Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What brings you joy?

What are the things in life that bring you joy? 

I realize I should probably save this for when there is more traffic, but I really want to read your answers now. Maybe I will re-pose the question at a later date. 

Some of the things that bring me joy…and I mean heart swelling, tear bringing, life is wonderful joy include:

1)   Dinner at the table with my husband and all 4 kids.  Sure, I get annoyed when the kids are goofing off, singing, telling inappropriate jokes at the table.  You’d think with 3 out of 4 being adults now that would have stopped. Nope. It hasn’t. On the other hand, they make me laugh. They make me full on belly laugh.  I often think it is a competition between them to see who can make mom crack up first.  It could be worse. They could be trying to see who makes me cry first.  So I guess I really don’t want it to stop. Ever.

2)      A beautiful sun rise. Gets me every time.

3)     Holding a happy baby.  It always surprises me how I get (what I assume is) an endorphin rush when  I get to hold one. The smell and the feel of them in your arms. I just can’t explain it.  

4)      Hiking or driving through scenic areas with my husband.  Last year we went to Red Rock Canyon.  As I was standing in the visitors’ center, looking out over the landscape, I was overcome with emotion.  I could not believe how beautiful it was. I felt a bit ridiculous standing there wiping tears from eyes.  Maybe it was hormones, maybe it was the altitude, but it certainly had an effect on me. And sharing those moments with my favorite guy is really special.

5)      Sunflowers.  Yes, a silly flower can make me happy.  I love them. I smile every time I see them.  Someday I would love to have one of our fields planted with different varieties and colors. What a joy it would be to wake up and see hundreds of blooming sunflowers.

6)      Horseback riding on the trails.  Years ago I would hit the trails once a week at East Fork State Park in SW Ohio.  We would be out there for hours at a time. More than once I said “If I die while on a horse, I will die happy.”  There is nothing quite like riding through the woods with vegetation so green and lush that it is easy to imagine you're in Lothlorien.   And the rush of loping through an open field is indescribable.  I didn’t even mind being dunked and rolled on in the lake by Rocky, the Belgium/Saddlebred.  In fact, it was sort of refreshing in the middle of summer.  But it has been years since I have been on a horse. I miss it.  Yes, I have my Zander, but for a variety of reasons, I can’t bring myself to get back in the saddle. Maybe once my hormones are regulated, I will find the courage to do it again.

7)      Taking pictures. Recording life.  I can’t say enough about it. I love landscape, animal, still-life sorts of shots. But mostly, I love candids. Not a fan of taking (group) posed pictures, but sometimes it is necessary. But candid shots tell a story. A TRUE story.  I love seeing the interaction between people. Being able to capture the moments when they are laughing or crying, that loving look between spouses or a mother and child, the conversation between father and son . I could go on and on. Will save it for an entry exclusively on photography.  Needless to say, it is important to me. It brings me joy.  

So, what brings you joy?  What is your bliss?


  1. I enjoy having friends who aren't afraid to love me for who I am.

  2. Being out in nature and experiencing all of its wonders often bring me joy.

    This could be taking a walk after it rains, listening to the drops fall from large leafy trees and smelling the crisp cool air as it fills my lungs.

    This could be hiking a trail, feeling the strain of my muscles as I push upwards on the rock and dirt. Hearing the birds call through the trees and the animals of the earth move through the brush.

    This could be lying out on a grassy field looking up at the sky on a clear dark night, seeing the millions upon billions of stars blaze in majestic patterns above my head.

    All of these things and more bring me great joy, but nothing makes it better than when I'm holding the hand of someone I care about and knowing they are experiencing this joy with me.

  3. I enjoy being a Mom and a Wife, being with my family...whether it be just us four (or five when my Mom joins us), or when we get together with our family in other states...that's warm and fuzzy time (a term I picked up from my niece years ago). I also enjoy watching TV with my daughter in the evenings (our time) after her daddio goes to bed. I love going for car rides with my hubby in our area exploring new roads we have not been on and enjoy the countryside and mountains around us, and last but far from least... scrapbooking. That's my "relaxing" time on a retreat when I can get lots and lots done along with talking and enjoying the company of other women who enjoy capturing their family on these pages to last for generations. There are so many clever new things to learn about this craft. Of course, that goes along with taking pictures too...but, I don't have the knack...I just like to capture the moments for scrapbooking. I also enjoy our annual Christmas party with our friends when everyone dresses up silly, we laugh a lot and just has a good time. -TLB-

  4. One of the bazillion things that give me joy is watching the people around me who are friends with each other because they first knew ME. The KidsPlay parents, the CrazyLake Acting Company folks, the Character Breakfast Ladies. THAT gives me joy--seeing us all work together, play together and laugh together.

  5. Being able to submerge myself in a creative project, being mentally and physically completely overcome by the moment. Having inspiration seize you bodily and being thrown into the inferno...or sometimes the ocean...of creation. Unadulterated joy. There's other things, but that joy is pure. - J.C.

  6. Live music. It is visceral, in a very literal sense; the timpani and bass instruments' hit at the beginning of Orff's "Carmina Burana" (O fortuna) is as much a physical sensation as an aural one, something you can't get from a recording even cranked to eleven. Once I saw "Les Mis" with an amazing cast of old-school Broadway voices strong enough to be heard without mics. They were mixed lightly for continuity with the instruments, but on high points (like Eponine: "The world is full of happiness that I have never known") their voices hit the back wall and reached our ears independently of the sound system. Rock production is certainly an art form, but hearing a band sell their song to you without benefit of extra takes and studio effects goes right to the bone.

    I love doing opera outreach because I get to bring the art to people who might not be able to afford it otherwise, or who may not even know there is indeed a difference to be experienced. Watching someone hear and feel the sheer power of an operatic voice in person for the first time is one of the great rewards of my career. Especially for audiences of children, who have no preconceived notions or prejudices. They remind me of the joy.

  7. For some people, joy is simply all around them. For me, it is something I seek out, it is deliberate.

    That said, here are some of my joy-bringers:

    Old houses

    Antiques - what my husband calls "old shit" - largely Victorian era

    A really engrossing book, or movie for that matter - one which invokes a separate world where I can lose myself completely

    One of those really crisp Autumn days

    One of those really gray Autumn days

    One of those really fresh Spring days

    One of those gray, snowy, hushed Winter days

    The smell of freshly mown grass, especially when paired with the smell of sunscreen and the sound of a radio playing from a couple of houses over, on a hot summer day

    Finding an awesome little treasure at a garage sale


    The way leaves look when sunlight shines through them

    Bats flying overhead, gobbling up bugs

    The smell of onions cooking

    Halloween (both for the 'scary' and for the fact that it really promotes being a kid, even if you're a 'grown-up'!)

    The winter holiday season - doesn't matter what religion you follow, or really whether you follow on at all, it's just a time of family, and giving, and being NICER. Plus, colored lights!

    My kids and all the funny, charming, witty and downright weird things they say.

    My husband and the way I feel when I see his face - like, this is HOME