Warning: this post is not about teaching or professional development. It’s a post about something I am trying out. I guess this is a way to hold me accountable? For those of you who know me, you know I adore podcasts. While listening to an episode of This American Light (episode: The Show of Delights), I was struck by how certain moments in time fill us with joy. Little things, like when I am getting ready to eat some incredibly simple tostadas on a week night. Or big things, like when my husband and I made our common law marriage official (with a piece of printer paper that we had notarized, stating we agreed to be in a common law marriage. Romantic, I know. We are waiting for Nicholas Sparks to contact us for new story ideas).
In the podcast episode, the producer introduces Ross Gay, the author of The Book of Delights. In his book, he writes about all the different things in life that make his heart happy. This made me think of gratitude journals. I’ve always struggled with gratitude journals, and the idea of writing down a daily gratitude. In my daily planner (yes, I use a regular old planner), I replaced the “daily gratitude” space with a space for me to write my workout for that day. I don’t know what about gratitude trips me up. Whenever I’ve tried it, I always felt stressed out about picking something meaningful and worthy. But when it comes to identifying joy, there isn’t much thinking involved. If it makes your heart happy, it gives you delight.
So, inspired by this episode and Ross Gay, I have decided to keep track of all the things I come across that make my heart happy. Big things, little things, anything that makes me smile. If you, like me, struggled to find worthy things to be grateful for on a daily basis, maybe this is where we need to start. The idea is basically the same thing, but by rebranding it as delight instead of gratitude, it reduces the pressure (in my humble opinion). Here’s the start to my list of things that made my heart happy recently:
I’m going to keep track of all my life’s delights on a note in my phone, so I can add to it whenever I feel joy. I’m hesitant about making this a daily requirement, because I don’t want it to be a chore. But I do hope I add to the list daily, to make tracking my moments of joy a habit, and a constant reminder that I have plenty of things that make my heart happy.
Written by Karly Schleicher