Adventure, FUN!, Journal, joy, Lent, Life, New York City, Project, small joy, Spring, summer, Thank You

small joy: another 40 days

When I started this next 40 days, I was considering not doing this project anymore. I was bummed out about all sorts of different things, like my job, my family, my life… and was just feeling especially down on myself (I am my worst critic). Then Captain Clam told me that he was inspired by my Small Joy posts to make a conscious effort to do one good thing a day. So, I once again felt obligated to trudge on with the project. I hate to write it that way, but that’s how I am feeling some days. It is nice to know, however, that these small little specs of my life can affect my readers, even my special little Clam.

So here we go again on this journey. I hope these next 40 days bring you joy.

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Day 81: House guests from Wisconsin.

Day 82: Getting caught in the rain.

Day 83: Double Date Picnic in Central Park.

Day 84: Going out to  “move the truck” to the other side of the street and ending up in Connecticut.

Day 85: THIS example of joyful living.

Day 86: Took 2 hours to almost get home and Captain Clam picked my up from 125th street, then our super neighbors came over with surprise pork chops!

Day 87: Received a photo update on Max. He is thriving in his new home! yay!

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Day 88: Talking to my sister.

Day 89: Finally starting that art project I have been meaning to get to.

Day 90: Discovering a half bag of uneaten all natural licorice in my purse!

Day 91: Getting hit on by the cute guy behind the cold cut counter. Ooh la la!

Day 92: Watching the sunset after a rainstorm.

Day 93: Woke up after dreaming about being in a pet store…for the entire night! Captain Clam and I adopted bunnies and kittens and a dog name Hubert. Best dream ever!

Day 94: A new dress.

Day 95: Farmer’s market flower shopping for Saturday gardening.

Day 96: Sleeping in past 8am.

Day 97: Feeling ridiculously sexy for no reason.

Day 98:  Receiving mail.

Day 99: Dinner Date with wine and oysters.

Day 100: Helping a neighbor with groceries and getting an ice pop in return!

Day 101: World War Z.

Day 102: Almost burning the apartment down warming up taco shells = NEW TOASTER OVEN!

Day 103: Ran into Ice T at the Bronx Ignites Street Fair.

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Day 104: Netflix Binge OITNB!

Day 105: A Strangers “Good Morning.”

Day 106: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, and a House Guest.

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Shenanigans.

Day 107: The hottest day of the Spring.

Day 108: Inadvertent half day at work.

Day 109: Getting my floor repaired, and that moldy leak in the bathroom (at last!).

Day 110: Helping a stranded driver push his car out of traffic.

Day 111: Greasy Diner Food.

Day 113: Talking to my dad about his flower pots.

Day 114: Petting a puppy first thing in the morning!

Day 115: Six “Good Morning’s” before I got to the train this morning.

Day116: Captain Clam’s Birthday!

Day 117: Butt Dialing My Sister.

Day 118: Waking up to a clean apartment and coming home to the best house guests ever!

Day 119: Leaving a bagel with cream cheese for a homeless person sleeping on the street.

Day 120: Watching a lady talk to and feed the squirrels in Union Square.

Have 40 more days passed already? For a while there I was too bummed out to do this everyday and kept having to go back and try to remember something amazing. Then I decidedly got my shit together, and life somehow became a little easier. I also started to follow Captain Clam’s lead (which you can see some of in these past 40 days), and started bringing small joys to the lives of other people.

How do you bring joy to your world?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Adventure, Dogs, FUN!, Journal, joy, Lent, Love, Today was Awesome

small joy: 40 days later

I was prompted by ManMadeOceans to continue the small joy list that I started for lent. His reasoning was simple: why not? As soon as I read his thoughts, I couldn’t come up with a good excuse… or I didn’t really want to. Either way, this is still an excellent exercise in finding the good in everyday. Even when that day seems like it sucked, I sit down and force myself to find something good. Lately I am looking for the small joys, wondering which joy is the smallest one to make the biggest difference. Since it is now officially Spring, happiness seems to be just one ray on sunshine away, making each morning an exercise in hope and excitement.

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Here’s another 40 day dose of the small joys that have been finding me lately.

Day 41: Taking the scenic route.

Day 42: Finding a hidden fan base for my blog. It’s called “my friend’s moms.”

Day 43: Making out like a teenager.

