Ode To Joy-Ish

*This has been sitting in my file for almost two years.
I am Kon Mari’ing the shit out of my blog inbox.
And in order to do so, I am clearing out the cob webs and getting the old stuff out of my files.
This is the first to go.

Recently, my friend Laila shared on her Instagram account a quote that said:”Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.”
The first thought I had was, focus on the joy??
DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THAT IS FOR ME??
Then my second thought was, why is it hard for me?
I needed to start seeing the joy in my life over the past two months instead of constantly seeing the bad. I used to be much more of a Pollyanna before life became such a big poopyhead, but I think that’s probably the case for a lot of us, isn’t it?
I mean if life were all roses and candy corn, wouldn’t we all be nice?
But when you are treated like the bad end of a dirty diaper more than once, well, you tend to get a little crusty.
No pun intended.
You get worn down, bitter, you build up a tough skin, an exterior that will repel all those bad things so that the next time something comes and hits your shell it bounces off.
It’s a protection technique so we don’t get hurt again. I need to break that shell down; soften it, get it back to what it used to be when I was nice and soft and easy to approach.
When I wasn’t so gruff and so easily bristled, when I didn’t easily associate living with pain.
So when I saw that quote I stopped quite literally in my tracks and said YES.

I want the joy again.

I want to talk about the joy again, stop talking about my problems and stop giving it the focus it doesn’t deserve.
I am so glad I talked about my pain to all of you here as well as to my friends and family.
I will continue to do so when I need to but I also don’t want it to control my life.

I want joy to control my life and pain to take the backseat.

So I decided that I needed to be less Debbie Downer “you know we still have 30 blah blah days of winter left, that’ll kill you, ya know” and more UP with People, the flowers will bloom again, the sun will come out tomorrow.
Alright, maybe a little in between of the two or you wouldn’t even know who in the hell I am.
Somewhere in between Debbie Downer and Annie.
Like, Karen from Will and Grace.
With a much smaller rack.

For example, when I posted this picture of me sick to death of winter on Facebook, someone mentioned me looking all diva like and another person was all, YEAH WINTER BETTER NOT BE MESSIN’ WITH YOU.
And just like that they turned this crappy I HATE WINTER picture into something positive!

So here I am, I am looking for the joy!
I am Ode to Joy-ing.
Ish.

Someone also said the sunglasses look like they are eating my face.
My husband feels the same way about those glasses.
I chose to ignore these comments because they are my favorite glasses ever.
And I don’t care.
Because comfortable.
And DIVA.

*Editors note- those sunglasses broke over spring break. Dammit. *

As soon as I saw the above tee shirt in my Facebook feed, I knew it was divinely placed there.
I am not usually an impulse buyer.
Except when I am.
I bought it without thought and it came days later.
I put it on over my clothes and let the good vibes soak through.

I wore it while doing this:

And I do believe it helped improve my game.
The joy in this was spending a cold afternoon with three of my most favorite people in the world and the smells of the bowling alley taking me back to my Ohio childhood.
Those smells are good, by the way.
Jones salt and vinegar potato chips and for some reason, soup.
I don’t know why I equate bowling alley’s and the smell of….soup.
And while I was here that day, I did indeed smell soup.

Speaking of soup, I made my friend Melanie’s recipe the other night and holy shit was it good.
It honestly healed my soul because of the whole asshole diet.
I hadn’t been able to eat soup, at least soup from a restaurant or a can in months, so this was a true Godsend.

That was just fun to do.

My friend Rebecca made me that print up there.
Like, she DREW it.
By hand.
I can’t even write a recipe off of Pinterest.
It looks like this when I do:

 

 

So when someone makes something with their hands like that, it impresses me immensely.
I went out and got a frame immediately because it was like winning a major award or something.
And it was beautiful.
When a friend makes you artwork, you must frame it.
That’s written in the friend rule book.

Look it up.

Then of course, these beautiful creatures landed on my doorstep.
You can read all about that here.

 

I found out I am going to be in a book!
Well not ME but MY WORDS!
Words I wrote!
Excited doesn’t begin to cover it.
I sat down at my computer last fall and wrote down my birth story of my first born because it was funny.
Really, it was.
Not at the time.
But in retrospect, my first go at birth was not at ALL what I wanted it to be (IS IT EVER?) and when I got word of this book, I knew I wanted to write about it.
So I started writing and an hour later, I had my essay.
I edited it, tweaked it and played around with it for a week or two before finally getting the nerve to send it in to the editors of the book.
Six months later, I got an email telling me that out of 150 submissions, they had picked me and 30 other women!
So I am pretty stoked because I have always wanted to be in a book and in September, I will.
A dream come true.
My name will be in a book.
Wow.

All of the above didn’t happen but I left it in to prove that I am all good.
See? Even shitty things happen and you know what?
IT IS OKAY.

 

I found this picture among some Facebook pictures.
It was taken a few years ago by my sister in law at her home in Ohio.
It is what I call “pure joy”.

That is our Ella.

This is the only picture that truly harnesses the energetic personality coming outside of her body.
She has been having a go of it recently.
Let’s just say life has been giving her a time lately and we are lacking a village.
It’s been tough at times but my focus is clear: at least try to always keep the joy in her.
No matter what.
We will work hard to keep her focused, loving school, working hard and making it as easy as possible for her.
But never lose the joy in living life in the process.
I am making a copy of this picture and putting it on the fridge as a reminder.

To never, ever lose that joy inside of her.

Note- she is thriving as of right now. We have our village in place and are taking it one day at a time. Big fat puffy hearts. 

This winter was hard, you all know that.

I won’t be writing posts like that next year.
I may not even be blogging next winter.
I might take winter off next year.
I can hear the applause from here, yes, I know.
I am here to tell you, that I saw the joy in last winter.
The moments of amazing beauty in the people around me.
The good.
There was so much good.
Thank you.

I love you.

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6 thoughts on “Ode To Joy-Ish

  1. Jessie

    I love this post because once again, we have so much in common. Big diva glasses, me TOO. Admiring the handmade gifts from friends when I can’t even write a nea recipe, YES. Needing a village for our daughter. YES! Her joy despite her many, many challenges, YES!

    Please don’t ever stop blogging.

    Not ever.

    1. Kari Post author

      Oh friend, your comments quite literally make blogging worth it.

      I feel as though we would never get up from coffee at our kitchen table together if we lived close.

  2. Mary - the boondocks blog

    Winter is hard Kari. I live in a coastal town in Greece. It snows once every 10 years and it never sticks – until this year. This year it stuck around for days and days. And the winter has been unusually cold for us. But at least the kids got a few days of school off. And we know that it will be over soon. Hang in there. Btw those glasses were awesome.
    Mary – the boondocks blog recently posted…Valentine’s Day Framed Heart craft – Int’l Bloggers Club ChallengeMy Profile