Tag Archives: joy

Speaking Of Happy Dance, This One Is Pure Joy!

I just had to share this pic, taken from the Maria Montessori site on Facebook.

Pure, simple, utter joy.

May you have a little in your day today.

 

 

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Filed under children, Completely Random, The !!!

What Will You Do To Spread Some Magic Today?

I saw this story awhile ago.

It warmed my heart then.

It warms my heart now.

Freddie Wieczorek works part-time at Walt Disney World, checking the bags of the guests who flock to Magic Kingdom. Encouraged to spread the magic, as all Disney employees are encouraged to do, he bought an autograph book and began asking the children who came through the gates dressed in costume for their autograph.

In his 4+ years at Disney he’s collected over 1,400 signatures (sometimes scribbles, depending on the age.) To see their faces light up when they’ve been “mistaken for the real thing” brings him such joy. And he is spreading joy to the child, the parents and those who witness the scene.

It’s no secret I love Walt Disney and the empire he began. I love the magic. I love the joy. I love the many, many employees like Mr. Wieczorek who embrace the Disney philosophy and take it that extra step.

Seeing this photo again reminded me that I don’t have to wait to go to Disney World to experience the magic. I can make my own right here, right now.

What will you do to spread some magic today?

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Filed under How We Roll, Lessons Learned

Yes. There Is Even A Special Day For The Delusional. Happy Festival of Popular Delusions Day!

We all carry our favorite delusions around in our back pocket:

  • The 5-second rule for dropped food.
  • Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen of the United States. (For all you conservatives out there.)
  • Sarah Palin believes she can see Russia from her house. (For all you liberals out there.)
  • Global warming. (I just threw that in to irk my husband.)
  • Summer is a great time to get things done while the kids are out of school.
  • Irregardless is not a word. (So sad. It is so widely used it has become “nonstandard” English and now appears in virtually any dictionary. Look it up.) 
  • It takes 7 years for  gum to pass through your digestive system.
  • Eating turkey makes you sleepy. (Actually, ground beef and chicken contain the same amounts of tryptophan as turkey.)
  • Santa Claus. (For all of you. Because I still believe.)
  • That your boyfriend is completely faithful.
  • Saint Patrick was Irish. (He was English.)
  • Walt Disney is being preserved in a cryonic chamber.
  • Friday the 13th is an unlucky day. (When you’re a glass-half-full gal like me? It’s just another day.)

There are things we want to believe because it makes us happy. There are things we believe because it provides order and an explanation, no matter how irrational the belief may be. There are things we want to believe because it gives us hope. There are things we believe, not because we want to, but because we’re too lazy to look it up.

There are things we choose to believe because it’s the world we have created for ourselves and we like it that way.

Put me in that category.

I like my rose colored glasses.

I choose to believe that there can be a world without the need for war or weaponry. I believe in Disney magic and Santa Claus. I believe that the Mayan calendar would start all over again if the Mayans were here to produce a new one. I believe in the 5 second rule. (Depending on the surface on which it falls, of course.)

I choose to believe the unseen truths that comprise my faith. I believe that someday my mortgage will no longer be upside down. I choose to believe that I will not turn into my mother.  I believe that if I break a cookie in half the calories will fall out.  I believe in fairy tales and miracles. I believe that people are born good and fate has a nasty way of twisting those who succumb to evil. I believe in goodness and light and kindness and joy.

So.

Call me delusional.

I don’t care.

I’m much happier this way.

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Filed under Be-Causes, Holiday

No Gift For My Birthday? Don’t Worry. I’ve Got The Perfect Idea!

Guess what?

It’s my birthday!

No. Really. It is. Today. My birthday.

Awww, don’t feel bad that you didn’t get me anything. I just sprung it on you – I gave you no time to shop. But you can make it up to me. I have an idea for a really awesome gift for yours truly. Hang on until the end of this post and I’ll let you know what it is.

You have to suffer through this little story first…

I was at the grocery store. Again. My cupboard is bare. (Little old Mother Hubbard that I am.) I have participated in 3 (count ’em, 1-2-3) canned good drives already and it’s only the first of December. So, I was at the grocery store buying “spare” canned goods for the drive this weekend. And I pulled up to a stoplight.

A man is standing there with a cardboard sign, “Stranded. Need Help!”

A woman a few cars up, rolls down her window and hands him a small wad of cash. He takes it. Nods his thanks. I’m sitting in my car with bags of canned goods. I can’t hand him a can. (I’m guessing he doesn’t have a can-opener on him) And I can’t hand him cash.

Well, I could. But I’m a Give-A-Man-A-Fish-He-Eats-For-A-Day-But-Teach-A-Man-To-Fish-He Eats-For-A-Lifetime kind of girl.

