It's no secret that life is hard right now. For everyone. You only have to watch the news for two minutes to see that. Mass shootings, war, reality TV-style "justice." The struggle, both personally and on the world stage, can feel overwhelming. The weight can feel like a rock on our backs, or a huge black cloud that continually hovers overhead.
If you've been following this blog, you'll know my personal black clouds revolve around my daughter's and daughter-in-law's ongoing serious health challenges (link). I think the biggest problem for me, and them, and for a lot of people is the sense of being out of control. What can we do about all these problems? What can I do? And most importantly how can we, how can I, pursue happiness in the midst of it?
CAVEAT: I'm not a doctor or a therapist, so don't take what I have to say as the last word. If you, or someone you love, is struggling with mental health issues, please seek a professional.
Make a list of things you DO control.
- You can control your personal space, whether its tidy or messy, creatively decorated, or neglected. You can control how active you are and how you present yourself to the world. A little self-love can go a long way. Shower, put on a bit of makeup if you that's what you like, clean clothes, a hair brush. You can control this.
- You can control how you interact with your family and neighbors. Smile, wave, lend a helping hand.
- Tell your loved ones that you love them. Go out of your way to do something special for them that they don't expect. Send a card, bring flowers or cookies. Give them a hug.
- Tell yourself that you're doing a good job, even if you've only done one new thing in your pursuit of happiness.
Find a small JOY in each day.
Look for just one small thing that brings a little joy each day, and soon they will add up to big joy.
For example, I like to watch the hummingbirds that come to our feeder. I love to snuggle with my cat. I like playing pickleball and work hard at getting better at the sport. I'm learning Spanish with my duolingo app. (Highly recommend duolingo if learning a new language is on your list of things to do.)
I like writing about Elephants. (You knew I get to writing in this blog 🙂 ) Did you know that Elephants are social creatures just like us? Or maybe I should say, we're social creatures, just like Elephants. We need each other. We need family and friends and to belong. PS: the featured image shows an elephant family sleeping. See how they snuggle closely with each other?
Side note: this is something you can control, even if you feel like you can't. If your natural family isn't a safe place, there are a lot of communities you can get involved with where you can find like-minded people. Reaching out and getting started is hard, but you can do it. Churches and clubs are good starting points. Become a volunteer. Hospitals, animal shelters, and social outreaches are often in need of help. Volunteers are wonderful and amazing people, and make great friends.
My latest book release, Murder at the Circus, features an Elephant called Tulip.
Elephants are magnificent creatures and I loved researching them. I'm writing a short interest piece for my next newsletter on what I learned and how things have improved for Elephants over the years.
Make sure you're subscribed to read that, (and get access to Ginger Gold's Journal.) link
Another thing that brings me joy? Learning about my books out in the wild. I love how they show up in libraries and bookstores and on people's blogs. But sometimes they show up in the most unexpected places, like HERE-link.
Did you know that Capital One Shopping features books? I didn't. And call me surprised to see a few Ginger Gold books on the catalogue.
Have you seen my books in "out there" places? If so, let me know and bring me a little joy. 🙂
More Book News
I've got another Ginger Gold Bundle on preorder. If you're trying to catch up on Ginger Gold books, the bundles are a great way to go.
How About You?
Are you pursuing happiness? What brings you joy? Did you find one small joy today? What was it?
Let me know in the comments. I'd love to hear from you.
My small joy today, which feels big, is that I found 3 letters from 20 years ago from my husband’s aunt who passed away several years ago. It was like hearing her voice again. I’m thinking of all the fun times we all had together.
Thank you so much for this joy blog my joy today will be going on a short trip to help my 5 yr old celebrate his birthday. It is my first sons 72 bday.
Two very joyous events!