Joy -- feeling it, not feeling it and giving yourself a time out

I think about Joy all the time. I write about it. I keep lists of it. I try to be conscious of paying attention to it and taking the time to really feel it. But sometimes, despite the circumstances, it's just not there. Yesterday was one of those days. I was GRUMPY. But I didn't want to be, which made me feel even grumpier. One of the main things that threw me into a funk was problems with a sewing project. I've been on a bit of a roll with sewing projects lately (I'll share the finished projects as soon as I have the chance for a photo shoot). Yesterday I was attempting some smocking with elastic thread and it was not working. I wanted to have a tantrum. I wanted to crumple up my top and throw it away. I didn't do either of those things. I took a break. But I was stewing all the while and contemplating how I was going to fix it. When something isn't working, I am not good at letting go. As soon as I was done eating some lunch, I was back up in my studio doing research on the Internet as to why my smocking didn't work. I pounced on a theory, got out my seam ripper, re-wound my bobbin and tried again. It DID work the second time, but that didn't fix my mood. Some days, no matter what I do or what happens, a bad mood won't be swayed. Does this happen to you, too?

So what do we do about it? Yesterday I kept running headlong into the bad mood trying to whip it into submission. And it did not work. I think what I really needed was a time out. I needed to let go of my desire to Get Things Accomplished and I needed to check out for a while. A book. A cold drink. And permission to spend the day outside of my expectations. That can be so hard to do. There is so much I want to do. So much I want to accomplish. And so few hours in the day.

Although my aim has been to focus on Joy and I have been trying not to focus on negatives, I think sometimes it's important to be able to say, I am grumpy (or sad or stressed or tired or hot or all of the above). Most of all, it's important to be gentle with yourself. The bad mood won't last. A day, or even just an afternoon spent in time out is not wasted. You can jump back into doing and accomplishing the next day and the Joy will follow. What do you think?

I do have a Joy List today, even though the grumpiness is still lingering.

The cooler weather isn't today. Certainly wasn't yesterday, either, and it won't be happening again for a while. But as one of the Joyfulest Joys of the past week, I thought it deserved a place on today's list.

I was so excited to receive my copy of the Dottie Angel book in the mail yesterday. It's gorgeous and comes with a fun little envelope of "stuff."  I had wanted one since before it came out and I finally treated myself to it. Glad I did.

I'm also glad that I ordered some full size business cards from Moo the other day during their summer sale. I love the mini cards I ordered earlier this year and I thought I should have some full size cards, too.

Love them!

I hope your week is off to a Joyful start!


  1. Anne, I am always joyful when I read your posts. I have quite a few grumpy days but I am not as grumpy as I used to be! I think the more you practise being joyful the easier it becomes. I have that Dottie Angel book!!! I treated myself to it last Christmas and it has sat on a shelf whilst I have been paying attention to other books. You have reminded me to get it out again! With regards to my post about letter writing, it doesn't have to be reciprocal. I am quite happy to write to you and not get a letter in return. If you would like me to write to you Anne then just let me know your email details and I will put you on my blog pal pen pal list! I hope you are feeling a little happier now!

  2. your new business cards make me joyful. they are so "you".

    funny how sometimes we can be so gentle with others, but have a tough time being gentle with ourselves...

  3. Anne, Your post really hit me where I needed today. I have been so stressed and pressured. It is good to be reminded to let yourself go once in a while. Thanks. (It's Danielle, by the way)

  4. I absolutely do... this morning was one of them. About 7 years ago, I had a really big patch of no joy, my best friend taught me a little song and it actually really helped brighten my mood singing the little ditty! But an arrival of Dotti's book would definitely cheer me up! xxx love to you! (love the cards too)

  5. Your new business cards are really lovely, Ann. And that Dottie Angel book looks wonderful!
    I've always struggled with bad moods, but not so many as I get older. Sometimes they're very hard to shake and, like you, I take a time out. I find that watching a funny TV show or a favorite movie removes me from whatever was bothering me and breaks the mood.
    Hope the rest of your week is full of joy!

  6. Hi Anne! It's been nice to catch up on your blog (I've been soo busy, moving in a few days, wedding in a few weeks, etc., etc.) Anyway, I have definitely been in some funks with so much going on...I've been doing a lot of readings for a religious studies class and one of the things that really struck me about Buddhism was the idea for us to not try to urge away a mood (good or bad) but to sort it happen from outside of it. Like standing behind a waterfall and watching the water (thoughts) stream down but not being in it. Don't try to change it, just notice it. It's a crazy skill to acquire and really interesting to try to practice.

  7. Oh my....there are times when nothing has made me grumpier (and curse more!) than my sewing machine... Oh I know this so well! so while I hate to benefit from someone else's grumpies I have to admit it's made me smile (just a little!)....see! some good can come from it after all :)
    Often when I'm in the midst of a grumpy mood the acknowledgement helps ALOT..I have also often turned it around by having a huge old whingy moan (occasionally actually stamping the feet and acting out the little kid tantrum) and ended up belly laughing at the ridiculousness of it all....
    Self indulgence is good once in a while I reckon!
    Your moo cards are just lovely, such beautiful photos of your creations ...and those round corners look fab. I've been wistfully looking at Dottie Angel's book for a few weeks now...its on my birthday list..only 2 months to go!
    Huge hugs to you Anne xx

  8. Your cards are so beautiful! I could never part with them. :D
    I hear you on the grumpy days. I usually whisper "damn hormones" and try to keep as even as possible. Sometimes I just can´t.

  9. What gorgeous mini cards you got! I admire your banner and see some of the same images in the cards. I agree with Paula above, it would be hard to part with them! My business cards are from MOO with 20 different photos - everyone loves sorting through them. I am getting close to needing a new set of them so its time to sort through my photos again - always fun.
    I agree with your assessment that a time-out is a good way to break a mood, or at least keep it from escalating. If I'm really grumpy doing something physical helps, like walking briskly or swimming. Other times I just need to go someplace out of the ordinary and lose myself like a less commonly visited thrift store or an apothecary (we have one that sells herbs and all sorts of organic scents as well as items like lavender chocolates!). Hope the rest of your week goes smoothly.

  10. I think you've summed it up beautifully for all of us! Black cloud days eh?


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