Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday's Children - Inspired by Finding Joy

Okay, I know, I know. The idea of "finding joy" sounds super crunchy granola, but I'll admit, I am a little crunchy. And to be fair, this post is really more about making joy as opposed to finding it - but more on that in a minute.

I know I'm not alone when I find myself getting bogged down with all the crap that's hurled at us on a daily basis. No matter what side you're sitting on, politics are a giant suckfest. Add in war, terrorist acts, the general cruelty that people show each other on a daily basis, not to mention all the negativity in our daily lives like work stress, health and/or money issues, worry for family members etc., it's really easy spiral into negative thought patterns.

Once you're in that crappy mindspace, it's not a huge leap to think thoughts like, "I'll never figure out this scene/finish this book/get published/find an agent/sell anything."

And once those thoughts take root, writing or even wanting to write is damn near impossible.

So what's a Thursday's Child to do?

Find joy - or more precisely, make it.

When I find myself getting sucked into the ick and wallowing there, I know the only thing that's really going to help is changing my perspective. And the easiest way to do that is to change what I'm focusing on.

The first step is avoiding the internet. No matter how many awesome, amazing things and people are on there, there's a ton of awful, too and it's super easy to fall down the rabbit hole of one horrific news story after another after another after another.

The second step is to write down five or six things that I'm truly grateful for at that moment in time. For instance, at this very moment, I'm grateful for:

Listening to my son sing along to Mystery Skulls in the next room. He's super committed and it's making me smile.

Maureen Johnson's tweets. I haven't read her books yet, but I love her tweets that pop up in the corner of my screen. I just enjoy the way her mind works. (I know this contradicts the turning off the internet suggestion, but it's cool since I'm not currently wallowing.)

Getting a chance to hear amazing songs written and performed by my friend's teenage daughter.

Checking off items on my to-do list.

Knowing that as soon as I finish this post, I have a delicious lunch of cottage cheese and kumata tomatoes waiting for me. 

You'll note that none of these things are writing related. You'll also note that none of them are particularly earth-shattering, either. Of course, I have the big things I'm grateful for like family and friends, etc., but those are constants and even though they're the most important things to me they don't always help me escape the wallowing because I'm more likely to just worry about something bad happening to them. So if I can look at the little things that make me happy in that very moment, it immediately helps to lift my mood.

A lifted mood always inspires me to write!

And  third, for a quick pick me up, I have a couple songs I turn to even though my true musical love is angsty, depressing stuff. I'll share them below in case you need a little pick me up, today.

And now, if you'll excuse me, it's time to write. I'm feeling rather inspired.





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12 comments:

  1. It's amazing how often Send Me On My Way makes it into movies, tv shows, etc. I always think of Matilda whenever I hear it-which is an awesome "feel good despite all the shit in the world" movie, come to think of it :) My new "go to" if I need a smile song is Thrift Shop (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis).

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    1. I haven't heard Thrift Shop, yet, but I'm definitely going to check it out, thanks for the suggestion, Rhiann! :D

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  2. I'm with you. I think finding your own joy is one the keys to mental well-being and I can always use suggestions in locating those happy moments. Thanks.

    http://otherworlddiner.blogspot.com/2013/04/inspired-by-remarkable-unusual-and-true.html

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    1. If we don't find those little joys it's so easy to slide into sadness.

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  3. I do find some positive on the internet--but only when I go looking for it. My twitter acct is full of other writers striving toward similar goals and that camaraderie cam be so uplifting when your inbox is full of rejections. Love this, Chris! So much truth.
    ~Dannie @ Left to Write

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    1. I think I need to spend more time on Twitter... :D

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  4. Great reminder to be grateful and positive. I need work on both fronts.

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  5. So true. Beautiful post. Thank you for these reminders.

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  6. I think I was crunchy in another life. Then I had kids with sweet teeth that couldn't be satisfied by granola alone! But I DO like cottage cheese and tomatoes! Have a great day!

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    1. Hey Alana - I have those kids, too! And they won't touch cottage cheese! :)

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