Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Interactive Joy List

There’s that theory that cats enjoy only free things. Felines briefly went up a notch while I pondered that philosophy, then I considered the other school of thought where cats already think they own everything anyway. However it works, cats definitely seem to find far more joy in a wayward spider than in a toy mouse purchased for their entertainment.
Is there some innocuous little thing that thrills you?  A good thrill, unlike a wayward spider thrill; I’m talking a sheet of bubble wrap; a phone call from an old friend; when your daughter cleans out her chocolate stash and bequeaths you the dark stuff because it is gross (you reluctantly agree to dispose of it properly). Something like a weed that pops up in your flower bed, then blooms so spectacularly that you accept it; the stray dog you rescue that considerately finagles its way into your Step-Dad’s heart; or when you benevolently agree to fold the clothes in the dryer and discover paper money mixed in (dryers are covered under the international waters/found treasure treaty).
My bud, Lady and I used to attend University lectures together. Authors, Chefs, Doctors, Environmentalists – it didn’t matter, we went to everything. The fun part was we weren’t students, just a couple of Moms sneaking in from the suburbs, and we never did get caught. (Oh, chill, sometimes we bought tickets!)  After attending a few lectures by Psychiatrists, whose topics ranged from self-esteem to personality development, we decided to drop those. Sitting in the back of the room it always went something like this. “OMg, I’ve got that!  I’m codependent, I think. I don’t know, what do you think?  Do you think I’m codependent?”   
We did pick up one thing from the psychiatric lectures that didn’t scar us though, and that was The Joy List. Simply put, what brings you joy?  The exercise we were given was to list 100 joys of any size. Clean sheets. Air-conditioning. Fireplaces. Even if life is rough around the edges or being mean right now, there is always something. It was a task in the theory that joy is not a lottery, but a choice. This is a philosophy that I suspect was invented by dogs, but that’s just my theory.
Just this week my Dentist insisted that I had to get a massage every month. Apparently your neck shouldn’t creak like trees in the wind when you turn it, it does if you write sixteen hours a day, but it shouldn’t. After extracting (pun) my promise that I’d comply, he followed it up with the suggestion that I gain a few pounds. Guys like this can almost explain polygamy. I said almost. At any rate this is what I added to my joy list this week.
            74. My Dentist.
            75. Free chapsticks that my Dentist gives away free (yes, free).
            76. A 4’10” masseuse named Mary with hands like a Merchant Marine
                  (it’s my list).
            77.  Dandelions. Yellow is beautiful. Deal with it.
            78. Critiques consisting of 2,388 words.          
Could go on and on, you’ve probably never noticed that before, but I really could. This is to be an Interactive Joy List though, so I need your help. Feel free to borrow from my list, I’ll even share my Dentist, and I’m very generous with the dandelions, been sharing them with my neighbors for years. Will you share some of what's on your joy list?   


  1. -my junior & senior level class finals that are multiple choice and true/false
    -a camera that works

  2. flowers that arrive for no special reason
    music with lyrics that speak to my heart and make my feet tappity tap
    rain that doesn't friz up your hair…(does that exist)
    dreams that lead to great dialogue and scenes in books you're writing
    & when your mani-pedi lasts more than a day without getting messed up! :) just to name a few! :)

    Fun post btw! :) - Raj

  3. Steph, you lucky duck, your dentist said you should gain a couple of pounds. That should silence your talking pair of pants!

  4. Jill - LIKE
    Raj - LIKE
    Norma - I have really skinny teeth.

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  6. Hey! That's my money you found, i'm sure of it! I remember losing it. It's greenish, right? with a picture of an old-looking dude on it? See, i can describe it; must be mine.

    Oh, and if you find any of my socks in your dryer too, let me know!

    1. Sorry, Elsie, found in international waters... But it didn't make any noise in the dryer, so I'm certain it wasn't pounds.
      The socks have been converted to rice bags for therapeutic use by a little masseuse named Mary. You'll have to take it up with her. Good luck with thst.