I think I need a little reminder of some the little joys I’ve experienced this month. More than just the smiles and amusements from things in my FB feed. It’s a balm against the negative news, fear and frustrating experiences I’ve encountered in the last few weeks. It’s something Janice had me do during our sessions together, to just explicitly and deliberately recognize the good things in life. It’s a habit I’m trying to get ingrained into doing, instead of always focusing on trying to fix the negative and problems at hand. So here goes.
Weeding Siberian squill
A couple of years ago we started noticing these plants with blue-purple flowers popping up in our garden. They pop up in the middle of spring and do look lovely. Last year though, these perennials spread some more, and we found out what this weed was called: Siberian squill.
Wanting to prevent them from taking over the yard, I decided to try and weed them this year. That’s when I discovered that they are dastardly difficult to pull from the garden. The stem and the leaves separate easily from the thin filament that connects to the bulb when you try to pull it out. This bulb will continue to corkscrew down lower into the soil each year, and each plant sends out several seed pods that hide under one of the leaves to propagate further.
So even with a success rate of about 25%, the sense of satisfaction I feel when I am successful in digging out the whole squill with the bulb?
The sweetness of E1
We were crossing busy Bayview avenue during rush hour. Both girls had open packets of fruit gummy snacks in hand. E2 goes for the risky manoeuver to put a gummy into her mouth, and proceeds to drop it on the road.
The crosswalk signal is counting down from 10. I keep pulling E2 across the remaining lanes as her whole being is still magnetically attracted to the gummy snack lying on the middle of the road.
Me: “We have to leave it E2. Not only is it on the ground, it’s in the middle of traffic and it’s about to get run over by these cars. I don’t want us to get run over too!”
We make onto the safety of the sidewalk and stop. E2 immediately bursts into the dramatic tears and wailing that she is so capable of.
E1: “E2, was it a red gummy that you dropped? Here, you can have one of mine.” She then takes one of hers and hands it right over to E2.
My heart melts with joy at this unprompted gesture of sweetness and compassion from E1, especially considering some of the tension she’s generated between them lately. Sister love!
Made up songs
I often make up silly song snippets using new lyrics to known tunes. For the longest time I would be calling for the girls to “Brush Your Teeth” to the tune of “Let it Go”.
Last week I encountered T in the kitchen as he strained the grains out of his kefir batch. With a twinkle in my eye, I started serenading him to the tune of “Do You Want To Build a Snowman”.
Do you want to have some kefir?
You can make some of your own.
All you really need, is some kefir grains, a jar and some fresh milk.
Put it all together, and put it aside, and wait two days or three.
Then you will have some kefir,
Your very own kefir.
T snorted and shook his head at my ridiculousness. Making my husband laugh – Joy!
Friends, backyard patio, warm sun, cold cider and…time
The Victoria Day weekend had beautiful weather this year, and we were lucky to have our good friends K and T host the gang of us regulars at their home on Sunday. More specifically, in their backyard oasis with their new outdoor furniture, patio, string lights, and pergola with awning.
We had food planned for lunch that was actually enough to also cover dinner, the sun was warm, and an invitation to just loiter around all day.
I think I reached peak happiness around 4:30pm in the afternoon, when the following forces combined:
- Sitting on a patio chair, with my sunglasses on, and the warm sun caressing my limbs that were finally free of long coverings. Vitamin D!
- Consuming my *second* cider of the afternoon. Watch out, Jen’s going crazy! It was a Sommersby Pear cider, it was cold, and it was perfect. Inebriation!
- Enjoying the fruits of the “benign neglect” parenting technique, where the kids were left on their own to devise their fun. If they weren’t bleeding, it’s all good. At one point I think they tied a couple of themselves to the roof of the toy car and were then pulling it around, but I can’t be totally sure due to point 2 above. Instead of paying attention to them, we adults got to pay attention to each other. Amazing!
- Which meant teasing out the details of how, after months of having us all think that friends A & F would not be joining us on this epic upcoming group cruise, A surprised F for their 10th wedding anniversary with the news that they will be joining us. And of how that news totally went over her tired head when she opened the card late at night on their anniversary, expecting something else for a present. And how we laughed even harder when we saw the card and how blatantly obvious it was. Laughter!
- Looking around the yard at these group of friends, most of whom I’ve known since my years at university, and noting that I’ve been friends with them for nearly half my life. All the different life experiences and milestones, these are many of the same faces that feature in my memories of those times. I’ve seen them grow and evolve, just as they’ve witnessed my changes. And yet, it’s amazing to see how the core essence of each person is the same now as when they were 19 years old. It’s a little bit like getting to time travel when we can reminisce about past events and plan future ones together. Friendship!
Seeing the joy on these two faces regularly – lifts me up no matter what. Even if it’s to forget the umpteenth fight they just had over who was in who’s space.
There you have it, some of the things I celebrate this month that have brought me joy. I realize now that it’s kind of an homage to Neil Pasricha “The Book of Awesome”, so thank you Neil.
How about you? What’s brought joy to you this month?