As we come to the end of this eventful year of 2020, we’re all reflecting on how we dealt with our mutual circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I found myself reflecting on what I am grateful for as I attempt to find hope and joy in a year of tremendous impact and loss. I also revisited words I wrote and posted on Facebook in 2011 and then again in 2015, on what was known as the “Grateful Joyous Moments” series.
So much has happened since 2015. Despite the fact we are still in a pandemic, I believe I was able to experience many grateful joyous moments: including the promise of a sunrise; the ending of a perfect day as the sun left the sky in a blast of stunning colour; the stillness of a night-sky full of stars; the first snowfall; incredible cottage views all season long; that first morning coffee; that cocktail or glass of red shared over zoom; and most of all, the love and time with my family and friends. I’ve grieved as family and friends left us and experienced the joys of welcoming new little people to our world. I recognized my own vulnerabilities during this time in our lives and most importantly, reinforced my desire and need to be gentle on myself and be kind to others.
Many of the GJM’s I wrote still apply, even more so now. So, here is the 2015 and 2011 posts revisited…. and finally, posted on my blog. As we reflect on this year that was 2020, what are you grateful for?
2015 Post – Grateful Joyous Moments – Redoux
“Don’t postpone Joy,” she said, and wished me a beautiful day. Words written 3 years ago by a kind, lovely, warm soul, Maureen, who I mentioned in this note below in 2011. Yesterday, August 19, 2015, her fight came to an end and she received her angel’s wings. She has finally found peace after years of fighting cancer and living the last 47 years on this earth to the fullest. I am once again reminded of these grateful joyous moments and I have added a new one:
Grateful Joyous Moment #27 – As we share fond memories of our Mo and send her our love, thoughts and prayers, we’re reminded of her infectious laugh, her joy for life, her sense of fun and her wonderfully kind soul. Our good friend lived out her final days in peace, surrounded by love, family and friends in a beautiful hospice. Today we celebrate the happy times as the “Cala” girls and hold these moments close to our hearts. “It’s been a long time from where we began and I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again.” Godspeed my friend. xo
2011 – Grateful Joyous Moments
I am the lord of the dance, said he…
I reconnected with an old friend today. I worked with her many years ago. She is strong, independent, funny and full of Irish spirit. I am so happy to have connected with her once again. Her positive attitude and demeanour are contagious. And I learned that she’s still fighting cancer that has plagued her many years and as a result, she has chosen to live every day of her life with gratefulness and courage.
And I told her that I had taken the same attitude about life recently. This past fall, after learning that my friend’s son, Keaton, was struggling in his final days with cancer, I gave myself a pledge to enjoy and chronicle one Grateful Joyous Moment, each and every day.
Besides re-connecting with my friend today, I had a dream this week, where I shared a huge, giant chocolate bar with Keaton. I don’t normally remember my dreams, or take much stock in them, but this dream stuck with me, simply because it made me happy. And I couldn’t seem to get the song, Lord of the Dance, out of my head. Not only is it an old Irish song, but it was sung by a children’s choir as the processional song at Keaton’s funeral.
I mentioned to her that I’ve been toying with a blog. Yet, even today, I still struggle with what I want to share and what purpose it will serve. For now, I’ll let my Facebook friends decide and I will start with some old material. So, here they are, Grateful Joyous Moments, all in one place. Maybe it’s the start of a blog, I don’t know yet. But for now, I remain, grateful.
Grateful Joyous Moment #26. Today, we will dress in our funky, fun clothes as we say goodbye and celebrate Keaton’s life. We will take comfort in the joy you gave us in your short time here, how you taught us to appreciate the little things in life, as you touched our hearts and gave us your love. We’ll watch for those rainbows and shooting stars you send our way, little man, and we’ll remember.
Grateful Joyous Moment#25: Outdoor delights. Discovering another park in a city I’ve lived in for almost 20 years at my very first Tread Powerfully offroad powerwalking class this morning. Kerncliff Park on Kerns Road. A wonderful, serene oasis of winding trails; tough, steep hills; short, wooden bridges over a small stream; tall trees and a magnificent view. Took my breath away. Literally and figuratively…
GJM#24(Quote): “I’ve learned, through all the ups and downs, that while gratefulness is not a panacea for everything that ails us, it does make life easier. That doesn’t mean I always walk around brimming with joy. But on the days I see the glass as half full, the people around me seem happier, and I’m happier and more pleasant to be around, too. And when I fall from grace, as we all do,”…I continue to be grateful.
Grateful Joyous Moment #23: The tree. When my teenager still looks in awe and wonder as she delights in the sights, memories, and the fresh fragrance of our Christmas tree, just decorated with love.
And they will continue…Grateful Joyous Moment #22a: The early winter sky late last night was clear, bright and chock full of stars. The air: crisp, cool and amazingly still. And I swear I saw a special shooting star blaze its trail across the sky. And it gave me an overwhelming sense of peace.
Grateful Joyous Moment #22: Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons. I did so this morning as I powerwalked with the TP team by the lake. The water: calm and reassuring. The company: supportive and comforting. The sunrise: colourful, remarkable and inspiring.
Grateful Joyous Moment #21: Enjoyed the little things today, including a private laugh I shared with my daughter. Because one day, I may look back and realize these were the big things.
