(Except for when I'm making art) I have a tendency to hurry through things without much thought on what I'm doing or even worse, multi-task, my focus split into fragments.
I don't like it. I constantly feel rushed. Overwhelmed. And my joy slips away.
I recently came across this quote:
Perfect, don't you think?
In order to notice the details you must slow down and be present.
My Joy Lists are simply collections of details. Interesting, beautiful, magical details of daily life.
It's a simple idea, being open like that. But it's also challenging.
Last week when I was doing laundry -- a task I generally like doing -- I realized I was feeling flustered and crabby. I was rushing through changing loads and hurrying to get the clean clothes folded. I stopped myself, slowed down and shifted my focus to what I was doing, paying attention to the warm fabric between my fingers, its texture, scent, colors.
I also shifted my focus to gratitude. Gratitude for a closet full of clean clothes. Gratitude for a freshly made bed. Gratitude for time to do a homey task.
I've had to stop myself a few times lately. While cooking. While walking the dogs. It's a constant challenge, being present.
I wish I could say there's a short cut, an easy way, a trick. There isn't. Joy Lists help, if you take the time to write them.
So I'll leave you with this list I've been tallying
- the sweet taste of spring in the air, warm breezes, the scent of mud
- colorful clouds at sunset
- ruby red grapefruit in a seafoam Fiesta bowl
- beautiful, delicious eggs fresh from my parents' chickens
- dinners with family and games of dominoes
- chickadees and downy woodpeckers hopping through bare tree branches
- the scent of jasmine flowers in my studio
- sweet and spicy peppadew peppers
- the new library in town and armfulls of good books, magazines and movies brought home from there
- the return of the robins and red-winged blackbirds
- joy-filled packages and cards in the mail
- designing patterns
- an outing just for fun
- orchid flowers
- leftover pizza
- cut flowers from my mom
- hot water; thick, foamy, lavender-scented suds while washing dishes
- handmade blankets, clean and hot from the dryer
- dog songs, snuggles and antics
and an imploration to slow down, pay attention and write your own list today. A list of details. A list of joys. A list of gratitude.