And I’m on my way to Starbucks, right across the street. (Spoiled little suburbanite – that’s me!) So, I’ll get him a coffee. It’s cold, wet and rainy. A cup of coffee will warm him up a bit.

I’m waiting in line. And it’s a scene straight out of “Animal House.”

Angel Jane: A cup of coffee? Don’t be such a cheap skate. Get him some food!

Devil Jane: Food? What he really wants is cash to support his meth habit. Put your money away.

Angel Jane: But what if he really needs help?

Devil Jane: There are two churches right down the street. Goodwill around the corner. And a whole host of other charitable organizations just itching to help someone this time of year. AND – you’ve already donated to a bunch of them already. If he needs help, it’s easy to find.

Angel Jane: A little food. What’s the harm in that? Now…how about the protein plate? Apples, cheese, hardboiled egg and grapes. It’s only $4.75!

Devil Jane: A protein plate? Are you kidding? He wants another beer I’m tellin’ ya. Now put your money away!

(I put my $10 back in my wallet and pull out a $20)

Angel Jane: She’s right. A protein plate is silly. And the Turkey/Swiss sandwich is only $5.95. Get that. It’s more filling.

Devil Jane:  He wants cash. For drugs. Put that money back in your wallet!

This goes on for quite a while. The drive-thru line is long. And I’m honestly pulling out a $10, putting it back in my wallet and then pulling out a $20, putting that back and pulling out the $10 again. On and on it goes.

Finally, it’s my turn. I hand the cashier my $20. (Angel Jane won!)

“The woman ahead of you paid for your drink,” the barista says to me, “She wanted me to wish you a Merry Christmas!”

Someone pulled a Random Act of Kindness on Jane! Me! Lil’ ol’ me! Three days before my birthday! Woo-hoo!

“Then I’m really supposed to do this,” I say to the cashier. “Can I please have a turkey sandwich, as well?”

I pay for the sandwich. (Still so stunned that someone bought me a coffee that I don’t think to pay for the car behind me until I’m driving away. Doh!)

And as I’m waiting at the light to cross the intersection I see the police car picking him up. Apparently, stranded beggars are not allowed on this street corner.

So, I tried. And after that whole exchange between Angel me and Devil me I’ve decided Angel me should win. With a sandwich, at least. I will still not hand out cash but what’s the harm in handing someone a sandwich?

And did I tell you it’s my birthday?

Can you guess what I want for my birthday?

(Ah. You know me so well!)

Yes. I’d like all of you to spread a random acts over the weekend. Yes you, Angel Joe, Angel Wendy, Angel Shannon, Angel Elastamom and Angel Steven! No hiding Angel subwow, Angel Lisa, Angel Mel, Angel Jeanne, Angel Rudrip and Angel Gale. C’mon Angels Kenzie and Katybeth and Kristen and Carol. Calling Angel Thoughtsappear, Angel Aiden, Angel Teachergirl, Angel Lynn, Angel Beary, Angel Lies. And even two of my favorite, lovable (and self-proclaimed) curmudgeons Angel Shout and Angel Kitch. No ducking out on this one! (Boy. Aren’t you all sorry you welcomed me back? 😉 )

ALL of you Angel Jane readers out there – c’mon. It’ll be fun! A little joy for a stranger. It doesn’t have to be a cup of (overpriced) coffee. It could be a sandwich. Or loading their groceries while they buckle their kids in the car. Or purchasing a little poinsettia plant and leaving it anonymously on your elderly neighbor’s doorstep. You could make cookies for your local firefighters. Pay the toll for the person behind you or put quarters in the parking meter. Bring some books you’ve already read to a nursing home. Or one of your brilliant ideas. Any charitable act will do!

That’s all I want for my birthday. Because you all know how much I love a little Random Act of Kindess. Nothin’ big. Nothin’ fancy. But something that is sure to put you into the holiday spirit, too!

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Filed under Be-Causes, Completely Random, Holiday, How We Roll, Observations

I Grieve. Or I Am A Rock. Take Your Pick.

 Two weeks ago, my brother-in-law died.

Yesterday was the anniversary of my daughter’s boyfriend’s death.

Today, my aunt died.

It’s been a rough few weeks. To make matters worse, my aunt wasn’t doing well for the past week or so and I had no idea. She lives over 2000 miles away and we kept in touch through emails and holiday cards. My parents knew. But chose not to tell me. (Dysfunction is alive and well in my family.) I already live with the regret of my last visit with my grandmother. And while I feel good about how I maintained my relationship with my aunt, it bothers me in this moment that I didn’t get the chance to talk to her one more time. If I had known she wasn’t doing well, I would have called her. She’s not the type to email me and tell me she’s suffering. And I had no idea.

