Celebrating Life

The Joy List

Several weeks ago, my bestie S and I were walking during our lunch break. It was the kind of day native Floridians long for and beachgoers dream about.

The sun was shining in a cloudless bright blue sky. The temps were hovering at a balmy 65 degrees and the birds serenaded us as soon as we opened the front door.

Despite our glorious surroundings, the morning had been filled with constant interruptions, conference calls that gave us extra work, a craft fail, and canceled plans for dinner.

I was this close to forgoing our daily walk so I could troubleshoot problems and work through lunch at my desk.

But I knew if we didn’t fight to get some exercise in at lunch, we’d spend the rest of the day wishing we had.

So, we kept our promise and forged ahead.

Truthfully, the walk started out with a major vent sesh that left us both grumpy.

Knowing things were about to quickly go downhill if we kept trying to fix something that couldn’t be fixed, I blurted out, “What brings you joy?” mid-conversation.

“This isn’t your woo-woo stuff again, is it? Because we have a lot on our plates, and we don’t have time for the woo-woo today.” S said which gave me the giggles immediately.

“There is nothing woo-woo about joy,” I replied, “Now just tell me what brings you joy so we can have something pleasant to talk about.”

Reluctantly, S played along and for the next 15 minutes, we shared aloud all the things that brought us joy.

The big things, the little things, the things that seemed insignificant, things that were mundane, and things that could only be considered lavish.

Truthfully, those 15 minutes wound up to be the most important part of our day and it set the tone for the rest of the workweek.

I don’t know about you but sometimes one or two things can steal my joy and derail the entire day.

The expectation I set for myself and others can be really high. Sometimes, so high, it borderlines on perfectionism.

It’s in those moments of unmet expectations, frustration, overwhelm, or chaos that I’ve learned to take a completely different approach in an effort to turn the day around. 

To say no to the drama and yes to joy because I know time is a precious gift that is to be treasured.

This technique definitely takes practice, but the effort is always worth it.

As we close out the month and celebrate a new season, it’s my hope we can all make a conscious effort to choose joy.

Even when the day gets hectic or something we have no control over threatens to rob us of our otherwise happy and peace-filled day.

We still have the ability to choose joy despite it all.

Here’s a look at 75 things we currently have on our joy list in no particular order…

  1. Bread (that was the first thing S said ?)
  2. Random acts of kindness
  3. Piper
  4. Waking up to a clean house
  5. Dad jokes
  6. The minute you realize you’ve solved a problem
  7. An organized______________ (drawer, pantry, closet, purse, you name it)
  8. Afternoon naps
  9. Living in a home you love
  10. Getting in your car and realizing you have a full tank of gas
  11. Flowers just because
  12. Catching up with my sisters
  13. Making white space to create
  14. Unscheduled afternoon drives to get custard
  15. A coffee table full of books that inspire
  16. Treasure hunting with my Mom
  17. Thoughtful comments
  18. Ironstone
  19. Bird songs
  20. Flowers blooming
  21. The farmers market
  22. Afternoon tea
  23. Coffee with my parents
  24. Unexpected gifts
  25. The sound of the Amazon truck pulling up
  26. Being able to get what you need when you need it
  27. The Crowned Goat Cottage
  28. Our porch swing
  29. The cabin
  30. Eating dinner outside with fairy lights
  31. Breakfast tacos and Bloody Marys
  32. List-making
  33. Celebrating big wins and little wins
  34. Curbside grocery pick up
  35. Vintage china
  36. Fresh cut grass
  37. Water rushing over our feet at the beach
  38. Hiking the AT
  39. Daily lunch walks
  40. Walking into a bookstore filled with the scent of coffee, baked goods, and paper
  41. Shrimp rolls on the coast
  42. The way my aunt tells a story
  43. Sun-dried linens
  44. Good movies
  45. Hydrangeas in summer
  46. Funny things the littles say
  47. Chandeliers
  48. Sunshine and blue skies
  49. Meal planning
  50. Folding the last load of laundry
  51. Generous coffee mugs
  52. Time-saving hacks that actually work
  53. Candles with dinner
  54. Quiet time
  55. Lavender
  56. Music
  57. Lemonade from Chick fil A
  58. My Mom’s encouraging word text of the day
  59. Mums in the Fall
  60. Keeping Sunday sacred
  61. Sleeping in
  62. Pup cups
  63. Reading a magazine from cover to cover on a rainy day
  64. Goats
  65. Homemade freezer meals
  66. Women supporting other women
  67. Migraine free months
  68. The garden center
  69. My aunt’s snickerdoodles
  70. Watching my nephew ride horses
  71. The pecan grove
  72. Bird eggs
  73. The way my uncle sings any Journey song
  74. Fresh starts
  75. Grace

What’s on your joy list?

Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Other Encouragement of the Month Posts to Enjoy:

When Things Don’t Work Out as Planned (January) 

Encouragement for the Weary (February)

Many blessings,

CoCo

 

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7 Comments

  1. Stacey Keeling says:

    Oh how I loved this, CoCo! Years ago my husband had an obsession with Fox News and he’d always get mad while watching. One day I asked him if it was bringing him any joy to watch….he thought about it, said no, and stopped watching! We regularly ask each other now and talk about what brings joy. It truly is the little things and we shouldn’t take those for granted. Thanks for this! 🙂

    1. So excited to hear this works for you too, Stacey! It’s amazing how something as simple as watching the news can be so polarizing and stir you up in ways you might not expect. It’s great you guys check in on a regular basis with each other. I swear if this pandemic has taught me anything it’s that good communication (and grace) is everything. Sending you hugs for a joy-filled Easter weekend, CoCo

  2. I really loved this CoCo. And you have inspired me to create a joy list! I’ll let you know when I come up with it. Bread and random acts of kindness will definitely be on mine!

    1. Thank you so much, Kim! It’s so easy to get caught up in the drama of everyday life where even small things can feel frustrating and overwhelming. Keeping a running joy list has helped change our perspective many times and during multiple seasons of life too. Can’t wait to hear all about what brings you joy! Hugs, CoCo

  3. Coco, I am sharing this lovely post with my readers today! Thank you for your heartfelt writing!

    1. That is so sweet of you, Jennifer, thank you so much! It’s something I have to practice all the time but it definitely helps. Sending you big hugs and thank yous, CoCo

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