Upon reading Caitlin’s post yesterday about all the things that make her happy, I was reminded of Ross Gay’s Book of Delights in which he writes an essayette every day for an entire year as he attends to and records delights that captured his attention. It made me wonder how many episodes of delight I could capture in one day. So, I thought I would try. Here goes:
*waking in the morning without an alarm
*knowing I can linger in bed a little longer on a Saturday
*rolling over under my covers to do child’s pose before crawling out of bed
*my bare feet meeting the soft rug beside my bed and sliding into my slippers
*an early morning text message from my husband with a photo of the morning sunrise on the lake he is ice fishing on with his buddies, he knowing I love sunrises
*greeting Ella who waits for me to rise from my bed to be fed, her tail wagging
*the tall glass of lemon water I drink before coffee
*coffee – need I say more? In a handcrafted mug from my daughter
*tending to Ella and filling her bowl with water and her dish with food, she kisses me on the nose in gratitude
*a step outside with my coffee to breathe in the early morning air-it may hit 50 degrees today
*writing – and everything that goes with writing – the warmth, filling my pen with ink, hand-scribing, discoveries
*a conversation with my son as he works on his truck – my awe at how he can fix things
*a walk outside listening to Naomi Shihab Nye with Krista Tippet on a podcast
*the warmth prompting me to take my jacket off and tie is around my waist
*squishy mud on the road of which ooze around my shoe
It’s not even 10:00 am yet and my morning is bursting with delights, many intentional. I confess that my days are set up for this. Liz Gilbert said somewhere that our mental well-being is a 24 hour job. We work as a side gig. This is true for me.
The feel good chemicals in my brain, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins need continuous drips throughout my day for optimal well-being. I can’t leave things to chance.
A funny thing happens when you begin recording delights. Even if you plan for them to occur, you begin to notice delights everywhere. Our delight muscle is strengthened. All of them are screaming for your attention!
And, did you know that if you share your delight with someone, the benefits are two-fold? You experience it again, AND you share that joy with someone else so they feel it, too. Also, if you’ve written it down, every time you reread it, you experience it again.
Who doesn’t need more of that in their life right now?
I am participating in the 14th Annual SOL 2021 March challenge. For 31 days, I will attempt to write and share a small slice of life from my days. If you’d like to read more of today’s slices from other teacher-writers, please head over to twowritingteachers, who have also committed to this challenge.