joie de vivre

JOY! Call it Joie de vivre if your feeling fancy of living, expressing a cheerful enjoyment of life, an exultation of spirit. Joie de vivre! go on, say it out loud, it's fun. The name alone makes me smile. The promise of beautiful things to come, wrapped up like a gift in these frou frou words closes the deal.

Little things bring me great joy. Fresh flowers in winter. A day with nothing to do. A wine rich stew simmering on the stove. Sun peaking out on a cloudy day. Sky the color of blue when it whispers. A mug of tea in the dwindling late-afternoon light. Knitting. Book stores. Lunch with my peeps. Sharing a glass of good wine and a chunky slice of Tomme de Savoie with someone special. I marvel at the expanse of joy in my life...did I mention it's the little things? There I go again, you see the problem, so much to choose from, oh yeah, I am truly a firm believer in joie de vivre. 

Joie de vivre.

There are moments when I am enchanted by just how simple attaining joy can be, moments such as watching one of my dogs drinking water, frantically wagging her tail! Dude she is ecstatic! Over drinking water, drinking water. I am riveted.  Humbled. Captivated. I want to wag my tail like that. Be in the moment. Be that happy just drinking water. So I'm wondering as I go about my day-to-day nonsense exactly what truly brings me joy.

Hummmm...mind's not blank, mind you, just pondering a thousand joyful thoughts, some days, it feels like I've barely just begun to enjoy all that there is.

so, m'kay, pardon me while I drone on endlessly mention just a few things that bring me joy!

Family. That my first thoughts turn to family when I think of what brings me joy is only natural, but of course! Unconditional love. Intangible sharing of lives. Humming along with a distinct harmony that adds depth and richness to our family's familiar melody, a certain serendipity if you will. With a special nod to my sons, who have made me happy for the better part of forever. Caring. Kind. Brave. Happy. Talented.  Sly humor, so dry I often miss it, until I see that mischievous grin, saved just for these occasions. So deadpan, so clever, so spot on that I often find myself chuckling days later. Man who hired these guys anyway? Gratitude for a lifetime together, with all the unplanned totally ups the joy ante.

Breakfast. Starting the day off properly. A steaming cup of coffee. Flaky croissant. Real butter. Fruity jam I made myself. One happy woman. There is no better investment than a good breakfast. Especially when there's no schedule, nowhere to be, no worries, no hustle bustle!  Most especially, when it involves wearing pajama pants until noon.  You know, I'm thinking, it just could be the first step toward world peace. They say it begins at home, well I'm telling you it begins with breakfast.

Antique stores. Sometimes I bump into something so gorgeous, so la di da it makes my heart go pitter-pat.  Like a beautiful cafe au lait bowl I found years ago or the set of tartlette molds I could not resist. And then there are those things that hold a lot of sentimental value. Like my mother-in-law's flour sifter. A plate that belonged to my Great-grandmother!  Antique frames. Pink depression glass. Milk glass. Vintage silverware.What can I say, I'm an old soul...

My Dogs. My two darling fur babies who spend their days spreading joy, blasting out love and affection and chewing on old (or new) socks. They are so sweet! Plus, I love smelling them, I know, right...but I can't help it they just smell so adorable~the top of their heads smell like freshly mowed wheat and the bottom of their paws smell like fritos, it's ridiculously addictive...I should bottle and sell it. So yeah, clearly I'm a little freaky, especially when it comes to my dogs.

Walking. That old outside magic usually kicks in as soon as I start. Puts me in the moment. Makes me notice that there is beauty in Nature just outside my door. Never demanding, just waiting quietly in the wings, every changing season brilliant in it's own way, stocked with endless amazing and mile-high trees,  crisp air, everything freshly scrubbed and smelling of sheets hung out to dry. Bliss on demand.

Baking. Given my klutziness and because I'm actually quite a scattered baker, I totally have to concentrate putting me in-the-moment. My fingers love the pinch-punch-pat-turn-roll of a dough coming together, my heart beats just a bit faster in anticipation of something warm from the oven, sweet or savory notwithstanding. 

Reading. Makes me feel cozy and peaceful. How can you beat going to another time and place, adventures to boot, and back before bed time?

Yoga. Meditation. Writing positive, grateful-somethings in my journal every day.

Photos. I love looking at old photos and taking new ones, I can hardly contain myself remembering cherished moments, each one an inventory of every memory since childhood and beyond! Memories, people.

Getting kittened up. It's a girl thing, and I love going to the pink side.

Ocean. Of course and since always I love the ocean. My thoughts every day begin and end here.

It's not especially perfect, as these things go. Life is a one-way road. There is no going back. No u-turns. No do overs. No exceptions. But joy, there is plenty to go around, so savor the joy whenever you can.

What are you waiting for?  Start adding a little joie de vivre to your life now!

Potato Leek Soup


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