Day 44: Staying up late on a school night with an old friend.

Day 45: Making 4 Chicken legs for 3 people and feeding the neighbor who just happened to stop by. Then discovering the video to my new favorite song actually feels just like I do when I hear it …THIS!

Day 46: Sushi for lunch and dinner… a Good Friday coincidence!

Day 47: A full day of rest and relaxation.

Day 48: Lending a neighbor sugar.

Day 49: Bacon!

Day 50: Being thanked with groceries.

Day 51: Hanging out with a 4 year old at work. He opened a lollypop for me and made sure I ate it.

Day 52: A white dove in Union Square at 7:55 am. I also saw a squirrel with a newspaper. My only thought was “sodoku.”

Day 53: No boys in the office!

Day 54: Pizza from Giovanni’s.

Day 55: Exit 69 on the Long Island Expressway.

Day 56: Sleeping naked.

Day 57: Seeing my blog stats reach 5000+ hits. Thanks friend’s moms!

Day 58: A long overdue chat with my best gal pal.

Day 59: Impromptu hang out with my neighbors.

Day 60: Drinks with co-workers at Madison Square Eats.

Day 61: Paul has returned!

Day 62: Grocery Shopping at Stew Leonard’s and Stew Leonards Wine Shop in Yonkers.

Day 63: Finding something I thought might be gone forever.

Day 64: Finishing a project started too long ago!

Day 65: “Bad Movie” night turning out to be “Great Movie” night. See what we watched HERE.

Day 66: Making dinner for one of my best friends.

Day 67: Stopped at a red light and saw a cab driver helping an old fat lady with a walker out of the cab on the traffic side of the street.

Day 68: Lunch at Santa Clarita and then a trip to the pet shop to look at the animals.

Day 69: Hugging my mom (and having a dog as a house guest!).

Day 70: Starting THIS gardening project.

Day 71: Coming home to a dog that is just SOOOOO happy to see me.

Day 72: Waking up sore and feeling good about it.

Day 73: Finding money in my purse!

Day 64: Rainy evening road trip from NYC to VA to see my sister and her awesome family. Captain Clam and I sang and joked the entire ride, making 7 hours feel like, well, not 7 hours. Plus, we had a dog with us, so that was pretty awesome, too.

Day 75: Wearing a horse dress to a horse party.

Day 76: Seeing a dog smile.

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Day 77: Setting up an old church pew in the living room.

Day 78: Playing in the dirt

Day 79: Waking up to baby birds chirping.

Day 80: Having a great eyelash day!

Well, wasn’t that a journey and a half? There were a few days that really knocked the wind out of me, especially Day 64, where a co-worker’s snide comment about me being dumber than an osculating fan really stuck with me for a few days (and beyond, obviously). Day 77 was a real doozie when one person decided to be a total douchebag, starting all kinds of drama within my family by stirring a pot that should have been filled with gratitude, not unkindness. Finding joy on days like these is often hard because I am left so angry and emotional, which then make my small joys lost and I end up copping out on some other insignificant thing as my joy (like a church pew? really? It is pretty cool though).

It continues to amazing to me how small things can just tear the joy right out of the day just as much as small things can smother the day in love.

My happiest days also came towards the tail end of this past 40 days. Starting #Garden134 is a huge goal for me and Captain Clam, plus helping a dog find a good home and seeing all my family in the span of one week was a real treat (that’s not supposed to sound sarcastic). Day 61 and 66 were real happy days, since one of my best friends ever has returned to the neighborhood (well, and the United States of America). It was a real shit experience when he moved away, and it’s been such a huge joy to reconnect with him and catch up on a few missing years. Welcome Back Paul!

I look forward to sharing the next 40 days with ya’ll. What small joys have you had lately?

 

 

 

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Journal, joy, Lent, Life, Spring

small joy

3/5/14: It’s Lent! I have decided to rub my belly, spin in a circle with my eyes closed, and make a wish to celebrate. I have no religion, but do like the idea of penitence. Last year, a very Feisty Pickle posted on facebook everyday, thanking and writing the praises of special people in her life. Each day, her post was devoted to a different person. Awesomeness!!! It made me feel good reading it, even though I didn’t know all of the people she wrote about.  Well, the whole thing inspired me to do something for lent this year, even though I am not religious. I want to spread some love!

