Sunday, 24 February 2013

What gives you joy?

Don't get me wrong - I enjoy a good grumble as much as the next woman. Don't get me started on the packaging of toothbrushes or the price of gas. When it's cold and grey and the daffodils are wondering whether to retreat back into the frozen ground - well, it's hard to find much to celebrate.

Yet - and here I speak only for myself - there is so much that makes me smile that all this foot-stamping and growling into my beard (that's a metaphor, I don't really have a beard) gets in the way of noticing the little things that cheer me every day. So here are a few of them:

Snowdrops - lively, delicate little flowers that come out to play in the meanest weather.

The smell of fresh coffee.

Bookshops. (Coffee in bookshops is one of the best ideas ever!)

Warm slippers - even furry slippers, that look ridiculous but keep your toes toasty.

Birds on the feeders in my garden - brave little birds, feathers ruffled against the cold. When the sun shines they wake me in the morning and I forgive them even if it's early.

Grandchildren. (Ah, grandchildren ...)

The Today Programme (a news programme that comes on radio every morning in the UK)

Singing - from bellowing in the kitchen while the kettle boils to the sweetest carol with my choir.

My passport (you know why!)

Aren't I lucky? Such day-to-day delights that greet me every morning. This list wrote itself in five minutes - think how much there'd be on it in half an hour? 

And you - what makes you smile, just to think of it?


  1. My dog - always a character!

    Animals in general, but especially the small and very young ones (I don't have grandchildren...sigh)

    Like you, the new buds and early triers.

    My Chinese students. They are a joy.

    There are many others, so I too feel lucky. Thank you for reminding me , Jo.

  2. Maybe I should do a happy things post too Jo after my recent rant about annoying things. Your joyful things are all lovely and free too. Mine would be my granddaughter and my surrogate grandson I look after they bring such joy into my life that I find no words to describe how happy they both make me. Lovely happy post.

  3. Oh yes, reading, coffee and drawing....time goes so fast..too fast. Its a rare indulgence.

    But I do get to see out of the window and watch the birds on the feeders- even the blackbird is on there today.

    So many things to be grateful for, but so many things to help change.

  4. Isn't it wonderful how many little things - and many of them free, as Anne points out - that can make us smile. Thank you, all three.

  5. Writing and books. That day, early on in the year, when the cold recedes for a while and you start to smell Spring in the air (even if it's only temporary!). G-Dog (and The Hound before him). Long walks in the countryside, even in the middle of winter. And a hundred other things I can't think of off the top of my head, but feel very lucky to have in my life.

    Thank you for such a lovely, happy post, Jo!

  6. Hi Jo, love this post and encouragement to look for the positives :) For me Sunday lunch - when it's 'out' and I don't cook it, a glass of wine, chocolate, more chocolate, the forthcoming changing of the clocks bringing lighter evenings, sunshine, more sunshine, any flowers but especially white flowers, radio 4, new Twitter followers... ooh I can't stop! Thanks for reminding me Jo! xx

  7. That hugely rambunctious greeting from my german shepherd when I get home; walking on the beach (with or without said dog); definitely chocolate (Sue has something there); a cold, but bright sunny morning (after all that rain...); writing; cosying up under a furry fleece with my Kindle...Oh, there are so many!
    A very timely reminder in the dull month of Febraury...

  8. I've no idea why blogger wouldn't post this comment from a daughter - so I'm posting this for her:

    Chocolate, sleep, chocolate, a hot cup of tea/coffee, chocolate, your grandsons (on a good day!)

    (The subtext - she has 3 small boys!)

    Thank you Tessa. Will have to see what I can do on the chocolate front!

  9. What wonderful comments - you have all made me smile! What a great world we live in when we find joy this easily!

  10. I think more than anything else, family gives me joy. Liked this post a lot. It reminds me of a lot of the things I take for granted occasionally. Great writing, keep it up. If you get a chance check out my own budget travel blog :)

  11. My family, my cat, my dogs, my friends, sunshine, mud puddles, a good cup of tea.
    Wonderful joy-filled post!

  12. Music, my kids, not necessarily in that order, and snowdrops feature in the list somewhere along with all those other amazing flowers, and watching small birds at the bird feeder, catching a pink/orange sunset behind a line of poplars that is only visible through our bedroom window. Great post.

  13. Ros, Tyler, Tyrean - thanks for the comments. Isn't it fab how many small things make us smile if we stop to notice them.

  14. A nice post. The older I get the more inclined I am to count my blessings.... thank goodness. Would be awful if it was the other way around! :D