Pure Joy



Living in the moment

These are all the things I thought about the first time I saw this picture.  Funny thing is, I saw it a couple months ago in one of those e-mails that circulate around for various reasons.  You know the ones that have pictures of animals doing silly things.  This one stuck in my memory and I regretted deleting the e-mail.  Every time I thought of this elephant it made me smile.  I stumbled upon it again and immediately made a copy so I would have it forever.  I wish I knew who to give credit to for this beautiful shot, unfortunately, I do not. 

I have always had trouble putting a face on emotions.  I knew the basics, happy, sad, and angry but the other ones were hard to define.  When I saw this beautiful face I knew instantly this was JOY!  That got me to thinking, what brings ME that kind of joy? 

I have to tell you, I wasn’t sure at first.   I know I have felt joy many times in my life but I cannot tell you one specific memory that made me feel like that picture looks.  Which brings me to another thought; my friends always tell me “don’t compare your insides with other people’s outsides.” 

When I look at this picture I think this beautiful creature doesn’t have a care in the world and there is probably truth to that.  Does she worry about where her next meal will come from?  What about other animals that might be harmful to her?  Do animals worry about such things?  If she worries, it looks like she found a way to be still and enjoy one moment in time.  Is that the key to joy? She doesn’t have a mortgage or a job, lawns to mow, meal to make (ok, so I don’t really do that but someone does!), floors to mop and a million other menial tasks to tend to every day.  I have a family I love and worry about, justified or not. 

BUT and this is big, what on earth am I doing to find joy?  I have a tendency to over think everything.  This is a simple act; the elephant is sitting under a waterfall.  She isn’t worried about how she looks to others; she is just having the time of her life.  I would probably never get to the waterfall because I can’t wear a bathing suit, the towels will get all wet, how much does the trip cost, what if I slip and fall, is the camera waterproof?  You know how I am, I lose things…

Dictionary.com defines Joy as the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.

 Joy is a feeling not an event.  I forget that sometimes. 

I find joy in simple things.  Last week-end I had a garage sale.  I love haggling with people, both of us working to get the best deal on a piece of junk neither of us really wants.  One lady asked me to pray with her.  I don’t know why, it doesn’t matter, she asked and we prayed.  That was certainly a joyful moment. 

Walking gives me joy.  It isn’t a giddy type joy, it is peaceful.  Many days my walks are the quietest thing I do.  Sometimes in the morning when I am reading the paper and John sits with me and reads his sports section, both of us quiet but together, that brings me joy. 

Oh my goodness, Rosie brings me joy.  She follows me everywhere, sits with me, loves on me and makes me laugh.  Parents always think their child is the best whether it is a person or a dog.  She is so sweet to me.  There is nothing nicer than coming in the door and having her run to greet me. Sure she has to go potty but at least she is happy to see me!

John considers good health as a joyful thing, I consider it more of a blessing and we certainly have a bunch of those.  Health, friends, family, jobs; blessing are joyful aren’t they?

I love music and singing; especially in my car.    I mostly listen to Contemporary Christian music these days, I can’t think of much more joyful than singing to my God.  I listen to Country and Oldies too, it all depends on the mood I am in.  (and if John is in the car…do couples ever agree on the car radio station???)

Today I love the uncomplicated.  As my life evolves to whatever it will be I want peace.  Driving over to the beach for lunch and coming back home is a happy day and very simple.  If I keep the focus on these things my life is full of joy.  Keep it Simple Stupid – KISS IT.

I am going to see if I can find the waterfalls today and just sit and enjoy the moment.  Who says we cannot learn from animals?  I learned a lot from this one.

P.S.  in the comments section my new friend posted where this picture was taken.  It is a ride at DISNEY!  Is that not a scream?  It is a mechanical elephant, not even real.  Talk about not comparing your insides to other people’s outsides!  LOL.


MARCH 18, 1956

March 18, 1956 sometime after 5AM I came into this world.  Happy 55th Birthday to ME!  I was supposed to be Patrick Joseph because I was born in between St. Patrick’s Day and St. Joseph’s Day, March 17th & 19th respectively and quite obviously, I was supposed to be a boy.  I asked Mom why I wasn’t named Patricia and she said I didn’t look like a Patricia.  How I looked like a Marilyn Darlene at one day old I will never figure out.

 Marilyn was a really hard name to live with as a little girl.  No one could remember it, let alone spell it.  It is a great name for an adult though so I would like to give my parents credit for forward thinking.

