1. Posting on SSJ as the Spirit Moves
One of the chief joys of keeping this journal is the ability to set it aside for weeks or even months on end and to return to it as if I’d only just been out of the room for a moment. Call it time travel, if you will, this uncanny joy in beginning again and again and again, yet in medias res (or, as our family calls it, “in media space“). Six years ago, when I left behind The Lunchbox Season and Summer of Funner, I left myself the option of posting as the spirit moved me. Returning here, today, certainly makes me happy. So, there’s ONE….
My favourite feature of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast is the regular Friday segment, “What’s Making Us Happy This Week.” Here, a rotating panel of hosts for the Friday instalment of the show recommend something (a movie, a book, a meal, a memory…anything) that’s bringing them joy. Whether or not I agree or identify with their choices, the simple concept of the segment itself, and all its promise, always gives me a little thrill.
So, here, without further ado, are six more things that are making me happy this week. (And on a Thursday, to boot!)
2. The first chapter of Ann Patchett’s new novel, Tom Lake
I was waiting to pick up an order this morning and stopped in to a coffee shop to read the first chapter of Ann Patchett’s new novel, Tom Lake. I’d actually purchased this book (from my local Book City) as a gift for someone else. But I decided to tote it along with me in case my pickup was delayed. Of course, my pickup was delayed. And, of course, I was late to my delayed pickup, because, well, “Dear Tom Lake, Chapter One, And I mean this in the best of ways, ‘To me, you are perfect.'” I couldn’t help myself. I sat and read the chapter twice. Then, I went back and read a few favourite sentences over again, just to savour them. In my joy, I spilled cappuccino on page eight – such a slattern! Naturally, said first chapter euphoria makes me wonder if the rest of the novel will live up to its promise. (Heck, I wrote a poem, once about a few disappointing turns I’ve had with novels with strong or reasonably strong opens.) Then, why worry? So far, I’m in extremely capable hands. And I can’t wait to get back to it. I guess I’ll have to buy another for my friend.
3. Our .00000000000000001 Chance of Scoring Taylor Swift Tickets
As a Christmas present, my daughter and I went to the Taylor Swift Reputation tour several years ago, and it was probably one of the best concerts I’d ever been to. I wasn’t a huge Swiftie at the time, but I was totally blown away by the show. So, we were super stoked when Taylor announced a 2024 leg of the Eras tour this morning. And we were even more stoked to be able to register with Ticketmaster for a lottery for a lottery for a lottery-ticket-shot at being able to purchase T-Swift tickets for someone’s 21st birthday! (I don’t even feel old saying that!)
4. Rainbow Samosas
A fabulous friend is hosting drinks this weekend and asked their guests to bring apps/tapas. While I spent a while thinking about all of the wonderful things I could whip up to bring, I decided to make life simple by pre-ordering a rainbow of Samosas and all of the sauces from my local The Samosarie. I don’t often choose to simplify where party-prep is concerned. But I am so glad I did. Now I’ll have time to read more Ann Patchett!
5. Contemporary Dance at The Pink Studio
I kept forgetting to register for my fave dance class at my local Pink Studio, or failing to block out the time in the calendar, and then having full-blown FOMO when they posted the vids of the amazing routines. So, I did myself a favour and booked a full four weeks of Contemporary in one fell swoop. This Tuesday was Miley’s The Climb and it was 100% perfect. I’m going to keep prioritizing this class. I plan on registering for my Contemporary fix on a monthly basis from now on!
6. Visiting the YMCA
What? Two “fitness” posts in one happy list? For several reasons, and I won’t list them here and dull the vibe, I haven’t been enjoying my daily morning walks on the beach as much as I used to. Since my husband decided to upgrade his individual YMCA membership to incorporate the young adults in the house, I started taking advantage, too. A few days a week, I’ve reunited with my beloved elliptical. And I’ve started lifting weights again, too. (A while back, I sold my squat rack and bigger weights to make room for my sewing space!) I even took a yoga class this morning. While the instructor was absolutely NOT my kind of teacher (I was hoping for “flow” not repetitive “exercises” couched within a few unfortunate poses), I’m super proud of how little I cared about the 45-minutes of precious early-morning-time lost and how I just went on with “leg day” afterwards. I’ll always need dance more. But this YMCA gig is a happy bonus.
7. Nimue’s Beautiful Coat
That little Basement Bathroom Zhoosh I posted about? Turns out it was a prelude to having a superior puppy washing station….I haven’t yet formally introduced her on SSJ. Perhaps at some point, I will tell you the story of her adoption from the miraculous Greystone Bernedoodles. Just know, in May, we brought home the world’s most amazing F1b Bernedoodle puppy. We named her Nimue (Nim-ū-ā), our little lady of the lake. And over the course of the last 12 weeks she’s grown from a wee babe into a gorgeous 5-month old. Last week, she had her first “big-girl” groom at Metro Hound. She went from a wavy ball of fluff to a lanky beauty! And now, our curly lady’s soft back feels like a chenille sweater. My gosh, we love her awful.