Thursday, January 28, 2016

Finding Joy Where You Can

By: Annie Chamovitz

From: The Cumberland Creek Mystery Series
Author: Mollie Cox Bryan
Book 5 Title: Scrapbook of the Dead

I keep journals. Days go by and I can't find the time to write in my journal, and I don't beat myself up over it. I do it when I can. And sometimes, I do it every day. One of the things I like about journaling is having a record of my personal life. For example, my boys are almost teenagers, so when I read about their early years, it gives me much to consider.  Here's one I ran into the other day: “I ran water over the cereal bowls, with bits and pieces of cereal already hardened on them, and the sippy cups, smelling like grape juice. Sweet, sickening smell; and the stickiness drives me mad. After I finished placing the dishes in the dishwasher, I looked out the window and thought  Yes, that’s there I’ll plant my hummingbird garden, in that corner. Just a small space at first. Nasturtiums along the fence. Foxglove, Cosmos—and what else did Bea tell me? Hmmm. Dahlia. Oh yes, I love Dahlias. I'd love some red Dahlias. A nice bright little red feeder in the middle of it all.”  
I can't tell you when the last time my boys drank from a zippy cup. In fact, I took a great deal of joy in pitching them years ago!
In the every day ordinariness of life, we all need spaces of joy, spaces where our minds are free just a bit.  Sometimes we need to look up, glance out the window, and escape for a moment.
For me, that place has always been outside and many times, in my own garden. Don’t get anything fancy in mind. Gardening didn't really work out for me the way I planned. But scrapbooking did. And crafting. 
It’s so important for each one of us to find that thing—whether it’s gardening, scrapbooking, or knitting. Whatever brings us joy. A place where we’re not judged, a place where we feel safe, where the rest of the world melts away.
Even in today’s “connected” world where we have to participate in almost warped speed, it’s important to step back from it all sometimes and shrug. Stand firmly in your skin. Breathe fresh air. Remember who you are.

What is your thing? How do you connect to yourself? Or even escape from reality from time to time?

Check out Mollie Cox Bryan online:
Twitter: @MollieCoxBryan


  1. To escape, I have activities I enjoy: reading, watching movies, crafting, yoga, etc. I am still a newbie at yoga, but I notice I seem more calm and relax afterwards.

  2. For my job I know I have to be both physically and mentally prepared to be my best. I do Jazzercise everyday. Not only does it keep me physically and mentally in shape, but stress at bay.

  3. I don't keep a journal, but my BFF and I exchange a weekly status report every Saturday. I can look back and see how many of my goals I have reached and how many I left behind. With distance, the ones I left behind weren't right for me.

  4. I read and I've started knitting - both help me relax and refocus! I did discover my grandmother's journals a few years ago, she passed away in 1969, and I've been reading them a little bit at bedtime…learning about her day-to-day life has been really interesting! :-)

  5. I bet! How wonderful to have her journals!

  6. Reading a really great book takes me away and is my escape from reality.

  7. To escape I love to read or scrapbook.

  8. Reading is a great escape. Sometimes it is good to work puzzles on the computer while listening to a TV show I like. That helps too.

  9. Reading is one of my escapes. Also TV. I have a group of friends that I travel with and they make a weekend together or a week at sea a wonderful, laughter filled escape.