After my friend Moriah left New York this past Monday, I was feeling a little blue. Even though the weather this week was really beautiful, I kept thinking how home was a little emptier without a friend to host.
Yesterday, I took a walk in the morning and saw so many things that made me feel better. I thought about why I couldn’t seem to remember the things that make me joyful when I’m sad. It can be hard to think of all the things you love when you’re down. So, I decided to quickly write down everything I saw and did that morning that brought me joy.
I bought a hundred index cards a few weeks ago for a drawing exercise I’d read about, but I’ve since stolen a few of them to make lists. (They just look so enticing when they are in an orderly stack.) So, here are a few of the things that brighten my day. I’ve stowed this card in my desk drawer and I hope to add some more cards that I can pull out whenever I’m forgetting what things activate joy in my life.
(To picture a few) Things like this brilliant blue house (and in the brick apartment next door, though you can’t see it too well, there’s a cat in the window enjoying the sunshine). I love seeing cats in the windows of homes, especially since I don’t live with a cat anymore. Now I fantasize about the life I will one day have with a cat.
Or the message in this quirky pictographic graffiti.
And these fire escape shadows…
I also drew a pattern on the back of the card. Although I probably won’t always have time to draw the items on my joyful lists, it makes them somehow feel like an official card set when they have a front and back. Perhaps one day, I’ll have a whole stack of these cards for my friends and children to look through and see the little things that I love (and remind them of all the little things they love).
You may have noticed, I like making cards and lists to remember things. I guess that’s another thing that fills me with joy! I always feel a little more productive and put-together when I have a card in my desk.
I got a chance to test this card out when I was feeling overwhelmed about work earlier this Sunday. While it didn’t chase away all my worries or ease all my anxieties, I did feel better as I read through the list and imagined each thing and reminded myself I’d see them again some day soon.
In what ways do you encourage joy and mindfulness?