Monday, October 25, 2010

Organizing for Joy

It's a typical Monday.  Jemma and I run with the jogging stroller, then hit the grocery store.  I clean the house, make a plan for dinner.  I do the girls' laundry, sort some baby clothes to give to a soon-to-be mom, try to plan Jemma's birthday party.  Annie has school, then wants to play on the playground before coming home to start her homework.  We do.

When Jason calls around 5:00 to say he's leaving work and heading home, I'm in the kitchen.  There's a little music coming from the Pandora station on the computer, Annie's rolling a pair of dice and charting the sum, and Jemma's coloring earnestly in a coloring book at the little table.  The windows in the kitchen are wide open to catch the warm breeze, and I hear kids squealing with joy outside from their game of tag.  I have chicken in creamy tomato sauce bubbling on the stove, some garlic bread in the oven, a spinach salad coming together on the counter.

I hang up the phone, kiss Annie's head, then Jemma's, say, "This is one of my very favorite places to be:  in my kitchen, late-afternoon, making dinner and hanging out with the two of you."

Later, I was thinking about where, exactly, some of my other favorite places to be are.  I came up with a small list:

  • on my yoga mat in shivasana at the very end of an hour's practice, eyes shut, mind clear.
  • on the beach, preferably walking along it with bare feet.
  • in bed with the girls, reading their bedtime stories.
  • in my own bed with a great book, ready to drift off to sleep.
  • at a football game with a cheerful crowd in the fall.
  • running around the lake.
  • in a big city at dusk, dressed up for a night out.
  • at an outdoor concert in the summer.
  • on a date with Jason.
  • at the ballet with Annie and Jemma.
  • in line at a coffee shop.
  • picking the girls up from school and staying extra to play on the playground.
  • in front of our fireplace on Christmas morning.
  • at the bar (or the spa, or the coffee shop) with my girlfriends.
I just fiddled with the links on my sidebar again and I added Seth's Blog, a mismash of marketing strategy, paradigm shifts, and interesting takes on what works and why in this moment in history.  One of his posts today was titled Organizing for Joy, and although the post itself was business-focused, the title spoke to me in another way.  I love the idea of organizing my life for joy, of being intentional about how I spend my time, money, talent, and energy so that my life is set up for maximum joy.  I love the suggestion that there's a method to making a life you love.  I love thinking about how being in my favorite places as much as possible fits into this strategy, and I wonder how to engineer my days to do that:  more yoga, more reading little girls to sleep, more concerts, more fireplace-gazing, more days at the beach, more dates with my husband.  How else, I wonder, does a person organize for joy?

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