The last time I put together a “Joy List” I was sniffle-y and desiring of a better-feeling thought or two. I thought, “Heck, why settle for one or two? I’ll take 100 of them.” It worked; I did start feeling better.
Today, I am feeling on top of the world and want to deepen that feeling, revel in the beauty that I am seeing so clearly today. So tonight, I gave myself a new challenge: List all of things that have delighted me in the past 48 hours. Here goes (in no particular order)…
1. Dolphins surfing in huge, pounding waves
2. Surfers surfing next to them
3. Running from previously-mentioned huge, pounding waves with my 8-year old giggling next to me
4. Watching Ginger (our two-year old puppy) chase ball after ball into the very same huge, pounding waves
5. Those outrageous waves (they were BIG!)
6. Talking to happy people (strangers) on the beach (sun shining, warm, warm, warm, dolphins, beautiful waves…happy, happy, happy!)
7. The peaceful sound of my Andre’s sleeping breath next to me (right now)
8. Isabella playing with my hand as she readies herself for sleep (also right now)
9. The peaceful sound of Isabella’s sleeping breath next to me (that was fast!)
10. Meeting Adam at his office with his surfboard and kidnapping him for a spontaneous surf/boogie board date.
11. The joyful, exhilarated faces of our kids riding the waves
12. The silhouette of Adam and one of the kids on his surfboard, paddling out to catch a wave together
13. The color of the sunset behind them as they paddled out
14. Having popsicles all day long (It’s in the 90s here; we’re not used to the 90s here).
15. Eating ice cream for dinner
16. Having the kids ask for healthy food after eating ice cream for dinner
17. Riding bikes to and from school
18. Playing amazing imagination games with an amazingly imaginative 5-year old
19. Listening to the above-mentioned 5-year old brightly say “Hi” to people (strangers) at random times throughout the day
20. Marveling at hummingbirds hovering as they drink nectar from the flowers in our backyard
21. Lying on the grass in the late afternoon and watching the leaves tremble slightly in the warm breeze
22. Andre’s sweet voice asking for help
23. Sensing Andre’s comfort and delight at his new “school”
24. Reading books with our kids at night
25. Reading books with our kids in the morning
26. Our new homeschool math curriculum (no joke, we LOVE doing math together)
27. Playing games (usually at Andre’s request)
28. Organizing our house (I am even delighting in the process of this…and the outcome of having a more-organized house is sending me over the moon!)
29. The sound of Andre playing so sweetly with his friend, Anya, today
30. Discovering what was in the backpacks that they carefully packed and brought with them to pick up their big sisters from “school” today
(punching gloves, a punching bag, a bat, a ball, a glove, a football, and some legos…apparently after playing every sport for which we have equipment, they were planning a little “lego downtime”)
31. Isabella’s confidence and palpable joy when she is in her groove
32. Isabella’s ability to make friends anywhere/anytime
33. Having breakfast with a friend of…..what did we decide, Jane? 32 years?
34. Delicious leftovers from our gathering of friends who have known each other at least 32 years…some closer to…zoinks….39 years
(Technically, the gathering was over more than 48 hours ago- 50 hours to be exact. SO…I am delighting in the leftovers as a loophole to mention our delightfully fun dinner together)
35. Finding the perfect shady spot to spend hours chillin’ while the sunny spots remained way too hot for chillin’!
36. Our outrageous community of homeschooling parents, teachers and staff
37. Watching Terri Steinmann work her theatrical magic with a dozen or so 8, 9 and 10-year olds
38. Watching Isabella flourish and thrive amid the theatrical magic
39. Watching Joya Winwood work her improv magic with a dozen or so 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12-year olds
40. Watching Isabella flourish and thrive amid the improv magic
41. The UNBELIEVABLE sunset tonight, streaking across the western sky in yellows and oranges before swirling into pinks and purples
42. Sitting on the porch outside of Kate’s house with my circle sisters, appreciating the UNBELIEVABLE sunset tonight
43. Sitting in circle with these wise, kind and joyful women
44. Feeling so unbelievably safe and loved in that circle
45. Our circle leaders’ abilities to help us move us deeper into ourselves and closer to our shining inner-light
46. Dancing, dancing, dancing in our circle tonight
47. The moment when “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” came on during our dance party and we all opened our eyes and danced together, cracking up and living out loud!
48. The comfort of our bed
49. The softness of my pillow
50. Zzzzzzzzz….the sweetness of sleep
Note from Ruthie: I am delving deeper and deeper into planning our retreat and am getting really excited about it. There is still one spot left for anyone wanting to join us for 48-hours of delights!
Ruthie Yarme is a homeschooling mom, living in Santa Cruz, CA. She delights in walking among the towering Redwoods; watching her dog, Ginger, romp along the Pacific; listening to her husband play music of all styles; and pretty much doing anything with her two amazing gurus, Isabella and Andre.
You can find Ruthie’s essays here every Thursday. She would love to hear your thoughts on parenting, partnering and joyful living. Feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org