“I grieve for you
You leave me
Let it out and move on
Missing what’s gone
They say life carries on
They say life carries on and on and on” – The grief in me misses the relatives and friends who have passed. This part of life sucks. Losing people. Good people. People who are loving, kind, fill you with joy. And because I’m getting older I’m in for more loss. How do you reconcile that? How to adjust? We carry on. But with more lonely moments than before.
 
“I’ve built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island
And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.” – Anger. At my parents for cutting me off like this. Punishing me for not playing by their rules. Anger at the loss I’ve experienced and the more to come. I will get through this. But for now I want to be an island. I want to never cry. I want to feel no pain.
 

Or

Take your pick.

36 Comments

Filed under family, friends, Music, Relating

Take The Time To See The Magic Around Us

This is such an interesting experiment.

And a huge reminder for all of us to slow down.

Breathe.

Enjoy. And see the magic.

There IS magic all around us if we would only take the time to look.

!!!

For more !!! visit Momalom or Bad Mommy Moments.

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Filed under Completely Random, Lessons Learned, Observations, The !!!

Jane Comes Out Of The Closet And Then, She Confesses

Wait.

Reverse that.

First, I’m going to confess. Then we’ll get to that other thing.

Remember that RAOK post that garnered so much attention? And then I commented on the comments and challenged myself to take it a step further?

Well. I slept on it. And in the morning my challenge sounded a bit….impossible. And improbable. 

Let me explain.

I decided, in my spontaneous and do-gooder charged wisdom, to attempt a random act of kindness every day (or at least weekly) and then post about it on a separate tab on my blog.

Sounded good at the time.

And then I thought…how random is random if I’m planning on doing it?  And what if, by 10 o’clock at night, when I’m tired and spent and ready to go to bed, I haven’t done anything especially random? What about all the other kind activities I do daily, without even thinking about it? Helping a woman with a stroller or holding doors open or reaching something high on a shelf for someone in the grocery store or the random snail mail cards I send to friends and family far away or letting that poor woman with five kids go ahead of me at Target because I’ve managed to procure a blissful hour alone to shop?

That’s my life. I do little bits of random every single day.

Or what about the bigger acts of kindness that I participate in? Volunteering at my kid’s school. Making dinner for someone who: had a recent death in the family, had a baby, extended illness, just moved to the neighborhood or is moving away. Watching out for an elderly neighbor. Or, how, whenever we bake I always split it and share with a neighbor or friend.

A dear neighbor recently said to me, “I can always count on you!” And she’s right. I may not always have my full heart into it (because I’m human and have a busy, full life) but I find it very difficult to say “no” to someone in need.

And then I started thinking about the two or three comments (out of 200) that criticized my good deed. (Isn’t it funny how we always focus on the negative no matter how inconsequential they may be?)  They felt that forking over $3.18 to “help” someone who was already prepared to fork over $3.18 for an overpriced coffee was self-indulgent and frivolous. That it only made the giver feel good about giving something that wasn’t necessary in the first place. Do I really want to invite more criticism, no matter how far and few between?

And that mildly annoyed me. Because we ‘re talking about kindness. Bringing a smile to a stranger’s face. Who cares if the person was prepared to pay for it anyway? I know, when it happened to me in the drive-thru – when some sweet woman paid for my coffee three summers ago and the cashier handed me  a “Moms Rock!” scribbled on a napkin as way of explanation from the anonymous giver, I looked in the rearview mirror at my feisty, fighting 3 and 4-year-old boys and thought, “Thank you, dear sweet woman for a little joy today!”

Which brings me to this.

Joy.

One of you out there once told me that some weeks, it’s hard to find joy. I thought, oh goodness, how sad. A whole week without joy. I find joy in every day – no matter how small. I’m not saying it’s easy. Some days I have to look. Real hard. But I find it. So, I challenged myself to document joy every day.

And I’m doing that……here. At Every Day Joy. Have been for 251 days now. I’ve kept it very, very quiet. I’ve been doing it for me. To make sure that every day I stop and recognize the bounty that is my life. I’m only sharing it here with you now to say….

Random acts of kindness should be random. I shouldn’t plan for it. I shouldn’t schedule them.

And that challenge to myself helped me to take stock of my life and realize each day is chock full to the brim. With taking care of children and a husband. With lots of dear friends and some family. I try, each day, to be thoughtful, compassionate and considerate.  I practice kindness. Both deliberately and randomly. Both have their place and purpose.

There it is. Out of the closet.

I say things I sometimes have to take back.

And.

I have a quiet, secret little blog about celebrating joy.

That’s not so secret anymore.

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Filed under Growing Up, Lessons Learned