Saturday, January 24, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 24: Say a Prayer

Now, let me say that "prayer" means something different to everyone.
Some people clasp their hands and speak to a higher being. 
Some people reflect silently.
Some people turn to nature.
I am not here to judge or preach or say that any one way is better than another.
I am simply suggesting that today is a great day
to reflect on life's blessings and curses
and, in the best way you know how, say a prayer.
I'm going to ask you to add something today, though.
I am going to ask you to include my friend G in your payers.
She just had her second baby in November, a healthy baby boy.
She is the gorgeous and proud mother of 2 healthy baby boys
and the happy wife of my dear friend J.
Today she shared with the world that she has 
a benign meningioma (a tumor in the meninges of the brain) that must be operated on.
She is truly one of the worlds shining stars, 
and today she needs blessings.
Her husband needs blessings to stay strong.
Her boys need blessings to keep their dear mommy safe.
She needs blessings to overcome this obstacle with grace and good health.
So, however you pray, please pray for G today.

Friday, January 23, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 23: Love

I don't think it's possible to say or hear the words
"I love you"
without feeling joy.
Today's task is easy:
Say it.
Say "I love you" to someone you love.
Heck, say it to EVERYONE you love.
You can even say it a few times...
no one who loves you too is going to turn you away!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 22: Surprise Someone

Don't you just LOVE a good surprise?
image via

There are so many ways to quickly and easily spread joyful surprise.
Offer to walk your neighbor's dog.
Call your dear friend and invite them out for a date.
Buy coffee for the person behind you in line.
Bring donuts in for your coworkers.
If you're the boss...send your employees home an hour early!
How can you surprise someone today?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 21: Tackle a Project

Today is the day to tackle a project
like a boss.
Like a linebacker vying for a pro bowl spot.
I don't mean an art project or a craft project or something fun...
I am talking about that project that has been sneering at your from afar.
That junk drawer that mocks you every time you try to open it.
image via
That closet that swallows shoes, coats, and probably that handbag you can't find.
image via
The garage.
image via

Seize the day.
Clear that clutter.
Take it one little bit at a time, 
and you will be amazed at the energy you gain as you go.
You will be infusing your space and your life 
with positive energy and joy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 20: Treat Yourself

It's  Tuesday. For some reason, Tuesday has a bad rap for being a "not great day".
I guess I get it...the weekend is over
and reality of the work week has set in.
My solution to "a case of the Tuesdays"?
Treat yourself!
image from
 Go ahead, get that latte.
 Extra cheese? Yes, please.
A manicure? Why not?!
It's life's little pleasures that sometimes seem to bring the most joy.
So, grab a pal, take a break, and

Monday, January 19, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 19: Wave Goodbye

Unless you have managed to perfect the practice of time travel,
here is a tip for you:
You can't change the past.
No amount of brooding, thinking, perseverating, or  fixating on it will make it different.
The past has happened, and that is that.
What you CAN do, however, is to reflect, take your lesson, and wave goodbye.
Use your energy and new found knowledge to make today the best it can be.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 18: Read those Mags

If you are anything like me, 
you have quite the collection of magazines stacked up somewhere in your home.
photo via
Yes, blogs and websites and email newsletters are the way of the world, 
but nothing compares to a great glossy in your hand.
Each month they arrive, beckoning to your with their siren calls of
new recipes, fashion, skincare, and maybe even a little bit of "grown-folk" advice.
You have work, or school, or kids, or life, and the time passes by.
Before you know it, the next round of magazines shows up to join the pile.
Today, I invite you to take some time,
make a cup of whatever you brew, 
and read them!
It *should* bring a touch of joy into your day today.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 17: Blow it Off!

Every now and again, it is OK to...
blow off our responsibilities!!!!
Now, I'm not talking about the real life or death things here.
You still need to do the "grown up" stuff like feed the kids and salt the icy sidewalks.
What I am talking about are those little things that can wait.

Ditch the dishes for another few hours while you curl up with a good book.
Forget about the garbage for a bit so that you can watch that movie with the family.
Let the laundry wait another day so that you can visit with someone you love.
Do you know what will happen?

