Happy Little Things

2020 has been a heavy year. Honestly, it felt that way before the Rona took us all hostage. I’m fighting that. In that vein, I like to remind myself of “little happy things.”

Oatmeal. It’s the best comfort food. It’s hot. It’s creamy. It’s versatile. Oh, and it helped bring my strangely high cholesterol down last fall! (family heart disease history) It is not uncommon to find a packet of instant oatmeal at my desk. I’d like to say that I do all the overnight oat stuff, but that would be blowing smoke… I don’t prep well.

Music. I dressed this morning to 90’s hits. I have uplifting, contemporary Christian on at my desk. I sang and played piano with my sisters this weekend. I run to music of all genres with a good beat, but sometimes questionable lyrics. Music has the power to set moods, change moods, set a pace, and uplift!

Walks. Yesterday, I texted a friend spontaneously to ask if she wanted to take a 20 minute walk over lunch. She did! This may not seem like a huge deal, but stepping away from work and everything else to move and chat with a friend was probably the high point of my day. Movement feels good. Fresh air feels great. Time with a friend is priceless!

Basically, all my “little happy things” were free or cheap. Instead of focusing on how certain points of my day were dumpster fires, turning my attention to these “little happy things” flipped that narrative.

Isn’t that what this year is teaching us to do? We don’t have to focus on all the big things taken away. Instead, I encourage you to look for all the little rays of sunshine. For me, sometimes it’s a simple as “hey, that phone call sucked… think I’ll go for a quick walk or maybe a mug of oatmeal.” I know, not eloquent… but very real.

What are your little happy things? Maybe you have a dozen or perhaps you are striving for one. I’ve been in both places. Today, take a moment to jot down one or two and keep it somewhere. Save it. In the words of the California Raisins, you’ll have “sunshine on a cloudy day.”

Family · Health · Perspective

I’m Back with Christmas Music

I’m Back!

Sitting at my desk at work, listening to “Silver and Gold” on pandora radio. I dabbled in Christmas music last week, but my office mates weren’t keen on it. They are Thanksgiving purists.

It was a h-e- double hockey sticks of a fall. I was sick for half of October and all of November. One IV dose and three oral antibiotics later and I’m feeling like a functional adult again! Meanwhile, I still have two kids, a job, and volunteer responsibilities. As is typical for me, I overdid life and my body rebelled. Memory and thoughts got fuzzy, hand and face were numb, you know all those weird MS things. My NP just hugged me while I cried at my last visit.

Time to look at life priorities again. Illness makes it obvious that something has to change. After five days of difficult conversations with my husband, we are back on the same page. No plan, but at least we are talking in the same direction about the load on my plate.

I’m not one to dwell on negative things. On to looking forward to Christmas! On Thanksgiving Day, since we previously celebrated with both sides of the family, the kids and I put up Christmas decorations. They ate nachos and wore Santa hats. It was glorious! We battled our unlit, pre-lit but not working artificial tree and then the 90% working set of white Christmas lights. I let my daughter put up the Nativity, but then reorganized it. She refused to place any people or animals off the creche. That was one crowded party!

Today after school, we begin work on the church Christmas program. Thank goodness this one calls for a whole jumble of angels. All the little girls want to be angels! Last year we had to pull out fairy wings from the dress-up box at the house to equip everybody.


Winter is (mostly) here! Although it is sunny and 48 degrees F now, this is what it looked like last week. I enjoy a good white winter!

Happy December 3rd!

Much love — Jen