Full of Joy Friday | Week 5 of 2021

Happy Friday, friends. I like to make a list of the things bringing me joy at the end of each week. True happiness comes from appreciating the small things and these posts help me stay focused on that. I’ve had two very difficult weeks in a row – I’m sure that many of you are in a similar boat. There are the dark days of winter, the chaotic political arena, and we’re all still riding the coronacoaster (thanks for that new phrase, Jordy!) — so let’s all settle in with a warm drink and our joy-finding glasses!

+ Lately I’ve been listening to the Classical Garden playlist on Spotify. Here’s the blurb for it: The perfect classical tunes for pruning, planting, and putting your feet up. Clearly I’m not spending much time pruning, but soon I will be planting in the basement. And, well, this week I’ve spent a lot of time with my feet up – and I can say that yes. Yes it is perfect. Right now I’m listening to Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27 and I have tears in my eyes. I’m fairly certain that I played a clarinet version of this at some point in my clarinet career and it’s really getting to me. (But almost everything is causing me to cry right now, so maybe it has nothing to do with the clarinet?)

+ Colton’s autism treatment center is very short-staffed and his services have been cancelled about once a week for a while now. He was cancelled on Monday and then he had a snow day on Tuesday – so he had a beautiful four day weekend at home! While that changes the way our school days look, it’s undeniably wonderful to have him home with us. I’m thankful for those days off with him!

+ Matthew and I watched The Dig on Netflix last weekend and it was perfect in every way. Beautiful sets, gorgeous scenery, wonderful acting, fantastic story. I highly recommend it!

+ I’m pulling back in a lot of areas right now, especially here on my blog. I didn’t post on Wednesday – it was the first Wednesday I’ve missed in almost a year. I didn’t write a What’s Saving Me Right Now post – which I’ve written every year since 2018. I didn’t write a monthly highlight post for January and didn’t/won’t participate in the linkups that typically go along with those monthly posts. It’s not that I don’t feel like writing – because clearly I do – but those bigger linkups can be quite stressful for me and I’m just not interested in the stress right now. Where’s the joy in this paragraph? I’m honoring my word of the year – stillness – with these decisions and choosing to step back. It’s giving me the freedom to think about the things I want this space to represent.

+ Exercise has kept me going this week. Am I allowed to say that? I’m not at all athletic nor do I typically enjoy exercise, but I’ve leapt over an exercise hump and there are obvious changes in my physical and cardiovascular health. It’s quite empowering to recognize that something that was once so hard is much easier. And it makes me want more!

+ I was on the yoga mat one day this week with tears streaming down my face through the whole practice. It wasn’t because the yoga was hard — it was perfect — but it was because… things are hard. I was thankful to have Adriene walk me through the practice and everything she said was exactly what I needed to hear, despite the fact that she recorded the session weeks ago.

+ Stillness has been another important part of my week. Of course, there will be much more about this at the end of the month, but I’ve considered stillness while making nearly every difficult decision this week. This is the first time my word has been so prominent in my life so early in the year, which probably indicates this was a good choice!

Okay dear friends – that’s all from me this week. I’m looking forward to a weekend full of bundling up, playing outside, and enjoying the company of my band of savages. I hope your weekend is full of exactly what you need and that I’ll see you back here on Monday.


26 thoughts on “Full of Joy Friday | Week 5 of 2021

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  1. I’m sorry you had a tough week and I really appreciate your perspective and your self-care. That exercise news is exciting and so validating. No matter what, it’s a space in your life where the stapes can be small and the progress palpable. And then there’s the extra benefit of those endorphins! Hang in there Katie – and be as flexible and loving with yourself as you are with others — and here on your blog. You’ve got this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As much as I enjoy some of those link-ups, I only do them when they feel natural to me. In my opinion, nothing destroys the joy of anything more than feeling you have an obligation to do it.

    I am glad that you’re seeing and feeling a difference with your exercise. I know that one thing I’ll find really difficult about going back to the office (if/when it happens) is not having the flexibility to go out for a run or a walk every day. I wouldn’t say I’ve become one of those people who loves exercise, but I do know that I feel better if I get my physical activity in every day. Must be those endorphins!

    Have a great weekend! We are excited for the big game this weekend — no, not the Super Bowl, the Puppy Bowl!