Grateful Joyous Moment #20: Some days when there isn’t a song in my heart, I will sing anyway. Loud and clear and strong and full of faith. And I will choose hope.
Grateful Joyous Moment #19: Random Acts of Kindness. When I saw the shocked, delighted look on the face of the driver behind me after I paid for his coffee in the drive thru. And the smile I carried with me throughout the day as a result.
Grateful Joyous Moment #18. That I can turn up the volume on the stereo to a favourite song and dance joyously around the room as I sing at the top of my lungs. It’s a beautiful day!
(reference to U2’s song Beautiful Day)
Grateful Joyous Moment #17: Goodbye kisses. Dropping your daughter off for an activity because she is now old enough to head into the venue herself. And stopping her just before she opens the car door to remind her you’d like a goodbye kiss. Even if she thinks it’s not cool, it means the world to her mom.
Greatful Joyous Moment #16: First snowfall. Starts late in the evening, big flakes falling silently & slowly as they hit the ground. In the morning, you peer out the window & are delighted to find a white blanket of snow covering the trees, the grass & your garden. Snow is still falling gently, slowly. You run outside, raise your head to catch that first flake on your tongue. Winter in Canada. Wouldn’t have it any other way.
This one was written by my friend, KD. Well let me tell you about Grateful Joyous Moment #15. Your colleague gives you a box of hand me downs for your daughter. You bring the box home to open it and find that it is jam packed full of Lululemon, Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle and TNA clothes!!!!
Grateful Joyous Moment #14: Having dental work done and only being able to eat soft foods and liquids (this is not the joyous part… stay with me). And discovering a batch of mom’s homemade turkey soup in the freezer. Just enough to fit into a large mug. Goodness and love all rolled into one cup of soup.
Grateful Joyous Moment#13: Christmas traditions. Be it a yearly homemade calendar, a special photo album, Christmas jammies or slippers, or the big bright orange in the bottom of a stocking. The joy in the eyes of the recipient, and the comfort of the tradition itself is treasured most of all.
Grateful Joyous Moment #12: When, out of the blue, you hear from a treasured old friend, who brightens your day by calling just to say “hi, thought about you today” and you have this urge to pay it forward. So you call another friend, and so on and so on. And in doing so, you realize how lucky you are that you have so many wonderful people in your life.
Grateful Joyous Moment #11: The sweetness of that first clementine of the season. As soon as I peel its pebbled skin, tear each piece off section by section, and enjoy its juicy goodness, I am grateful that all the treats and traditions of Christmas are mine to enjoy and savour.
Grateful Joyous Moment#10: Healthy: Because I am in good health and can enjoy a leisurely 1k walk around the block. Safe: Because I can take that walk in the early pre-dawn darkness and feel utterly safe from harm. Lucky: Because I can return to my warm cosy home and enjoy a hearty breakfast with my child.
Grateful Joyous Moment#9: When out of blue on a Sunday afternoon, my daughter decides to bake homemade chocolate chip cookies. Thrilled that she wants to hone her baking skills and that shortly, I’ll be the recipient of her baking inspiration.
Grateful Joyous Moment#8: Naps. Whether they be 20 minute cat naps; deliciously decadent afternoon naps; nodding off in a chair in front of a crackling fire, wrapped in a cozy blanket as you attempt to read one more chapter of that treasured book on a cold snowy day nap; or a child’s car-ride nap, head bobbing along as you wonder how they can possibly sleep in that position. In any form, naps are highly underrated..
Grateful Joyous Moment #7: That unspoken moment when the person you are with makes you laugh at something outrageously funny. You can’t even look at each other without cracking up laughing. It brings tears to your eyes and your stomach hurts from laughing so hard. And each time you remember it, a smile crosses your lips.
Grateful Joyous Moment #6: Chocolate. In any form. Whether it be that small square you let sit on your tongue as it melts. The chocolate martini with the hershey kiss at the bottom of the glass waiting to be devoured as you slowly sip the cool, refreshing chocolately drink. Or that first bite of a warm brownie fresh out of the oven. You get the idea. Pure. Joy.
Grateful Joyous Moment#5: When you’re driving alone in your car and a favourite rock tune comes on. You know the one. With the guitar riff, drum solo and words to live by. And you crank it up, sing at the top of your lungs and give a big smile and wave to the dude who pulls up beside you at the stop light.
Grateful Joyous Moment #4: When your baby (now a teenager) who has been gone for a week, comes up to you and says “I really missed you mommy”. Me too love, me too.
Grateful Joyous Moment #3: Sitting for a moment, lost in thought, stressing about the day ahead, and suddenly staring into the face of your furry dog, who sets his face upon your lap and gives you a look of utter happiness, unconditional love and devotion.
Grateful Joyous Moment #2 – Waking up early, when all is quiet and those in my world are still fast asleep, and peering out the window just in time to view a magnificent sunrise of muted lavenders, blues and oranges and for a brief moment, bliss.
Grateful Joyous Moment #1 – Warming my hands as I sip a hot mug of freshly roasted fair trade coffee, after a brisk walk on this crisp foggy, fall day, made from coffee beans delivered in person from Hornby Island, BC.