This year I am devoted to being nicer to myself and working on not complaining as much as my mouth wants to. So for the 40 days leading up to the next time I make a ham, I decided to share one thing each day that brings me joy, no matter how small that joy may be. So without further ado, I present to you The Joy Journal for Lent 2014 from a non-belieber.

Day 1: Thinking you finished your coffee and then realize there are a few sips left.

Day 2: Cold feet, warm cat.

Day 3: The sound of a guitar being tuned in the subway first thing on a Friday morning.

Day 4: A Saturday trip to Home Depot.

Day 5: Drinking ice cold soda straight from a 2 liter bottle.

Day 6: Thinking you lost our phone and then finding it in a pair of pants that mysteriously disappeared into a pile.

Day 7: Spicy Jerk Chicken Leg Soup.

Day 8: Spicy Jerk Chicken Leg Soup Leftovers.

Day 9: Helping a friend pick out girl baby names.

Day 10: A haircut, even if it is just a trim.

Day 11: Neil Young : 1971 

Day 12: Al Pastor burrito leftovers with a bad ass salsa verde.

Day 13: Getting a mailbox key (at last!) and getting a letter from my mom.

Day 14: Being Irish for 1 day.

Day 15: Visiting a pet store just to see the animals.

Day 16: Cabbage farts.

Day 17: A new dish rack that actually fits on the counter. Woohoo!

Day 18: Seeing my favorite Cousin THAT GIRL RYAN’S first Stand Up Comedy performance (online, sadly).

Day 19: Romantic dinner at Charlie’s.

Day 20: Spending a lazy Sunday watching bad Reality programming on Netflix  (click HERE to find out what I was watching… it’s so bad!).

Day 21: Coming home and Captain Clam has made a masterful dinner for two!

Day 22: 9 Hours of sleep and a good attitude.

Day 23: Finding Cheerios and Chocolate in my lunch bag.

Day 24: Talking to my sister for more than 5 minutes.

Day 25: Pizza for lunch AND dinner. A True Pizza Friday!

Day 26: Baby Smiles.

Day 27: Coming home to a clean apartment after being away all weekend.

Day 28: Pressing SEND and feeling really good about it.

Day 29: Sick Day = 15 hours of sleep.

Day 30: Orange Paint.

Day 31: Yellow Paint.

Day 32: Getting a seat on the Subway for the entire ride both ways.

Day 33: Seeing old friends.

Day 34: Sleeping past 7:30am.

Day 35: NEW OFFICE CHAIR!

Day 36: Received good news on freelance projects.

Day 37: Saw a driver get out of his car and help a woman in a wheelchair cross the street. Gave him a thumbs up.

Day 38: In and out of the DMV in less than 20 minutes.

Day 39: A little finch flew in through the window at work. I named him Harry.

Day 40:  Finding an antique door knob to replace the loose shifter knob in Dino Gadget, our new pick-up truck.

4/13/14: I am not gonna lie. Some days, there was a struggle to find a small joy, other days, I knew exactly what would make the list (like Day 35). Day 31 was almost hopeless, but I did find some solace in painting my kitchen a bright yellow. No matter how crappy the day was, there was something each day that brought joy and thanks. It was nice to sit down and (sometimes force myself to) find one glimmer of hope from the day, even it the day had seriously gone to shit. Yellow paint might seem like a cop out to you, but for me on that day, it was something that I needed badly, and quite possibly the only thing that made me smile that day.

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Just a little note to mention that I lost my voice and came down with a nasty sinus bug towards the end of this small joy project. If you know me then you know I am a giant baby when I get sick. I don’t want to do anything except sleep and be miserable and get head and body rubs (which were readily unavailable (thanks, Captain Clam!)). That office chair really made my week though. At first, they gave it to me and then took it away because it had a dent in the arm. Then I came in on Monday and, like magic, it was there, waiting for me to have my mind blown. Thank you, powers that be!

Small joys are all around us. This little project really helped me to appreciate the larger joys even more. I could list a million big joys (like getting a car and road tripping all over the Husdon Valley), but it’s the itty bitty ones that make me stop and think about how easy it is to be happy, even if just for a fleeting moment. It’s the flower growing out of a pile of garbage, or being woken up by a singing bird on the perfect sunny morning. You don’t even have to look for them; they are all around you. Make them count!

What small joys have you had lately?

 

 

 

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