why collect joy?

In my mini bio I call myself a "joy collector". Maybe that sounds a little bit silly. Maybe "joy", searching for it, celebrating it, "collecting" it, sounds frivolous.

I don't think it is.

joy, pom poms, crafts, studio, banners, color, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry
a recently made a Joy banner* with colorful pom poms and hung it in my studio

I write a lot about joy here. I do so because it's important (remember my mission?).

Life is fleeting. It's filled with ups and downs. Sometimes it's filled with worry and uncertainty. But always, always there is beauty; there is grace; there is joy.

It's important to pay attention to that beauty, that grace, that joy. It's important to honor it and be grateful for it every single day.

farm fresh eggs, eggs, beauty, joy, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I don't know what your life is like right now, today. I don't know if you're struggling or if so far 2016 has been smiling on you. I hope it is the latter. Either way I hope you'll spend some moments of stillness today. Quiet your mind. Pay attention to the world around you. Notice those glimmers of beauty and joy. The beautiful colors of citrus fruits in a bowl on the counter. Birdsong out your window. Fragrant steam swirling from your mug of Earl Grey. And say thank you.

My word for the year is INTENTION. To me being intentional about life means taking time to listen to what's going on inside me and pay attention to what's going on outside. It means slowing down and being grateful for each moment. It's about mindfulness.

There's a peace and a calm at the center, even when life is at its most tumultuous. Find that peace.

carnations, flowers, flower arrangements, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

One of the ways I do that is by "collecting joy". I've written about that before. Writing Joy Lists every single day is important. I'm not always good at it. Sometimes the day slips past (and the next and the next) and I haven't taken the time to do it. But lately I've been making it a priority and I hope you will, too.

A few things on my Joy Lists lately:

  • colorful, delicious, nourishing farm-fresh eggs from my parents
  • tiny snowflakes sparkling in the early morning air
  • a bunch of carnations shared with me (thank you, Mom)
  • bright sparks of static electricity when getting dressed in the dark
  • spying a squirrel on the roof munching on a corncob
  • the fat, bright moon
  • amaryllis flowers
amaryllis flowers, amaryllis, houseplants, fiddle leaf fig, orchids, oncidium, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I hope your lists are long and sweet.

*Thank you, Karen for the banner inspiration! I made mine from paint sample chips and another one from scrap book papers.


  1. Thanks for the shout out, Anne.
    My joy list includes sitting in my new kitchen, looking out the windows with the deep, deep satisfaction of dreams come true, and being very, very mindful of what a huge privilege this is. Filled with a sense of blessing, I am.

    1. And thank YOU for the inspiration, Karen. :)

      Your Joy List is perfect!

  2. Hello Anne,
    My joy list ~
    Drinking a Sparkling Natural Soda out of a wine glass.
    Fresh Snow
    A wild bunny in our yard in the mornings.

  3. Your joy list always makes me notice new things in my life. Thank you, Anne. And, as I looked through your recent posts (I've been absent), I am amazed as always by your drawing and painting skills, and the loveliness you put out to the world!

    1. Thank you so much, Judy!

      I hope you have many things to add to your Joy List this week.


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