Now that I’m a month in to my “Year of Joy,” I’m ready to say that keeping a brief daily journal is a must. It lets me succinctly note splashes of joy that I come across during my day. I’m a True Believer in the notion of “as ye seek, so shall you find” and if I’m LOOKING for joy, it seems that I’m far more likely to find it. This past week was also my birthday week (tiaras for everyone!), so I had extra helpings of joy.
By keeping a journal, I also begin to see trends develop – I’m definitely stretching more. Both literally through brief physical stretching/yoga sessions (in preparation for going back to the local yoga studio, who has been conducting Zoom classes all throughout the pandemic) as well as stretching other boundaries. This past week, I both baked a fancy-for-me cake (bittersweet chocolate with sweetened cream cheese frosting and crushed praline topping) and I took a deep breath and ventured far outside my comfort zone to make Vietnamese pho, which is basically a richly-flavored version of chicken noodle soup. It’s not hard – most soups are easy enough – but the ingredients (items such as fish sauce, bean sprouts, and rice noodles) were outside of my Southern comfort cooking wheelhouse . I’m happy to report that it turned out quite well! The recipe is entering my regular rotation and I enjoyed trying something different. (Plus, it’s more evidence for my theory that every culture has a version of chicken noodle soup.)
Yesterday also marked the beginning of the global 2021 100 Day Project, so I’m stretching myself creatively through watercolor painting by participating in that project. I’m so pleased to see how I’ve progressed in two years of consistent effort. I currently have work hanging (and available for purchase!) at UnCommon Artisans in Kings Mountain and also at a local law firm in town. Two years ago, I never would have thought such a thing was possible.
Now, I’ve sold enough and painted enough that I need to update the “River of Cream” section of this website – that’s on the agenda for this next week. (Feel free to explore that section and let me know if you see anything that catches your fancy!)
It’s important to stretch – cats know that, little furry Zen masters that they are. They’re also excellent at napping, which could well be another skill that’s worth developing during these cold, dreary February days.
Look for joy, Divas!