Monday, 16 April 2012

Things That Brought Joy - Monday

Waiting in the surgery this morning to take someone home after they'd had a blood test, I poked around in my pocket for something to read. I often pick up pamphlets and throw-aways and stuff them into a pocket or bag, intending to look at them later. What I found was a Guardian/Observer leaflet with a few short articles,  issued on behalf of the The School of Life, an organisation which, apparently, gives classes and advice on how to make your life more fulfilling. Etc. etc. It's not a new concept, people have grown rich doing just that for decades. Most of what self-help advisers say is normal good sense; we could work it out for ourselves and spend the money on something more beneficial, like riotous living perhaps.

This particular leaflet told you how to make the most of your time, which on any given day could involve you in 'don't check your email straight away', 'step outside of time', 'sleep more peacefully', and 'create a done list'.  As I said, no light-bulb moment here, just common sense, but the last bit of advice appealed to me. 'Set a time to celebrate what you've done each day. It doesn't need to be a list of achievements. It could be things you saw or heard that brought you joy'.  Not only did it appeal, it also gave me an idea for a week's blogposts; I'm rather short on ideas at the moment.

In common with lots of people I live routinely; good days and bad slip by more or less unnoticed, time flies without leaving much of an imprint. I can see that marking joyful moments can lift a day and thereby slow down the flow of time.

It's not even six pm and already I have three items to go on today's list:

A glorious morning for a walk;

I opened an email this morning, in which my friend Susan,
told me that she is coming to stay less than five miles away from
Valley's End for a whole week in July. Sue, I've put the kettle on.

Just now another friend, my neighbour Sally, came with the good
news that she has been able to get five sets of tickets for us, for five 
different performances at the Royal Shakespeare Company 
in Stratford-upon-Avon, between Oct 2012 and Feb 2013. 

I am thrilled to bits. 


  1. i like the thought of making a set time to celebrate the good things each day...that sounds like a winner...

    happy monday...

  2. for me it would be a "what have I done!" list

  3. I think I need to take time to celebrate what I have done each day. I always just keeping thinking of all the things I need to do. Now I just need to think on how to celebrate! Maybe just acknowledging is enough because there are so many days I do not even want to get out of bed and yet everyday I do.

  4. Taking the time to live thoughtfully?

    Hmmm. I will give that some thought.


  5. I really like the idea of celebrating what we've seen each day. I try to do so, but will allow myself to do so even more mindfully. I have spent some time on riotous living, but nowadays the riot is the color in my garden, hopefully. Your growing list of things for today is a great mixture.

  6. I like this very much -- it's like counting your blessings for the day and then writing about them! Great one, Friko!

  7. Gratitude and joy--always a brilliant idea. But that riotous living sounds pretty good, too. ;)

    Enjoy all your fun events and good company! :):)

  8. I like this, Friko. Very much. There is so much to celebrate in life even though the media feeds us a steady diet of doom and gloom. And what a glorious blue sky in your photo.

  9. I love the idea of a "done" list, and as to what's on yours, we are looking forward to that cuppa--not to mention a close up view of the most fabulous compost bins on the planet. Can't wait for July to come!

  10. That's a good idea .... even though the only thing on my list today would be " Survived ... as did those I came in contact with " .
    Very envious of your theatre tickets !

  11. You said, "we could work it out for ourselves and spend the money on something more beneficial, like riotous living perhaps." Now that is the kind of self-help advice I like. But your celebrate advice also is good, and something I actually do, although not as frequently as daily. I must do better. (Which will give me something more to celebrate!)

  12. You really DID have a great day!

  13. Good things happen to good people. Or, at least that's what my grandmother used to say.

  14. Love this idea - like counting your blessings without the self pity behind it.

  15. a perfect essay, er post. not a word out of place, saying what is worth saying.

    This will (permit me) change your life! It has mine. I may call it 'gratitude' but it is the SAME in every detail. Soon (by my experience)
    your will be living such a joyful experience that you will wonder why everyone doesn't change thier perception and focus this way. Glad to have you aboard (Cheeky!)
    BTW, Because I needed to see a Physician in (British-style) Jamaica once, I know that "Surgery" is a medical facility, and not necessarily the place where 'operations' as we Americans call them are performed. . . .

    Warm Aloha from Waikiki
    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } (°>

  16. Friko, when I reach into a pocket I might have on me, I usually just find my monthly subway train Metrocard, or a Kleenex or perhaps a mysterious shopping list...undated (did I or did I not actually buy those items, and when?)

