Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bring Back the Joy

What brings you joy? I think we all have universal answers to that question. Let's, friends, laughter, a good meal...most people enjoy those things.

But what brings you joy?

Think of all the things you love and write them down. When I first did this exercise, I was shocked to see how many ordinary, everyday things were on my list. I couldn't believe there weren't more exotic, unheard of pleasures like whizzing to the top of the Eiffel Tower or snorkeling near a barrier reef. And that's when I realized how often I shortchange my days by not doing the things on my list.

Here's a sample (not including the family, friends items):
  • listening to a jazz cd
  • watching a romantic movie in the comfort of my own home
  • reading a fantastic paperback
  • studying a historical period
  • having an entire box of chocolate all to myself
  • seeing a vase of fresh flowers on my countertop
  • reading a love note from my husband
  • meandering through a museum
  • taking a long walk outside
  • traipsing through a botanical garden
  • working in my own garden
  • leafing through a stack of magazines while enjoying a steaming cup of tea.

What does your list look like? How often do you "treat" yourself to items on the list? If you aren't treating yourself very often, why not? What would it hurt to take fifteen minutes every day to listen to a special cd or fix yourself a cup of tea and leaf through a magazine? And what about flowers? Yes, I know the economy is rough and money is tight. You could still look through your supermarket for a clearance bouquet, or check out an Aldi grocery if you have one nearby. Their bouquets are always under five dollars. Another option is to cut a bouquet of wildflowers.

Your list might not include the things on mine, but it doesn't matter. Get that creative thinking cap on and brainstorm ways to bring joy to your life.

You don't need permission to read a book, borrow a DVD from the library, or make yourself a cup of tea. You can give yourself permission to slow down and enjoy life.

Join me on Friday when we'll be discussing the merits of slowing down. Turns out, enjoying yourself is actually good for productivity!


Write Already! It's Wednesday!

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