I used to have a list.
Last fall, when I was going through a rough month, my counselor suggested that I put together a list. She said that if I made and kept a list of “simple joys,” then I would have something to look at for the low days. Essentially, it was a list to remind me of the things that made life worth living.
Even now, I keep a list. I no longer have it on my computer desktop as a constant reminder, but I keep it for similar reasons. I think everyone should have a list. I created my first list out of desperation; I keep my current list out of love.
This past week has been upsetting. I can say I was far from pleased on Wednesday morning, and I carried a sadness for several days. I felt the way most Americans felt – uneasy, concerned and at a loss for what the future would hold. In the midst of fear, I needed something to hold onto and something to give me hope.
I turned to my list.
Below is a reproduction of a part of my list. I add to it every few days, or whenever something happens. These are only a few of the “simple joys” that make my life worth living. These “simple joys” bring a significant amount of love and peace to my life.
Laughing when I didn’t want to. Laughing when I did. Smiling at strangers. Taking my first step outside in the morning. When the wind hits my face. Daisies. Holding sunflowers like a small child. Coffee dates that turn into coffee afternoons. Writing. A book and a warm mug of tea. Hugs on long days, short days and all days in between. Feelings of friendship. Spontaneity. Making others smile. The first run after a break from running. Easy snuggles. Hot cocoa and Christmas movies. Spending time with my family. Long walks. Sitting silently. Coffee house music and Bartram cupcakes on a rainy afternoon. 9:30 vinyasa yoga at Stray Dog. Late nights spent talking. Fall colors. The high after a strong run.
I don’t have much else for today, other than urging you to create your own list of simple joys. I also urge you to think about what sets your soul on fire. What do you fight for? What do you believe in? Now, more than ever, you have to remember your purpose, and speak up for what you think is right and good and just.
You, reader, give me hope. You give me hope because I know that you bring joy to others. That is one of the greatest gifts you can give. You are on someone else’s list of simple joys. Never forget that you are whole and worthy.
Writing to you is a simple joy.
The light in me honors the light in you. Love, Susan
P.S. For those who are curious, here is a quick, vapid breakdown of my outfit today. Some have asked about it.
On me: Tahari sweater, J.Crew necklace, J.Crew cinched waist skirt. Thank goodness for 68 degree weather in the middle of November!