In 2017, I said goodbye to my adorable, funny, sweet Mitzi; I did irreparable damage to my shoulder in a fall and continued to have problems with the knee I injured in 2016; and Allie was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney failure. But on the other hand, my small kin group stayed healthy, I learned a few new photograph skills, I hiked and walked and shared good times with friends. Best of all, I welcomed Maggie to my home and heart.
|We said goodbye to my sweet Mitzi|
|And said hello to my sweet Maggie|
That doesn't mean we can't have hopes and dreams. We may not realize all of these dreams because the unexpected can necessitate adaptation. But I do know that one can best cope with the challenges of the present by remaining optimistic about the future. Finding "thin slices of joy" as author Chade-Meng Tan writes in his book Joy on Demand, helps us weather the storms and develop an inner peace and joyfulness.
I hope, in 2018, to continue to find many 'thin slices of joy' - like the joy I felt tonight when I stepped outside to put the compost in the bin and saw this moon rising over the neighbour's garage:
Or the delight that filled my heart last Friday, when an Anna's hummingbird waited in the rain for me to fill the feeder:
In 2018, I hope to again fill my soul with joy at sunrise as I sit on the beach with my dog, and to marvel at the beauty of the landscape as I drive to the store or hike in the woods or simply look out my window at fog rising from Maple Mountain. I hope to experience joy from unexpected moments of delight, a sudden burst of laughter, a humorous quip from a friend, a shared smile and short chat with another dog owner on the seawalk. So many thin slices of joy to make my day, my week, my year complete.
I do hope for some other slices of joy too -
I hope to experience the joy of finding a new place to call home, one in a strata where I won't have outside maintenance or a garden to maintain or manage. Yes there will be some sadness especially if it means moving away from friends and seaside, but there will be new friends to meet, new places to explore, and new slices of joy to savor.
And I plan to experience the joy of disconnecting more frequently from a media that has become full of drama queens (and drama kings, and drama presidents), of bad news, and of never ending analysis of the same-old-same-old. I have recently been rediscovering the joy of reading a good mystery from cover to cover on a dreary rainy day letting neither computer nor radio nor even the dog distract me from this endeavor. And music! I have been rotating through all my CDs this past week, discovering the joy of forgotten songs and compositions. Such joy!
I know I'll feel joy from doing my very best for my animals, looking after their health, keeping them safe and content, making decisions that put their well being to the forefront. They bring me joy every single day.
Most of all, I look forward to both thin slices of joy and big fat chunks of it as I watch Maggie continue to blossom, gain confidence, respond to friends. I hope to experience the joy of seeing her show her funny, silly, exuberant sheltie nature to others as she does to me.
|Ah could find a slice of joy from chasing the cat, mom!|
With hopes and dreams and thin slices of joy, one can find an inner strength to manage a day-to-day world of turmoil, whether personal or global. And so I wish you many slices of joy in your life. May 2018 see you achieve some of your hopes and dreams, whatever they may be, and may you meet your challenges with strength and positive energy.
Happy New Year. Let's raise a glass to slices of joy in 2018.