)

Thank you

The Seeker

corine said...

Wonderful post. My listis pretty long too. thank you for the beautiful reminder.

sallymandy said...

I love your list Relyn!

My list has one more thing on it: a hot water bottle for my feet, every night of the winter and even on a cold rainy day in spring.

It's fun reading your long list.

Have a nice weekend! xo

dutchbaby said...

Your outlook is infectious and I wish the world to be washed with your joy. I would like to add the delight of smelling the fragrance of flowers in the moist air of a flower shop.

Kirsten said...

And this is why we adore you!

Maria said...

wonderful post, beautiful pictures, great philosophy for living, and what a list, that should keep you smiling for a while

Jerusalem said...

Beautifully written! I am with you my friend - we share the same basic outlook and I think it makes a world of difference! I love the all the pink photos as well...can't wait to paint my studio that shade!

Jaime said...

You have warmed my heart in the most simplest but deeply profound ways today Dear Relyn. This list inspires us all to see that no matter what, there is ALWAYS something beautiful to catch throughout the day...there is always something to be incredibly grateful for. And I am so grateful for you. You are so beautiful.

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