Near my low point during this confinement period I found a book 14,000 things to be happy about. – Barbara Ann Kipfer from 1990 (the year I started kindergarten) at a little free library in El Dorado Park (I long to start one, but don’t own a home… one day) the book lifted my spirits, I started a Coach.Me (accountability app and website) habit called “🌠 See The Good” it was a place to write about the three things I was actually grateful for in a given day, shamelessly of if I had fun while others were suffering, or if I appreciated the things that were PC, or if it was okay to be happy even though we lost my grandfather recently (at 101 years old, that seemed fair to me).
The book was so major in allowing me to feel good without being guilty about feeling good… it’s a great book, simple, but different than any I’ve ever read. It really stretched my mind to what a book can be and also came to me at just the right time in my life. I love the Little Library, you take books for free and leave books for others, my daughter loves it too. It restores my faith in humanity that there are still book lovers, still people thinking of others, wanting books to go read vs unread on a shelf… when I found the website I was amazed, it’s not 100% what I wanted to do, but it’s 90% the same as what I had wanted to build many years ago to post my drawings and writing. At this point I still haven’t got that far, because I want to code it myself and I didn’t code (but now at least I’ve started learning Java). Someday I want to have a website like that, I have a drawing of what I wanted before I saw hers, so it’s not plagiarism so much as synergy.
Anyways, another blogger Kiara McCabe, from Verity and Sage, has been inspiring me with great posts that cheer me up such as “Giant Teddy Bears Enforce Social Distancing On Parisian Streets” and as much my long time readers know I don’t shy away from the dark side of life at all, I also have hope in my heart and a lighter side I just felt like no one needed to hear about it… but in light of some of her words in “the Lighter Things of the World” post:
The world is a little scary at the moment. We’re forced to stay inside, we can’t visit our grandparents and there is no way we can consider the possibility of travelling to NYC any time soon.
Plans, dreams and goals all need to take a back seat.
But that doesn’t mean our happiness does. Tiny, joyous sparks of light are among us.
Here are some of the lighter things of the world for me.– Kiara McCabe
I felt like maybe sharing the 🌠 See The Good habit which is derived from Barbara Ann Kipfer’s notebook she kept for 20 years starting in sixth grade with a tiny spiral notebook. In her book 14,000 things to be happy about, Barbara invites you to “conjure up your own images – to reminisce, wish and dream.”
I hope you will find, as I did, that happiness comes from noticing and enjoying the little things in life.– Barbara Ann Kipfer’s
So the book came to me, but more than that, the habit came to me, and has helped me, and I’d like to share it with you, maybe not for everyone, but maybe you know someone who would benefit from a new source of joy?
My entries are just quick, simple, free to be less than perfect, but honest and good memory anchors to the days I’m sure I’ll want to go back to someday or perhaps my children will come to know who I was in my writing someday? It has really helped me fight hedonistic adaptation and recognize that I thought imperfect, actually do enough in a given week to not be ashamed of my productivity.
Monday July 20th
🌄 Early Bird: Woke up early, it feels nice. Makes me feel more together, I don’t know if it’s true or untrue, but waking up at 5 AM seems like I am more grounded and centered.
👨👩👧👦 Our family is running smoother, we are starting to create a team vs a group of individuals, it’s not at all perfect, but it’s starting to be peaceful and fun. It seems like in order to enjoy life we had to get rid of free speech, that doesn’t sound nice, but neither is verbal abuse… but it’s a lot nicer to have less free speech than to be undermine by my spouse when I’m doing my best for the overall health of the kids ext. Free speech is a great thing, in the right place, but sometimes it will just degrade a relationship or situation, there is a dark side to free speech just as there is a dark side to censorship.
👒 Finding my place in the world as a writer and an educator. That’s where it has been, but I’m able to feel more like I belong, less of an amateur and impostor lately. I still want to know for sure what the right thing for me is, but at least I’m trying to allow myself to live without knowing instead of being paralyzed with indecision, I find myself here today, I’ll move on from here today the best I can. I’ll do what I can from where I am to make my world and the world better in my own small way.
Tuesday July 21st:
👳 Having fun wearing a large scarf as a mask. It took me a very long time to stop resenting wearing the masks in stores when I’m not coughing… but wearing it in a silly way helps me hate it less.
