Sunday, April 25, 2010


april 2010: this year was much different than other years. this year, this year, life intervened. nothing went as planned. my boyfriend's dad was seriously ill and hospitalized. a came down with strep. none of my plans were materializing. and we all know how i am with plans.

once, when i was a teenager and rather fed up with my aunt, whom i love dearly but who can engender feelings of exasperation on a regular basis, my mom explained to me something key: she explained to me that my aunt has movie of each situation, each life scene, playing in her head, and when the movies in her head and real life don't match up, she has issues.

hmm, that sounds familiar. so maybe the reason my aunt can be exasperating to me so often is because she reminds me of me. i have gotten (mostly) better on this with age, and it is something i am proud to say i have (mostly) overcome. but this year, this year, the movies of my birthday celebrations did not match the reality. and i had issues.

while each celebration all added up to some incredibly beautiful and precious moments (perhaps even more sentimental than previous years), the getting there--the planning, the anticipation, the knowing what exactly is coming next--did not.

i suppose i should look back on this as a learning experience. a growing experience. a change-my-point-of-view and grow-up-and-become-a-better-person experience. and i suppose i will. but during the moments of planning and attempting to figure out who/what/when/where/how (right up until the planned/not planned action was taken, argh), i wanted to throw a fit about it. (really, i'm grown up, i swear i'm not four.)

do you ever get that feeling? the feeling of petulance or exasperation or worry or fear? the feeling that things are important and they aren't going your way and you are rather quite fed up with it, thankyouverymuch? maybe i'm all alone here. and maybe it's rather quite selfish of me. but man alive, i have really discovered that i am a big fan of certainty. i want to know exactly when, where and with whom things are happening. and i prefer to know this at least a few days ahead of time, if not a few weeks. this not-knowing thing really threw me. it caused some sleep-interrupting anxiety.

that said, the evening of my birthday dinner, even with a sick kid and an out-of-it boyfriend who forgot dinner was supposed to happen, was beautiful. a couldn't eat, but he snuggled the whole time with me and was so anxious for me to open his amazing gifts (a "best times with mom" book! coupons for "no whining for 4 hours"!). c was tired and exhausted, but he smiled and, most importantly, was there.

and the girls time together, just me and my mom and my sis and my sis-in-law, while thrown together with last-minute texts, was so joyous and bountiful and fun. i don't remember the last time i had such a satisfying and contented time with these women. our time together is usually so scattered and filled with children and significant others and family members interrupting. this was just us, laughing and talking for three full hours.

and the big trip, the trip out of town with just me and my boyfriend, which was supposed to be an easygoing get-away-from-it-all trip, and which almost didn't happen (the morning of: are you okay to go? do you think your dad will be ok? what do you mean, you're sick? do you think you will be ok? are you sure you are ok to go?), while anxiety-ridden (are you sure you are ok? do you feel well enough to hike? what do you mean, it's snowing? what do you mean, my wallet is missing? what do you mean, the road to the cliff dwellings is closed? what do you mean, we are out of gas?) was so. much. fun. the random side trips. finding the wallet with everything intact. making the hike to the cliff dwellings with his skin covered from head to toe (bubble boy!). getting upgraded in our cabin rental. reading in front of the woodstove. soaking in the hot tub in a tiny little hut and getting interrupted by pre-teen boys playing nerf tag who thought their targets were hiding inside. finding the world's greatest restaurant nestled at the end of a small mining town's downtown strip.

i think what i want to come away from this all with is that, while i appreciate (and prefer!) certainty and planning ahead and knowing exactly what is coming when and where and with whom, that is not a requirement for joy.

joy comes, maybe not in the spontaneity itself, but in the choice of allowing the beauty of the moment to exist as it is, even in its imperfection.

posted on
a(n almost) daily joy journal

Monday, April 12, 2010


sunday, april 11: two big men hoist me up and send me flying. for a few short seconds (maybe 30?), i'm high above the crowd. i'm flying while my favorite band is playing my favorite song. i crash to the ground, not too painfully, jump up and run back to my friend. we jump and down and scream for joy.

posted on
a(n almost) daily joy journal


saturday, april 10: i check the last item off the list and realize i did everything--and then some. it takes awhile for me to name the sensation i'm feeling: boredom.

posted on
a(n almost) daily joy journal

Friday, April 9, 2010

april 3-9

really? i've gone an entire week without posting? wow, life is busy! and it will remain so, at least through april 28. i have almost every minute of every day planned between now and then. lots of travel and homework and meetings birthday!

so this month will be sporadic, and it will be so much fun, even though it will be busy.

i've kicked off the birthday season with a birthday lunch with my mom, sis & sis-in-law. totally spur-of-the-moment, and a highlight of a stressful day that started early with no sleep. laughing at the bakery, talking for three hours nonstop, wearing a wonderfully silly pink fuzzy hat and necklaces...i really cherish the time i get to spend with my wonderful girls.

posted on
a(n almost) daily joy journal

Friday, April 2, 2010

spring cleaning

friday, april 2: i dump a gigantic box full of paper into the recycling bin, and exult in the joyous buoyancy of a clean office. unnecessary files are cleared, extraneous paper is gone and i can rest in peace.

posted on
a(n almost) daily joy journal

Thursday, April 1, 2010


thursday, april 1: i start the day close to a nervous breakdown, and decide the best thing for me -- and those around me -- is to hole up in severe dnd. i emerge six hours later, with everything (and then some) scratched off my to-do list and a gigantic weight lifted off my shoulders.

posted on
a(n almost) daily joy journal