Choose Joy!

Summer and the Lughnasa Moon

Friday gratefuls: Marilyn. Rich. Tara. Susan. Judy. Jamie. Jamie. Holly. Ruth. Gabe. Jon. Joe and Seoah and Mary. Night. Day. Allergies. Zoom. Joy. Walt Whitman, an American original. Mussar. The Chicago beef and hot dog lady.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Laughter. Belly laughs. Chuckles. Giggles. Broad smiles. Slight smiles. Outright grins. Mirth in your eyes. Twinkles, too.


Social Security will call me on August 5th to switch my social security to spousal benefits. Kate’s amount becomes mine. I’m hoping they go retroactive. I imagine they will. Not sure what the mystery was with getting this appointment, but it took awhile.

Ken is on vacation until the 13th of this month, no boiler work until later in the summer. Just fine. Sent out requests for bids to stain the house to three different painters. So, progress.

At 12:10 or so I drove over to Evergreen, stopped at the Chicago Beef and hot dog stand. Picked up a chili cheese dog. Ate it at Beth Evergreen on a picnic table under the Grandmother Tree, a splendid Ponderosa. Two years ago She lost a branch, crashed it through the social hall’s roof. Since then that trunk fell to the arborist. She still has a healthy trunk that shaded me while I ate.

At Thursday afternoon mussar we talked about barriers to generosity. In my case I admitted that my expectations of a person I know well had gotten in the way. I wanted him to grab hold, take charge of his life. Become less toxic. No, I decided. He needs me as he is, not as I wish he were. Called him up and invited him out to dinner. Easy. Good.

From the synagogue to Aspen Park’s Conifer Physical Therapy. Rebecca did soft tissue work, elbowing my strained muscles, using oils to rub them down. We discussed the pain. Not bad. She began adding back in exercises she thought I could do: squats, marching bridge, close grip press, and another one I can’t recall.

I need to get back to regular exercise. It’s one pillar of what I consider life hygienics.  The things that help us work and live our best life. Love. Friends, regular contact. Good food. Dogs. Books and TV. New learning. Without these our life begins to shrivel, lose its oomph. Mix and match, of course. And your list might be different from mine, but there are pillars and you do need them to function well. Self-care.

After p.t. home to the dogs. They got fed at 5:00 pm, then I went down the hill to Flying J’s first parking lot. Marilyn picked me up there and we drove over to CBE. Where the topic was, once again, joy.

We did a laughing meditation. Ate food leftover from the annual meeting the night before. Which I forgot. Wondered how joy fit as a soul trait. How could we choose it? When?

I read this, which I posted yesterday, too:

O to have my life henceforth my poem of joys!

To dance, clap hands, exult, shout, skip, leap, roll on,
float on,

An athlete—full of rich words—full of joys.

Poems of Joy: Walt Whitman

Find barriers to joy. To life as a poem of joy. Worry. Fear. Arrogance. Distraction. Certainty.

Figure out moves through or around the barriers. How (and this is the critical mussar move) to choose joy instead of worry or fear.

Laughter works. Namaste to Trees, Mountains, Dogs works. Letting go of tomorrow. Look at the lilies of the field. Facing a fear. Choosing vulnerability. Choosing to live now, rather than back then or tomorrow. Choosing humility.

Back home late, around 9 pm. Stayed up a bit. Slept well, but not long enough. Rigel needed to pee about 5:45.

May you this day choose joy! Choose life! Make your life a poem of joy.





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