Stressy week calls for upswing in joy awareness

This week is feeling a bit harried. How are you feeling? If you’re anything like me, plenty of thoughts, demands, responsibilities and pendings are nipping at your heels begging you to cave to a feeling of overwhelm or, worse, to try to fix, manage and control everything you can get your hands on.

Not sure about you, but when daily stuff gets intricate and piles on, staying in the flow of life gets tricky for me.

I rely on meditation to keep me balanced and tuned into what’s important during these times but, this week, focusing on joy seems to be the ticket.

I’m an affirmations girl, so I’ve been reminding myself that “I now choose to enjoy my life” and that “I trust the process of life.” With this, I’m noticing more joy in my world.

Here are 10 things that have been delighting me this week:

1. This kid! He kills it. This vid inspired my youngest son to request dance classes. Done deal.

2. Our first official family portrait, a blind contour drawing by Ian Sklarsky. No, we’ve never had professional photos taken. Someday I may regret that, but I don’t have fond recollections of photo sittings as a child. I remember fighting a lot with my sister. This impromptu decision to take advantage of Room Service‘s super cool  (and ultra affordable) offer for Andersonville Arts Weekend involved relaxing for 10 minutes before a disarmingly handsome smouldering-eyed artist who studied each of our faces intently while not removing his pen from paper. And then he dabbed in some water color. Chickow! Moment preserved in original art.

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3. This really gets me grinning. Banksy hired a guy to sell some of his pieces in a street stall in NYC. For $60 a pop. The thought makes me a little breathless. I love it when awesome people do stuff like this.

4. All Kip wants to do all day is play baseball. Seriously. That is all. Hearing him say “Batter up!” in his lispy three-year-old voice is enough to fill my heart for a whole day.

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5. Brian went out of town and as soon as I got the boys to bed, I cued up some shameful music on my ipod and embarked hard on a one-woman dance party. From Swedish House Mafia, The Killers and The Weeknd to Shakira, Biggie and Enrique Iglesias (“Jou can ruuu-uu-un”), I left it all on my (dining room) dance floor. Shout out to my old friend, Vanessa, for the instructions on how to do this properly.

6. If you know me at all, you know I love a bouncy house. Even better? An old-school, full-size trampoline, which is just what I got when we visited our friends last weekend. My amazing pal, Kris, goddess of our trampoline-euphoria-and-delicious-lunch Sunday snapped this of Charlie and me bounding around, although it looks like I’m just winding up here. Don’t worry, I was all toe-touches and permasmiles from there on out.

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7. I feel badly for the poor Lego guy who crossed Kip’s tiger, but this had me laughing huge.

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8. The tornadic upending of an entire room during a playdate caused me both extreme shoulder tension and extreme joy at once, if that’s possible. (yes, those are flax seeds all over the floor. the kids found my secret stash of sensory toys. i eventually got it all cleaned up and the kids had a freeform blast. no foul.)

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9. Let’s bring the lights down a moment for this one. From the back seat of the car, the boys asked me what Macklemore’s “Same Love” is about. So I told them. Their response? Total incredulity that all people aren’t treated equally by law. “Why do people care who other people love?” Charlie asked. “When I grow up, I’m going to marry a lovely girl,” Kip announced. “And I’m going to marry a strong, beautiful woman,” Charlie added. All this led to my saying something I’d been wanting to say for some time: “Boys, it’s wonderful you feel like you want to marry lovely, strong, beautiful women when you grow up, but if you ever feel like you love a man, that’s wonderful by me as well. Your daddy and I will still love you no matter who you love. We love you no matter what.”

“We know that, Mommy,” they both said. And that really made me happy.

10. Lights up. Here’s one thing that’s made me smile consistently for 30+ years, and it’s in my freezer right now:

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11. Bonus entry: One night this week I’m attending a fashion show, per the generous invite of my favorite bastion of coolness. (I’m talking to you, Angel.) This guy singlehandedly keeps my toes in a world I otherwise might never know by inviting me to things like opening nights and VIP seating and galas and such. With a gal pal on my arm, I will likely don ridiculous shoes and uncharacteristic lip color and watch skinny girls strut around in clothing I will never wear. In other words, I get to play dress up and, for a girl like me, that’s a whole heap of fun. I’m thankful for the chance.

Whew! This week doesn’t seem so angsty any more. This is just a sampling of the joy I’m finding in the midst of hectic life. What’s bringing you joy right now? Take notice. May you find and endless stream of joy, great and small, in your week as well.

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