Absolutely nothing.
The dishes will sit quietly.
The garbage will remain.
The laundry will still be there tomorrow.
You will be ahead in the joy department, and that's a great way to spend the day!

Friday, January 16, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 16: Reflect

Sometimes we feel up, sometimes we are down.
There are even times when we start to forget what it's like to laugh or to smile.
We may even lose touch with what "joy" really even means.
These are the times when it is important to look back at our lives
and out into the universe and take stock of all of the 
amazing things that make up our world.
Give silent thanks for our blessings
and search for the lessons in our grief.
From that reflection, I hope you will find calm and joy in your most sacred memories.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 14: Have a Date

Call someone you love and schedule a date!
Lunch, dinner, shopping...whatever you wish.
Don't you just love getting a call from a friend inviting you out for some quality time?
There is nothing quite like the joy of sharing time.
It is one of our most precious commodoties.
Who will you share your time with today?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Spread Joy: Day 13: Send a Note

Oh, it seems that long gone are the days of penning a note to a loved one.
Now we can shoot off a text message or email in mere seconds,
the recipient can reply almost instantly.
Don't you find, though, that there is something nostalgic...
even maybe a bit romantic...
about a written letter?
A card, a letter, or even a short note arriving
 among the piles of junk mail and bills
can surely brighten someone's day.
Who will you write your note to?

Monday, January 12, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 12: Help Someone

"Can I help you?"
Stop and think: how many times a day do we hear this phrase (or a version of it)?
If you have gone shopping recently, you almost certainly have.
If you have made a call to a customer service line, 
I would imagine you heard this at the beginning of the call.
how many times have YOU said it (outside of your job) recently?

I probably offer help more often than I should.
I carry things, open doors, and give opinions many times a day.
The resulting flash of joy is most often mutual.
I love knowing that I have helped someone, 
and I believe that "someone" feels joy in having been helped.
The next time you see someone struggling with a package, 
a stranger pondering choices in the grocery store, or
someone who looks a little bit lost, 
don't hesitate to offer up some help and
spread a bit of joy!

Friday, January 9, 2015

31 Days 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 9: Visit with a Friend

Ah, the joyful fun of catching up on old times with good friends.
Reminiscing about the good ol' days, 
laughing about "that time that..."
Is there someone you've lost touch with?
A group that used to be thick as thieves?
Thanks to modern day social media, reuinting is mere clicks away.
So, visit some old friends and spread some joy today!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Call Someone

My Bubbie was a "phone person."
She had a phone in every room, 
and when cell phones came into fashion she had one of those as well.
I, too, am a "phone person."
I like talking so much that I made it my profession (I'm a speech language pathologist).
I talk to my bestie juNxtaposition at LEAST once a day.
You know what? 
Talking to the people I love brings me joy.
I would bet that you would agree: think of how happy you were the last time you talked to someone you love.
So...pick up the phone and spread some joy today!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 7: Purge

I have to admit, the word itself sounds kind of off-putting in a weird way...but to me it evokes thoughts of cleaning, clearing, and organizing. 

In fact, here's what Merriam Webster has to say about it:
Yesterday's way to bring joy was "Let Go", and in many ways this is synonymous.

If we are talking about a physical purge (i.e., of things), think of this:
 How does this translate to bringing joy?
Think of this: how thrilled would you be if you could shop, 
come home with new goodies, and not spend ANY money. 
Pretty happy, right?
How about getting a group together to do a "purge merge"? 

Everyone takes the opportunity to "clean out" and gather up things they don't use or need anymore. I would suggest an overall category: clothing, craft items, kitchen items, etc. 

Then, you all bring your junk, er, wonderful stuff to one central location. 
Everyone then takes turns "shopping" from the collective pile! 
Anything left over can be donated to your local thrift shop, church group, or other charity. 
You get new goodies.
Your pals get new goodies.
You get rid of clutter.
Your pals get rid of clutter.
Some lucky local organization get s a LOT of new goodies.

