Friday, May 28, 2010

Shower Sparked My Joy

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It’s that time again. Feel Good Friday is here. This week I had a plumber come to change the faucets in my tub. During the repair process the plumber discovered a wire that was old and worn and in the wrong spot. The wire was actually touching the pipes and making the pipe extremely hot. The wire was also starting to put a dark spot on the cement where it was starting to burn. When the plumber went to adjust the placement of the wire the wire broke leaving a live exposed wire in my wall. The break knocked out the power to all of the overhead lights in my 2nd floor apartment. The plumber was able to recommend an electrician who fixed the wire the next day. I was only without overhead lights for one night. Luckily my outlets were unaffected so none of the food in my fridge went to waste. The plumber emphasized over and over to me how I could have been killed if that wire would have sparked while touching the pipe. I could have been electrocuted while taking a shower :-(

What does this have to do with Feel Good Friday or even my quest for Joy??? For my quest to be a success, for me to firmly and permanently grasp Joy I have learn to identify it in all situations. Even the most unfortunate situations can give you a little joy, something to feel good about. Even the death of a loved one gave me a feel good moment resulting from the friends and family that reached out to me with kindness love and support, although I could not recognize it right away. So, on this Feel Good Friday I’m asking you all to count your blessings, think of things that make you feel good, and to focus especially on those Feel Good Moments that have come out of initially negative circumstances. Let's build this skill of finding the good in bad situations together.

Although I found out that some things in my house are not as safe as I thought and I am out of a few hundred dollars for the repairs, the experience has given me some feel good moments.

•I feel truly blessed to have an example of how God is constantly blessing me when I'm completely unaware.
•My shower is back in service
•I now know an electrician
•The electrician was able to discuss some of the other things I’d like to get done in the house
•I am more knowledgeable about the condition of my home
•I found out some of the renovations I am planning will not cost as much as I thought
•I found out my plumber has a greater knowledge of home maintenance than I would have guessed
•The plumber checked on some other things that I was concerned about and relieved some of my stress
•I have a better understanding of what to look for in terms of plumbing and electrical problems when I am house hunting again.
•I am a little less afraid of home repairs knowing that even if the experts find other problems I will be able to handle them

Please share the Joyful Feel good Moment that came out of negative or unexpected circumstances.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Book of Joy

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I have spent the last couple of days in Sweden with a hacker who’s cyber name is Wasp. Last week I visited a pig farm in England. About 10 days ago I was in Downtown Chicago. And a month or so ago I was in Alaska. I bet you think I’m just racking up the frequent flyer miles. You’ll never guess how many I’ve earned on these trips… 0. That’s right…zero. You see, while my mind was in Alaska, Chicago, England, and Sweden in actuality I was right here, home, in Philly engrossed in a book.

I’ve always loved reading. Reading gives you the ability to be wherever you want to be. It engages the mind and stretches the imagination. Reading has been as natural for me as breathing. I don’t think about it I just do it. I do not even remember learning to read, it’s like I’ve always been able to do it. When a friend suggested I add reading to my list of things to do to decrease my idle time and increase my Joy I was not surprised at all. As a matter of fact I was in total agreement.

I have always turned to books for fun and as a way to escape and even find new friends that are relatable. The first books I remember reading were Chippy Goes to the Dentist and Tiggy Goes to the Hospital. Chippy and Tiggy were the same age as me and their adventures were both exciting and a little scary but they survived the dentist and doctor just as I had. When I got a little older I must admit that I cared about my friends Ramona (of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Series) and Margaret (of Judy Bloom’s Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret) just as much as I cared about the little girls I played with and talked to in real life.

As an adult my favorite books still have main characters that I can relate to. However books have now helped me develop real friendships. Joining a book club is one of the best decisions I’ve made as an adult. I have met some really smart and interesting women. We all come from different backgrounds and that leads to different perspectives on the books. Book club turns reading from a solo activity to one that enhances the social life and has lead me to many new friendships. (Shout out to Juniper Street Book Club)

In addition to reading’s ability to take you to another place with words and give you a social outlet in the form of book club, there are many other benefits to reading. Reading expands your vocabulary, improves your spelling, expands your imagination, helps improve the mind and memory, enlightens you to different cultures and ways of thinking, improves concentration and focus, gives you something to talk about and reduces boredom.

So while reading is nothing new to me my perspective on it has been broadened. I now see each book as a new literary guide towards joy.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Feel Good Friday!!! - Confession

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  • It's Feel Good Friday once again and I have a confession. Are you ready??? Here it is...I am usualy happier during the week than on the weekend.... I know, I'm so embarrassed :-)

    Don't get me wrong I love Friday just like most of you. I am always happy leaving work on Friday afternoon knowing I dont have to go back or think about work until Monday. The thing is on the weekend I have that too much idle time problem that I told you about in my Devil's Workshop post. Then I get bored. Where as during the week most of my time is filled with work and boredom is not an issue.