    Your blog tells me that more inspiring paper might be discovered in a pocket.

    I very much enjoyed reading your post. Even before reading it, I'd realized that this unseasonably warm Monday off had been a good one.

    There's still time for me to post a blog! xo

  17. Love it. I write 'to do' lists. On that list I always put at least one item I am sure I will complete. Crossing that item off gives me the impetus to keep going.
    And the garden, regardless of how much work needs to be done, is an affirmation of life.

  18. I have always been annoyed by these self-help classes or conferences. Like you I think they are full of common sense and just want to hold your hand, listen to your questions and then charge you money. Many of our big popular preachers do the same and make lots of money. Thankfulness lists are always useful.

  19. Lovely! Lots of things to be excited about... and to share with your faithful readers (I'm one). :-)

  20. I caught up with the five posts I missed – I was kind of down and did not read many blogs lately. But you are right, we need to look at each day and be pleased for what has been accomplished. I’ll do that – and won’t think about tomorrow.

  21. This is the best idea! A "done" list just brims over with satisfaction!

    You certainly had some lovely news today. I'm jealous of the Shakespeare performances! I've seen so few in my life, and you will see five! Very exciting!

  22. I resolved to go to sleep each night focusing on something in which I had found joy that day when I realized I was closer to 70 than 60 and my days seemed meaningless. I make myself not think about what I've done or not done, although sometimes the joy may be in something I have done. But I'd be hard pressed to find three things in one day. Hope you enjoy the theatre and your cuppa with your friend.
    (Still haven't figured out why you can't access my blog.)

  23. Hello:
    What a wonderful upbeat note on which to end this post. And how splendid to have the tickets for Stratford. It is far too many years since we were there and how exciting to be in the new theatre.

    We are rather hoping that Susan will come to Budapest in the spring of next year. We are sure you will have a wonderful time with her with many shared interests.

  24. You are so right about most of the "expert advice" being simply common sense that most people should be able to arrive at without spending money on someone else telling them.

    I have the habit to do both: think of the nice things ahead today while I am still in bed, listening to the church bells, and in the evening, drifting into sleep while thinking about the things that I did or happened that day.
    Also, it is nice talking to my sweetheart on the phone every night and exchange what our respective day has been like.

  25. Good friends, and tickets for RSC productions - sounds perfect to me.

  26. i think i have to come and visit your castle sometime - do you open it to the public at all?

    Hope you enjoy the RSC

  27. Oh these are all nice things. I often like to read "Poems in the Waiting Room" - do you know them? Wonderful poetry leaflets in waiting rooms. They've just lost a major grant though so I think will have to cut back and supply poems now only to doctors surgeries where they have a subsrciber or two.

  28. Fantastic idea! I'll have to give it a go ... just as soon as I can work out what 'step outside of time' actually means!!!

  29. I'm all in favour of counting blessings. It's like a punctuation mark or taking a deep breath before carrying on.

  30. Excellent - these come under the heading of 'Counting one's blessings' too, I think:-)

  31. Those are great blessings for sure! Especially the performances!! Super!
    And why can't you enter my blog?
    If you send me your email addy I can put you on my "send to " list!

  32. Hi Friko - sounds great - and a very good idea .. I must give it a go. Also as you say - will give you a few ideas for a blogpost or two ..

    Isn't that great that Susan from Prufrock is coming over - what fun - that will be just wonderful -

    Then tickets for Stratford - ah! one day ...

    and some sun and some rain .. the joys of Spring ..

    Have a great week .. cheers Hilary


    Starting today.

    What a bloody marvellous idea!


  34. It's all too easy to find things to moan and complain about, but concentrating on the negative does make every day seem the same - and very boring. Much better to make a habit of noticing the small, unexpected and joyful things that didn't happen yesterday and won't happen tomorrow.

  35. When spring comes I always try to expand my notion of what is possible...that brings some joy along. ~Mary

  36. It's hard to think of anything to add to the above, so I will just say 'what a wonderful replacement for my usual list of what was not done!'

  37. You've got excellent friends!! :)

  38. What a splendid way to beat the post-Easter dearth of inspiration which seems to be bedevilling a lot of bloggers at the moment. A lovely post.

  39. Awesome!
    I shall be in Kent to visit our daughter some time soon. I'm looking forward to see some of the scenes you present in your photos.


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