💞 My husband and I are spending more time talking now that both kids are asleep by 9 PM. We didn’t keep in touch while raising our two kids in the same house, it just wasn’t possible for us… so maybe we will like each other again if we aren’t always “on duty” with the kids, hopefully.
🐘 Learning my older child has a “special need” has really helped, because I always bore the weight of the issue, but before we knew I couldn’t make sense out of why it was so hard. Parenting is always hard as far as I know, but it was even more difficult to get any communication through. Now I’m more mindful that she needs more lead time from being told to hearing, that she needs discipline and clarity, that even though I want to give her a treat for not being in time out, she is going to be in time out, a part of her is feral, it needs limits that other kids her age don’t, but it’s our reality, and it’s to everyone’s benefits. I’m trying to stop seeing discipline as getting in the way of education and see it as important education in and of itself. I’m trying to discipline with love instead of impatience, knowing my daughter has a special need helps motivate me to have more patience. It’s been so helpful in me reducing my guilt, it’s not all about me, she doesn’t just mirror me or reflect me, she sometimes may, but often it’s not about me at all. I’m not the center of the universe, everything my kids do wrong is not a reflection of my failings (some of them sure are but not all of them). Everything is not “all” my fault. Just a challenging situation and I think I can handle it better by honestly addressing it as such, it may be “labeling” to some, but to me it’s the truth and recognition of the truth is the definition of “sanity”.
Wednesday July 22nd:
[No Entry – No Shame]
Thursday July 23rd:
🎉 I cooked something hard for me, my husband complained, I didn’t take it personally. If I can keep not taking it personally, I can be a lot happier. Just letting it roll off like water off wax. Did tell him I didn’t appreciate the complaint because I don’t complain when he burns meat, but nothing more than a casual “I don’t like that.” Good job me!
Friday July 24th:
🏆 I finished 100 articles in response to Mark Manson’s advice to write 100 articles before tying yourself down to a niche as a writer. It felt really good to finish a writing project because it’s the first time I’ve beaten procrastination and actually finished a creative project.
🦷 My son got a molar, I was upset he was fussing at night at 3 AM, I didn’t know why, I was very tired and lost my patience, but it was a good lesson that people fuss when they are in pain, whether I can understand their pain is different, but they are in pain. I really hope I remember that lesson. My son is such a joy in my life, I should have more patience when he needs me to be a joy in his life… but I know I won’t always be perfect or patient and that’s part of being human. When I saw his molar I was ashamed, my husband said he thought my son was in pain, but I thought he was just being needy. I guess both were true, he was feeling needy because he was in pain from the tooth.
🤖 I like coding, I’ve always felt like a tech dinosaur, but coding is starting to flip that identity for me, which in our digital world is probably vital or at least helpful.
Saturday July 25th:
💊 Ibuprofen, I had a unpleasant headache today, rode it out most of the day (for no reason) then took one ibuprofen and I’m back to normal. I think it was neck stiffness that caused the headache, also didn’t drink much water today… I did some coding just now that I wouldn’t have done without the ibuprofen. I also spent an hour beading with my daughter I probably wouldn’t have otherwise.
📅 Our magnetic school calendar, it legitimizes my home school to me, that helps me stay on track day after day when almost no one cares if I were to be teaching my kids math or reading vs just binge watching movies all day.
🍔 Protein style burgers, we eat burgers for dinner in the summer, it almost makes life worth living all by its self. I eat semi-vegetarian spring, fall and winter, but summer I eat as much meat as I want and the combination has been able to keep my high cholesterol down, it’s always nice to know summer is coming, hate the heat, love the meat.
Sunday July 26th:
💞 Thomas, the happiness nerd, inspired me to try to get my license back to Fun Raise: I love the idea:
🏞️ Spent some time with the whole family at the park, sometimes life is so beautiful you know even in the moment you will look fondly back on the time passing by.
👒 I had writers meeting on Google Meetings, it was really great to socialize, I hate touching people so a virtual writers meeting is 100% fine with me. I don’t have to spend money at the cafe, nor commute. Not everything can be done online, but writers meeting sure can.
Not sure if I’ll continue next week, but this is just another way writing can be used to elevate the everyday life of the common man or common lady and I wanted to share it, hoping someone will try it and benefit from it as well! 📓