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  3. I have been thinking of you this week. I am so happy that you time on the mat has been good – even tears can be good. I am linking up less and writing more for me – it is important. Take care

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your recommendation of the Dig was just what I needed, I queued it up and spent an enjoyable bit of time immersed in pre-WWII England. I loved every minute of that movie. Thank you!

    I missed you on Wednesday… but I totally get it. I am sending you lots of love… and I hope that you are finding still moments that fill you! XO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you loved The Dig! I also loved every moment and all of the characters – it was just a quiet and lovely movie.

      Thanks for your kind words about Wednesday. I hope to be back this week, but I’m playing everything by ear!! I hope you’re having a great weekend!


  5. I get tough weeks… and the crying. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately, too. It’s “nice” to know I’m not alone in that. I got a dvd set for “Little House on the Prairie” and started watching it yesterday. Cried for two hours for no reason. Gotta be the weather, the Coronacoaster (love that new word, too!), life in general. I set aside my vintage quilt this week, purposely as I realized it was starting to stress me to no end. Instead, I cut out a 1910’s gown pattern and sat down to sew by hand. Could I have pulled out the machine and had it done in a couple of hours…why, sure… but where’s the “stillness” in that. My phrase for the moment is “Be Still… and Know!” It comes from the Psalms. 3 joys… 1.A big joy came as I was “thrifting” and found some more vintage dresser scarves, and a large piece of red/black/yellow stripe plaid cloth. I got excited, too excited, when I realized there was enough to make a 1910’s pleated skirt from a traveling suit pattern. YEAH! 2. Also, a big joy that we made it another week without covid despite it hitting hubby’s work place hard (over 20 home with positive tests). Thankful for our health. 3. I’ve pulled back from the internet and computer some, and pulled out notebook paper and pens. Yep, I’ve been writing on a new/old novel. I had a scene written that’s a real teaser, so I’m adding the story to it. It will become the preface to what I hope will be a nice, uplifting story of hope restored in the end. I’ve written several of what I call “Hope Ranch Romances”… kinda a cross between a Harlequinn style romance, Christian fiction, and a bit of intrique. Setting a ficticous valley in the heart of Kentucky, with a ficticous “ranch” where people in difficult situations can go to restore their hope and their lives. This will be the sixth book I’ve written in the series. It feels good to be writing without the pressure of word counts, word use, or any of that crazy stuff.

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    1. Nice job putting the quilt aside for a bit, Bear. It’s better to work on something like that when you’re feeling more like yourself. I’m very interested in the new pattern you’re working on though! I’m glad you’ve been finding joy despite how hard things have been – especially joy in writing!! I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!


      1. I do plan to take pics this week. Hubby found my phone last night… in his lunchbox. OOPS! It happens. Got seams ripped out that didn’t need to be there so on to sewing the rest of the bodice. Pics soon, promise.

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  6. Looking back and considering currently, I’ve concluded that “tough” has been our collective OLW for 2020 and apparently, still today. I applaud you for bringing/creating/enjoying “stillness” into your life – an incentive for us all to do same – I know for sure me! Thank you for sharing and encouraging.
    Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh – yes, I think you’re right – we can all claim credit for a crash course in “tough.” Thank you for your kind words about my post – I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!!


  7. You are ABSOLUTELY allowed to celebrate your exercise breakthrough. Exercise is so fraught with negative associations for most women in America, and anytime one can cultivate a healthy relationship with it, it’s a cause for celebration! Good job! Exercise has definitely brought me joy lately, in the mental health boost it gives me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Laila! It felt good to have something to lean into when I couldn’t make anything else work for me last week. I’m sure I’ll probably slow down this next week and that’s okay too. I’m glad you’ve also been finding joy in exercise – those endorphins are something we can all use right now. Enjoy your Sunday!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. oh, my dear Katie. I’m lifting you up in this tough time and wishing you joy in the little (and big!) things. I sure hope you found joy this weekend. This morning I walked to the lake for the first time – by myself – since Sara left. The morning was chilly and bright and I was listening to the last bit of The Switch (by Beth O’Leary). It was just what I needed. xxoo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mary! I didn’t mean to sound so dour and down. This weekend was full of time outside and playing in the snow – so it was quite nice 🙂 I’m glad you had such a great walk to the lake – it sounds like a lovely time!!


  9. You are so right to say No to things that no longer work for you, and it’s too easy to fall into the trap of trying to write a blog post to someone else’s agenda. I just write posts for me, when and about what I feel like, and I love it when people read them and comment. You keep going and enjoy your new stillness,

    Liked by 1 person

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