That's a lot of joy to spread from a purge!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

31 days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 6: Let Go

No, I'm not talking about that ever-popular Disney song. 
There is an additional pronoun in that one that I am purposefully omitting here.

graphic via
To let go is to truly be free to experience (and therefore spread) joy. 

This one may sound easy enough, however, I know that this is easier said than done. I challenge you to make the conscious decision to let go of anything that is getting in your way of joy.

Let go of frustration, anger, irritation, or anything that causes your brow to furrow.

Let go of the past. It happened, it is done, and you can't do a thing to change it.

Let go of unrealistic expectations. There is a difference between setting a lofty goal and holding yourself to a standard that is artificial and utterly unattainable.

Let go, and your heart will be open to receive and ultimately spread joy.

Monday, January 5, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 5: Love Your Home

One of the great joys in my life is having the privilege of knowing so many amazingly talented writers, artists, and DIY-ers. When I announced my blog series theme for 2015, I reached out to my Blogtalk friends and asked for some assistance. My girls didn't let me down!

Today's post takes you over to a blog that I love called Mrs. Hines' Class. In October 2014, she did a beautiful series called 31 Days to Love the Home You're With. As many of you may know, I moved in with my fiance in July and...well...let's just say that decor is not necessarily his strong point. I am taking the advice I found in this series and applying it to our home beginning in 2015.

I invite you to take a moment and see if you can implement any or all of her 31 suggestions on ways to Love the Home You're With!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 4: Coffee or Tea

It's Sunday.
It's morning.
It's a new year.
Make a cup of coffee or tea for yourself AND the one(s) you love...that's joy.
Wishing you a happy day and lots of simple Sunday joy!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 3: Pictures

For me, there is an unbelievable amount of joy stored in the thin colorful scraps of paper that are my family pictures. Those quirky, somewhat faded images bring me right back to moments where my grandmother held me tight, my grandfather planted strawberries, or my mother hostessed a 4th birthday party.
Bubbie (my grandmother) and I, probably around 1981
Recently, my dear Aunt Patti (who is also my Godmother) started going through her likely huge collection of family memorabilia which includes (but is not limited to):
pictures, greeting cards, invitations, some of my earliest craft work, and much more.
Sometimes she'll take pictures on her phone and text them to me. 
Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry, but I always feel joy.
I'd date this to the late 1980s...that's my Grandfather (Jeddie), Grandmother (Bubbie), myself, and my brother in front of my grandparents' home.
Today I invite you to take a look around and find some pictures that bring you joy and think about who you might be able to share that joy with. Would your brother just love to see that old picture where you dressed him up as a child? Do you think your dad might enjoy seeing that time he tried to cook a turkey but forgot to defrost it? Think about is a click and a quick memory away.

Friday, January 2, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 2: Give Compliments

Yesterday we talked about giving a smile,
today this will get one. 
Give a compliment!
It's another easy one: 
simply find something that you like and comment on it.
There are so many wonderful things about people to compliment, 
it doesn't just have to be about appearance!
"I like the sound of your laugh."
"You make the very best cookies."
"I love how you put colors together."
In my professional life as a speech-language pathologist, my job is to go to homes and evaluate children ages birth-3 to determine whether or not they need developmental therapy services (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, etc.). The evaluation is play based and I am looking to see how the children can process information, manipulate objects, move around, etc. Sometimes they can complete the tasks, sometimes they can't. 
One thing I am sure of is to always compliment their efforts. 
"I like how you stacked those cups!" or "You did such a nice job jumping!"goes a long way and almost always earns me a sweet little smile. 
Try it and bring some joy to someone today!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

31 Days, 31 Ways to Bring Joy: Day 1: Smile

It's easy, it's free, and everyone knows how to do it.
Charles Darwin even hypothesized that smiling has a real and measurable effect on our mood and behavior.
Photo credit: Monika Manowska.
A smile can change your whole day, or at the very least give you a moment of joy. 
If someone else is  lucky enough to catch you in that moment, then BAM, the joy has been spread.

It's that simple. 
Even if you aren't happy, even if you don't want to, just give it a try. 
You never know what might happen.