Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Think Back Tuesday -- What Brought You Joy?

Who celebrates Tuesdays?

Seriously, we dread Monday and back to work, Wednesday is hump day, Thursday is over the hump and Friday is the big exhale. Saturday and Sunday, of course, are the weekend and generally our time to rest and relax. What is Tuesday besides the day after Monday? Perhaps we should change that.

Although I read a blog where every Thursday the writer challenges us for Thankful Thursday, last week another blogger asked about moments of joy. Her reflections on things that made her joyful the previous week had me doing the same mental exercise and I found out a wonderful thing. It changed my perspective. Less of my week was spent grieving and more of it was celebrating life.

I set out to recognize those moments of joy in the week that followed and there were more of them than I had been taking the time to appreciate.

So, at least for the time being, I think I'll make Tuesdays my official Think Back Tuesday and try to remember the things that made me joyful in hopes of changing my perspective on the week ahead.

It may be a challenge this week, because we've been battling the norovirus in little people and my daughter has been sick as well. I've been puked on repeatedly and cleaned up way more little hind ends than I care to count. A small trash can took up residence in my car for road trips, and E2 had to be rushed out of gymnastics where she managed to not throw up in any inappropriate places.

Still, there were rays of sunshine in the less than stellar week. Some of them may have been really random in otherwise dark places, but in some ways those stand out most of all.

1. When E2 was still feeling under the weather at church Sunday, tired out from being sick, she had her mommy, but she wanted Ma. OK, I'm sad she was sick, but it made me feel so special that she still wanted me to come and hold her and talk to her.

2. In fact, E2 brought another random smile when she threw up on the table at church Wednesday. OK, that was horrible, but the reaction of the middle school age boys at the table was priceless. They weren't freaked out. One remarked that she had picked a really good place (after all, most of the church is carpeted, but not the fellowship hall) and they all just picked up their plates and moved.

3. Dressing up as a pirate for the big birthday bash. Kids were encouraged to dress up and some of adults went with the theme, too. Mommy, Nanny and Aunt were all princesses contending with long flowing dresses and tiaras. Although E1 told me I was supposed to be a princess, I informed her I was not froofroo enough. All the little boys were enthralled with my plastic sword and I didn't have to worry about my hair or who might be stepping on my dress tail.

4. Seeing two of my friends who haven't yet made PiYo or Zumba part of their routine at class last week. I had not seen them except through Facebook since before losing my son, but I know they've both had their own losses as well, so we have a bond. We all hugged and were happy about their upcoming wedding. It was one of those silly, almost giddy moments we women are sometimes prone to.

5. Grooming a rescue. OK, it was horrible, tough work and he was a big, dirty dog who did not like the idea of clippers making that awful noise anywhere near his head. Not only that, but he didn't turn out looking great largely because of that. But wrestling him with his rescuer, finally holding him my lap and getting him to calm down enough that I could remove the band of mats that had been beneath his collar, and freeing him from knots all over his body, made me happy because that was something I could do for him that no one had ever bothered to do.

6. Pedro, the rescue I have been housing for about four months, frequently brings me random joy. I'm his first human love and the look in his eyes when he avoids assaulting me (he is often over enthusiastic in his joy at sharing the same space as me) makes me smile. He sometimes frustrates me to no end and I dream of the day when he leaves for a real home, but remembering how far he has come from abuse and neglect brings me joy.

7. Lucy, my number two Jack Russell terrier, curling up in my lap Sunday night, while Abi, numero uno, was beside me, was totally random joy. They are not snugglers. Ever. Well, maybe on cold nights in bed, but in general they do not consider themselves lap dogs. After an emotional day, having my two little buddies lending their canine support to my well being was special.

8. E1's delight at the new kitchen furnishings that E2 received as a birthday gift. Each of the girls has a dollhouse and they seem to exchange furniture frequently and have a plethora of beds and baby gear. New kitchen equipment, along with tables and chairs, was an appreciated addition to the mix. She had a similar reaction to the Operation game. While it was, I'm sure, largely a reaction to what she anticipated as shared goods, her joy was infectious.

9. Watching E2 with her slice of birthday cake. While everyone was watching the baby take on her smash cake and making over her, E2 was quite content to not be the center of attention and enjoy her cake at a leisurely pace. While it can be frustrating to get her through a meal sometimes, recognizing her contentment at doing things her way and without a lot of hoopla is refreshing.

10. Baby hugs. No matter how many times I get one, E3's embraces are priceless and will, as she grows, cease to exist. Now when she is picked up she often responds by embracing me, putting her head on my shoulder and her little arm around to my back where she pats. Hugging a baby has to be joy at it's most pure form.

Just like last week, I'll challenge you to think of the things that brought you joy last week. Look for those things in the week ahead. If it's a tough week, they will be the things that penetrate the gloom and cast a ray of sunshine in your heart. They'll be things you don't work at, things you don't expect out of whatever situation you're dealing with. They will be the things that make another week not quite as tough as it could have been and give you cause to look forward to the week ahead.

Even if it is only Tuesday.

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