Sunday, December 31, 2017

Here's to Slices of Joy in 2018

2017:  It was not the best of years, it was not the worst of years.

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
I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions - on the few occasions I have made them, I have either failed to keep them,  or they have not accomplished the results I'd hoped for.  Sometimes other factors beyond my control interfered with my ability to achieve the goals.  Let's face it,  life is unpredictable.

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.


David said...

Happy New Year Jean
I know you transform the lives of the creatures you take into your home and heart. While you find little slices of joy their lives are nothing but joy. Have a great new year.

Marie said...

Thank you, Jean for reminding me to find those thin slices of joy in my life, they truly are enjoyable. I wish you and your Allie and Maggie good health, all you need and some of what you want for the coming year. Best wishes from Sparkle and myself.

CarolineA said...

I really like the little slices of joy. What a smart way to approach each day!
Happy New Year Jean, Allie and Maggie!

jane spackman said...

Happy New Year Jean! I know that 2017 was a tough year for you personally, and I'm so happy to see your resilient nature shine through. I just heard Chade-Meng Tan interviewed on a CBC retrospective yesterday, and am going to find his book. Thanks for the title, which I hadn't caught on the show. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photographs and your writing! Thank you for taking in animals who need you, and being a wonderful thoughtful companion to them. I wish you health and joy! Cheers!

Mark said...

Happy New Year to you, Allie and Maggie Jean. We hope you get as close to you goals as you can, as you say life can throw a curve ball sometimes. Take those little slices of joy as often as you can, life is short enough as it is.

Happy New Year to All.

Mark, Del, Princess Molly and Lady May

Black Jack's Carol said...

Wonderful photos here, Jean! I can see that your new skills are paying off. You are inspiring me to see if I can boost the quality of my own photography even if I just manage to edge slightly over the plateau I feel I'm in at the moment. I love the end of your post where you look forward not only to the thin slices of joy (so important) but the "big fat chunks" as well. Wishing you and your loved ones a healthy mix of joyful slices and chunks in 2018!