    So, on this Feel Good Friday I'm making a list (I guess you've noticed how much I like making lists) of things to do this weekend to keep that Feel Good Friday
    Vibe going all weekdnd long.

  • Catch up on those ZZZZZ - Well rested folks are never the cranky ones

  • Go to church - Good for the spirit

  • Exercise - Good for destressing and great for the figure

  • Visit a museum for a little culture - The Philadelphia Museum of Art has Pay what you wish all day on the First Sunday of each month

  • Curl up with a good book - A great escape

  • Visit the library - actually go in and stay a while. Treat it as you would a bookstore (of course minus the starbucks or seattle's best)

  • Take your dog (or cat if they go for the leash thing) for a long walk in a scenic park

  • Go out to that new restaurant you been meaning to try

  • Clean - I know who wants to clean right? Pick a small project, that
    cluttered junk drawer, desk, medicine cabinet and take 30 minutes and
    make it sparkle. You will feel good when it's done.

  • Reconnect -Call or visit an old or new friend

  • Do some self pampering - give yourself a mincure, pedicure or facial

    I'm sure you have plenty of Joy filled weekend activities. Please comment so I can add them to my list.

    Have a Joy filled Weeekend.

Walking Towards Joy... Again

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I had such a good experience with the 31st Annual Philadelphia Bar Association 5K Run/Walk that I've decided to do another one. On June 13 I'll be doing the Strides For Stroke 5k run/walk. But this time I hope some of you will join me.

Delaware Valley Stroke Council is celebrating their 15th Anniversary year and will be holding the annual Dr. Howard Mazer Memorial Strides For Stroke 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, June 13, 2010 from 7:30‑11:00 a.m. along the scenic Philadelphia Art Museum and West River Drive.

This is an excellent cause and right in line with Chasing Joys focus on positivity and health. Go to http://www.phillystroke.org/content/join-team.html select team Walking For Joy and sign up. For those of you not in the Philadelphia area there is a virtual race component. Go to http://www.phillystroke.org/content/register-virtual-runner.html and select team Walking For Joy.

So I hope some of you will Walk Towards Joy with me.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Chased Joy All the Way to Bermuda

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So I told you in my Feel Good Friday post that I just came back from Vacation. I went on a cruise to Bermuda with two of my cousins. I have always wanted to visit Bermuda to see the Pink Sand and this trip was a direct result of me listing it here as one of the things I wanted to do in pusuit of Joy. It was not a perfect trip the ship left late, the line to get through security to get on the boat was ridiculously long; the weather was way cooler than we expected and the ship was a bit too rocky. However one thing I’ve learned in my pursuit of joy is your happiness has much more to do with what you choose to focus on than all the details of what’s happening. So despite some of the less than perfect details the trip was GREAT!!!

My cousins and I all got along great. We are all pretty laid back and it was easy to just go with the flow. We got to talk often and get to know each other even better.

Bermuda definitely inspires creativity. The atmosphere there is very laid back and free. A slower pace that is very conducive to creativity. Even the architecture is creative. How many pink, blue, yellow, or purple houses are in your neighborhood? We visited the Bermuda Clayworks shop were beautiful pottery was hand made and sold. We also stopped by the Dockyard Glassworks and Bermuda Rum Cake Company. This was a really interesting place. Here you could both purchase and watch Glass being hand blown and Bermuda rum cake being made. There was also no shortage of creativity on the cruise ship including towel animals left as part of the turn down service and fruit carving adorning the buffets.

I also got to really relax and have fun on this vacation. The beach, although a bit cool, was so serene. I braved the cool and played in the water just a bit. It was just so beautiful. The ship was really cool and the food was good as well. I tried some new things escargot (not bad but nothing I’d request), chocolate soufflĂ© (not as chocolaty as I’d have liked), raspberry panna cota (Great!!!), and lamb shank (Great!!! I will be learning how to make this).

I defiantly crossed paths with Joy on vacation. Now that I am home I am thinking of how I can capture some of this vacation Joy for my everyday life. No, I am not going to take up pottery or glass blowing (at least not any time soon). However there are a few things that I can do to bring my vacation experience home.

• Be more creative with my home, allowing it to more accurately express my personality
• Cook higher quality more gourmet food for myself
• A nice relaxing mimosa on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon would be really nice
• Explore my own city more to find its beauty

I am so l thankful for the opportunity to have visited Bermuda and bring home some ideas that are bringing me closer to Joy. Enjoy the picture slide shows.
video
video

Letter to Dad

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Dear Dad,

So your son found a video of you on YouTube. I don’t even think you knew what YouTube was but you made it on there before I did. LOL… It was so amazing to see you on there and hear your voice again. I can freeze frame the video and it is like you are looking right at me. I really miss talking to you and thought maybe I’d write you a letter here to let you know how I am doing.

These last 8 months have been rough but we are hanging in there. I am single again. That was kind of rough to go through without getting any relationship advice from you. But considering how often you gave me advice in the past I kind of knew what you would say anyway.

My new job is going well. I have some nice new friends there and more responsibilities. I know you would be proud.

