Weekly Dose of Gratitude and Joy

Don't Hesitate

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don't hesitate.  Give into it.  There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be.  We are not wise, and not very often kind.  And much can never be redeemed. Still, life has some possibility left.  Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happens better than all the riches or power in the world.  It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins.  Anyway, that's often the case.  Anyway, whatever it is, don't be afraid of its plenty.  Joy is not made to be a crumb. -Mary Oliver

My week, in general, was pretty fucking craptastic.  Depression, like the Swamp of Sadness, came creeping in with a vengeance this week, causing me to break down sobbing (not just in tears, but the ugly, nearly hiccuping sobbing) more than once and for more than one seemingly trivial reason.  I'm not ready to share all the details here, but it hasn't been fun.

Despite that, there were moments, like Mary Oliver said, when I experienced "sudden and unexpected joy."  I'm trying to focus on those.


1.  Phone calls with my besties.  I fell out of touch with most of my community the second half of last year, those far away and those close by.  This week I had calls from two of my best friends from Pittsburgh, and the instant I saw the name on the caller I.D. I reverted into my joyful, giggling, girly self.  I love these girls so hard.  They know me and they get me.  We grew up together out at the barn, riding, nerding, later teaching.  I was in Niki's wedding and Jessie was in mine.  Any time I'm with either of them, I feel little parts of my soul start to fill back in.

2.  Let Your Life Speak / We are imperfectly gifted.  When I was in Albuquerque last weekend I had a conversation with Greg, one of my brothers and fellow board members, about my struggle to find my next path in life, after realizing several months ago that I'm not in the right place (mentally, physically, spiritually, vocationally...).  It began over Brene Brown's "The Gifts of Imperfection" that I'm currently reading, after which Greg mentioned Parker J Palmer, the speaker, writer, teacher and activist, whom I had not yet heard of.  When I got home Monday night, his book "Let Your Life Speak" was waiting for me, a perfectly timed gift from Greg.  If that wasn't enough, the following day I found a sermon online given by Greg, a Unitarian minister, from this past summer delving into Brown's "Gifts of Imperfection."  Synchronicity at work indeed.

3.  Camera Lens.  I'm following my creative curiosity (thanks Liz Gilbert!) and pursuing a life-long love of photography.  I'm taking some classes and lectures and taking my camera everywhere I go.  It's already led to some interesting conversations - an ESPN photographer I met along the river in Austin, my massage therapist who was a former product photographer of 25 years.  This week I bought a wide aperture lens and was giddier than a kid on Christmas morning when tried it out and I realized that I can take low light, active, indoor photos with no flash!  It felt like the best $200 I have spent.  Can't freaking wait to start using it!

4.  Running across a field with a dog.

5.  Email from a grateful student for quickly helping them out.

6.  James Corden's Carride Karaoke with Chris Martin of Coldplay.  Don't ask, just do yourself a favor and watch.