Joy List Monday

Another Monday and another Joy List. Not sick of it yet. Are you?

Actually, I've been feeling a bit blue. It's oh-so-easy to focus on the negatives. To come down hard on yourself for not doing more or being more or, or, or... But stopping there is limiting yourself. I know you can't control your feelings, but you can control your focus. Maybe this is all a bit redundant, but I'm finding that I need to constantly think about and verbalize these things and remind myself to constantly work on them. Focusing on Joy is something that I need to be intentional about. It's something that I need to work on. It doesn't just happen because I want it to. Hence, these lists. I'm also thinking about ways to make focus on Joy a daily habit. A daily ritual. I have some ideas. What about you?

Here's today's list.

  • a gardenia plant
  • planting seeds
  • new painting books
  • sketchbooks -- looking through mine + Dana's upcoming class
  • daffodils

I'm sitting beside the gardenia as I write this, hoping that this will be the gardenia I'll be able to keep alive (I have bad luck with them!), but also knowing that even if I can't, enjoying its fragrance while it lasts is good enough.

I planted some seeds outside and some inside, too. I feel like jumping up and down when I think about how it won't be too long before I can make dinner by simply walking through the yard and picking it!

And I feel like doing cartwheels after looking through my two new painting books. I'll share more about them soon.

I know I'll share more thoughts on sketchbooks, too, once Dana's class begins (there's still time to register if you want to get in on the inspiration!), but I wanted to share a couple thoughts I had after looking through my sketchbook yesterday. I've been keeping it since January of 2010 when I first became intentional about creative experimentation. It's been slow going, this artistic journey. That I'm still using the same sketchbook over 2 years later is testament to that. BUT, that sketchbook is full of some really good stuff. I worked out jewelry and bag designs in there. I brainstormed. I played. I think that putting more effort and focus into my sketchbook will really help with my creative development. Looking at my sketchbook and looking back at this creative journey, I feel as if I am on the edge of something great (and I see that I really have come a long way). Just as it's easy to focus on the negative and forget the Joy, it's easy to focus on how far I still need to go and forget how far I've come.

It's wonderful to have cut flowers from my garden, again. Daffodils are just the beginning. This winter there were only two months without flowers. I was still cutting them in December!

Many people are disturbed by our non-winter, but weather is weather. You can't do anything about it. In 2005 we had snow on April 24th and all the trees were damaged here. My hydrangeas took a couple years to recover. It's scary for those having to feed their families or support themselves dependent on how the weather affects the plants and trees. It's not just about pretty flowers and I know that, but, I want to focus on beauty and Joy. So, for now, hooray for the daffodils and the blooming trees. What comes will come. And we'll get through it.

I hope that each of you are able to focus on today's Joys and that they are many.


  1. Most of the time we don´t realize how much we do or how far we´ve come. Take us for example. We are always leaving each other comments on how much the OTHER one has done. It must mean we actually BOTH do a lot! It just takes somebody else´s eyes to see it.
    Beautiful flowers, you are always surrounded by beauty. :) Joining the happy dance for the seeds.

  2. I have felt like this on and off for years. In the last week I have had a big breakthrough! Have you seen the book '1000 gifts?' It is amazing! Talks about just what you have blogged about! xxx Rach

  3. Good for you for continuing on despite the ups and downs of depression. I do hope that if you're still feeling blue, its at least a shimmery aquamarine instead of navy :) I'd like to award you the Versatile Blogger award for inspiring me to keep at working weekly on my art projects.

  4. I'm excited to see what painting books you have :)

  5. You're so right, Anne...Joy has to be a mindful practice! I have to work at this very hard myself sometimes..when I get feeling like there's so much more I 'should' be doing . But a gardenia plant sounds like a wonderful thing to be joyous well as everything else on your list! Your daffodil pictures are lovely!

  6. Yet again, I'm a bit late coming to your Monday post! But even though late, it came just at the right time because that first paragraph made me feel less alone & better understood (not sure if that's great grammar but hey). Thanks for that honey :-)

    My belated list: The sunshine (not too hot but very cheery), My house being decorated and brightened with refreshing white, Looking forward to seeing my two babes tonight in a school production of Cinderella, My friends (who help me see the joy & keep me sane), Your blog post!

    Kat Xx


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