I celebrated my 30th b-day in Atlantic City with friends and family. You would have approved.

I just came back from a vacation, cruise to Bermuda with cousins. You would have been happy about that as well.

I went to Church recently. I went to North Philly Church where you used to take me when I was little.

Mom is doing ok too. You’d be very happy to know that she does not like the new Korean soap opera. Lol

The Boys are hanging in there as well.

Grandkids are doing well, getting big and sounding very happy whenever I talk to them.

I remember that you liked to write also and did some short stories. I don’t think you knew what a blog was but I have started writing one. You are a big part of the inspiration behind it. That last night at the hospice there was a moment when it was just you and I alone in the room and I told you that we would all be ok, that me, mom and the boys would be ok. At the time I did not know how we would be ok without you but I knew that it would have to be true because lying to you was not something I was in the habit of doing. So I am making every effort to keep my word and not just be ok but be happy. This blog and my pursuit of Joy is a big part of that.

I'll talk to you later.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Feel Good Friday!!! - Vacation Time

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It’s Feel Good Friday and I’m feeling mighty good because I just returned from vacation. Vacation was relaxing, interesting, and exciting. I’ll post some pictures and go into detail about my vacation in another post. But for now I want to talk to you about vacations in general, and why you should spend this feel Good Friday planning your next one.



• Vacations give you something to look forward to. I enjoyed talking about and researching info prior to my vacation almost as much as I enjoyed my actual vacation.
• Vacations improve your mental health. They remove you from your everyday routine including routine tension and stress.
• Vacations can improve relationships by causing people to spend more quality time together pursuing fun and provide shared memories.
• Vacations can inspire creativity by introducing people to new things, other cultures and other ways of thinking.
• Vacations cause can increase productivity. Taking time off forces you to get more done in shorter time. I can testify to this personally. I got more things done at work the day before my vacation than I did that entire week.
• Vacations give you the opportunity to meet new people.
• Vacations can ignite your spirit of Adventure by offering activities you would not otherwise seek out like bungee jumping, snorkeling, parasailing, scuba diving etc…

A vacation does not have to be long or expensive. So instead of thinking about all of the reasons a vacation is not in the cards for you. Review the list above and see all the reasons that you should vacation. I am still Chasing Joy, but we often vacation together. So, on this Feel Good Friday start planning your next vacation. You may find Joy there.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Feel Good Friday!!! - The Good News

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I hate the news…oh no, scratch that. Its feel good Friday so let me start a little more positively. I love watching anything other than the news. Most of it is not news anyway. It is a lot of gossip and entertainment with very little news. As sad as it may be, an unfortunate fire, accidental car accident, or domestic dispute (unless someone is on the run) is not news it is gossip, a way to say look at what happened to these folks. It does not impact my life other than to make me sad or riddled with anxiety. Also the sport segment is not news. Details of Tiger wood’s golf swing (or his wife’s for that matter) is not new, it is entertainment. News is things that impact the majority of viewers such as the weather, major traffic problems such as long term road work, crimes with wanted suspects, major disasters, local and Federal legislation, and safety information such as how to be more observant like the vendor in NY that prevented the Time Square bombing.

So what does my complaining about the news have to do with Feel Good Friday, you ask???? This week I discovered Good News Daily. - This is my kind of news. It is full of feel good stories. This online publication only publishes good news stories from around the world. No crime stories, No sad stories, and No negative celebrity news. Instead the articles are good news stories related to World News, US News, Family Life, Business, Sports, Travel, Entertainment and other topics. So this Feel Good Friday check out Good News Daily and find a story that brings some Joy to your day. Happy Friday :-)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Joy In The Universe

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A funny thing happens when you reveal your desires to the Universe. The Universe listens.

I started this blog as a creative outlet, a hobby, a place to collect my thoughts, and a sort of spotlight to keep me focused happiness, Chasing Joy. I started with a list of things I have always wanted to do and I also took some suggestions from friends, family, and followers. I have a ways to go but have slowly been working my way through the list and chronicling my adventures/experiences here. Since opening up and revealing my feelings of boredom and unfulfillment and my lists of things I have always wanted to do the Universe (through you) has responded. People have given me encouragement, offered to work on some of my goals with me and given me great suggestions. (PLEASE KEEP THEM COMING)

This brings me to my upcoming adventure. After reading my list my cousin invited me to visit Bermuda with her. She found a reasonably priced cruise leaving from a port within driving distance so I don’t even have to fly (I Hate Flying). I am super excited about this vacation and will tell you all about it when I return. But more importantly I am truly amazed at how quickly the Universe (aka God’s Hand) responds when you make your desires known. So what are your desires??? Reveal them and let the Universe work in your favor. Leave a comment, the universe is following this blog. LOL

I set sail soon…. Chasing Joy through the ocean.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Random Thoughts – Image

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I am a Christian. Like many other Christians I believe God created people in his image. If God made me in his image than it is my responsibility to learn to love what I see in the mirror, even while my Temple is under construction.

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