tidy up…again?

hello joyful friends,

I had planned for this to be my first post of the new year, but it got…complicated.  I have tried to make it more concise, to avoid the inevitable tangents that I am prone to.  And, it still is a new year, with a new president, and a new, you?!  At the beginning of 2019 a friend turned me on to a television show called Tidying Up.  It’s a series on Netflix that hints about how the out-of-control mess (dirty clothes, unorganized closets) in our lives may be  symbolic.  It might be a sign that our lives are in disarray.  That perhaps in addition to cleaning up our closet, that a review of our current life situation might be in order.

I decided to give it a try (cleaning out my closet) and well, it changed my life.  I briefly wrote about this in a previous post.  The beginning of 2019 was also when my back started to give me trouble, my relationship with my mom was giving me trouble, and more.  Fast forward to the end of 2020 where the election of a president was in the balance, a global pandemic had taken over our lives, and my back troubles were determined to be chronic.  I was also trying to figure out how I fit in my family, my workplace, in my now adults kids lives.  No, I haven’t figured it all out but I am more open to change. 

Change – verb: to make different, alter, modify.  Replace something with something else. 

And, I did, replace one thing, my trying to change someone, into me trying new things like baking, arranging flowers, and shopping at thrift stores.  Being a compulsive, some would call obsessive person, I do everything obsessively.  I bake almost every day.  I buy flowers almost every day.  And my latest obsession…uncovering great “finds” at thrift stores has led me back to square one. 

This is actually my son’s room, not a stunt double or a google pic!

I need to rethink things, again.  My house is overflowing with stuff.  My poor son came home from college to find his room filled with my “finds”.  Marie Kondo taught me to hold an article of clothing in my hand and ask myself, “does this thing” (shirt, pair of pants, painting, small dresser – yikes!) spark joy for me? 

So, how do I get started?  So much disarray. My therapist says it’s my attempt to stay busy, to keep my mind off the mom relationship that was so important to me, to keep my mind occupied instead of worrying about the future.  So, how to get the spending, the wanting, the obsessing under control?  A new years resolution you say??!!  Well, you know what’s next, at least I think you do.

Resolution – noun: a firm decision to do or not to do something. 

Am I ready to make a firm decision?  My intention is to: (see how I artfully avoid the word “try”?)

Live within my means. Live within the moment. Live with what I have. Live with peace. Live with acceptance. Live with joy. Live with an open mind. Live with a willing heart.

My intention is to live with and be with people I care about. Be with people who care about me.  My daughter always teased me when I was in my dark period saying, “you aren’t going to meet anyone sitting on this couch!”  Then she started saying, “you aren’t going to meet anyone in a thrift store!”  She was wrong!  Believe it or not, I met the nicest guy, let’s call him E, at a thrift store.  E seems like a sweet man.  He reads my blog, and well, after this pandemic thing clears up, we might even have a meal together.  Stay tuned my joyful friends!  More will be revealed!

Until we meet again!


just joy.

hello my joyful friends,

Happy new year to you all!  I have already written a post for this first of the new year, but am doing a take two.  The first draft was too…scattered. The tangent still looms large in my writing. So, this year I will focus!

After January has past and the review of the previous year; the best songs, the best TV shows, the best food trends, etc., have faded, after the resolutions have been attempted and forgotten, what is left? 

A gift. A new year.  Yes, an opportunity for a fresh start.  What do I want for the new year?  Joy!  Joy, of course! More joy for myself, more joy for my friends, more joy for my family, more joy for friends I have yet to know.  (Talking to you E!)

joy:  a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

Joy is almost impossible to define, but you know it when you feel it.  It is brief.  It doesn’t come with a hangover like great pleasure or a vacation.  It does not go up and down like our moods.  Joy can surprise you at any time, anywhere. Joy is free.  Free to enjoy, (no pun intended!) free to give. Seems like joy, the word at least, was everywhere this year! Time magazine was feeling the joy. All Recipes featured joy on their cover, and even Martha was joyful this year!

Of course, I was feeling the joy! Boy o boy, was I feeling the joy!

And, what I learned last year is how easy it is to spark joy in others.  And, what I learned last year is how rewarding it is to spark joy in others.  I now know the warm feeling that comes over me when I hand a homeless person outside the grocery store holding up a sign “need money” a $20 bill, and a bag of snacks with a blanket and a warm pair of socks inside.  When he takes the money, then peeks inside the bag and says, “Oh, thank you! You made my night!”  True story and I have been thinking about it for two weeks now. 

That is what I want.  Just joy!

So, my joyful friends, my challenge for you this new year is to give it a try.  You don’t need a $20 bill, or a homeless person or a blanket. You only need another person and a kind word, a helping hand, a smile. 

I know you are all busy.  We don’t have enough time these days.  And, what has really suffered is kindness.  No time to be kind to each other because every second of our rushed day counts, right.  Shave off a few seconds by rushing out of the line at the grocery store to, well, do what?  To get home and rush through cooking dinner to rush to baseball practice, to rush home and…well, you get the idea.  And, when we fall in bed at night after rushing through our day, and stress about falling asleep fast to get up and do it again, it is too late. Too late to be kind to the cashier, too late to say thank you or I’m sorry.  Too late to hug your kid and tell them you love them. You don’t get that day back.  There are no do-overs in this life. 

But, there is tomorrow.  Each day is a new day. Each new day is an opportunity to do something different. To try something new.  You can spark joy right now!  Yes, do it!  Turn to the person next to you and say “Hi, good to see you!”  Text a friend and say, “Hey, just thinking about you!”  Pick up the phone, call your sister and say “Have a great day!”

You, my friend, have just sparked a little joy!  How do you feel!?

Until we meet again!