 I have done ok with most of my birthdays, although I was not fond of turning 30.  That was the worst ever.  While I was at work on my 30th birthday, a very drunk man told me that I must have been a fox when I was young.  All my fears were true, I was old and ugly.  HaHa.  It didn’t take me long to get past all the self-centered junk that the 30th birthday brought and I never had problems with any of the birthdays that followed.

 I love my 50’s too by the way.  I feel freer than I have ever felt.  I know myself well and I don’t work so hard to please everyone I meet.  So why is 55 starting to bother me?  I don’t really FEEL old but 55 is solidly Senior Citizen time.  I now get discounts to movies, restaurants and department stores on Senior Citizen Day!  That is a good thing. 

 I do not feel like I have missed my “calling” or have any major regrets.  Most of my life I would live exactly the same way if I had to do it over again.  I don’t have any big dreams that I have a strong need to fulfill either.  Sure, I would like to go to Italy one day but my world will not stop if I never get there.  I don’t feel like I have missed the boat so to speak. 

I married for love both times and even though I say that next time is for money, anyone who knows me well knows that I am joking.  Love is all there is for me.  I even say that I would never marry again but my heart rules my head so even that is probably not true.  My youngest sister Patricia (who LOOKED like a Patricia!) says she can hand pick number three with no problem.  That is a long standing joke between us.

 Here are some of my Favorite Things, just in case you wanted to know:

 Movie: Mary Poppin’s – I don’t own a copy.  I still cry at the end every time I see it!

            Caddy Shack – it is still funny after all these years

   Songs: Dream A Little Dream of Me by Mama Cass, I have it as my ring tone

            In My Own Little Corner from Cinderella with Lesley Ann Warren

            Don’t Rain on My Parade from Funny Girl sung by the great Barbra Streisand

 Food:   Lamb Chops – yum, yum and yum

            Buffalo Wings – I never say no to them

            Ice Cream – Ben & Jerry’s Everything But the … rocks!

            Cheetos – it is kind of amazing that they are now #4 on the list, that is a miracle

            Peanut M&M’s

Color:  Green – like my eyes JOHN!

 Expression:  Don’t Shit Where You Eat (Sorry Patti!)

 I love writing my blog and truly enjoy the comments I receive, both positive and negative.  That people actually read what I write pleases and humbles me.  You have all been on this journey with me as I find my voice.  I have no idea where I am headed but supporting me along the way is priceless.  Sometimes when I get a big response it scares the daylights out of me but don’t let that stop you, I just wanted you to know.

 I am not sure how to define my life thus far but I’d like to think after 55 years that my heart shows promise of a person who has loved much and found happiness.  I hope that I have wisdom to share and that I share it freely.  I strive for perfection less and peace more.  I love to laugh.  And I am profoundly grateful for the love my family and friends show me every single day.


Lately I have had so many thoughts running through my head; I don’t seem to be able to make it stop.  Tick Tick Tick all day long.

I am a big phony bologna (thank you Oscar Mayer song) sometimes.  I say I want to diet and lose weight and never seem to get anywhere.   The level of frustration and failure is unbelievable.  I surrender and think I am on the right track.  Almost every diet, weight management program, lifestyle change guru says you have to own it; say it out loud to people in order to be successful.  I am beginning to think I need to just shut up and accept myself the way I am.  The stress of trying to change it is exhausting and I am beginning to bore myself.  Stay tuned, I don’t know if this is a temper tantrum, a new thought process or just an excuse to justify failure.

I went clothes shopping Saturday.  Nothing makes me feel worse about myself than that.  I know many women that love to shop but I absolutely hate it.  The only good thing about it is lunch out!  If I can’t do lunch I may as well stay home.

I have several T-shirts and blouses that have tiny holes in them, all in the same place, the bottom front.  Something is ruining them.  I have checked the edge of my desk, the kitchen sink area, anything I can think of and have determined that it is being caused by the zippers of my pants.  Is anyone else having this problem?  I decided buying pants with elastic waist bands was the answer.  There was a lot of deliberation going on in my head over this.  Am I officially OLD if I buy them?  I think it was Dr. Oz that said never to buy elastic waist bands.  What does HE know, he is skinny?  How old do you have to be to go for comfort and not look old?  I NEVER tuck in my shirts so that might help smooth “the look.”  I’m going to be 55 this month, maybe I really AM old. 

I found trouser pants with elastic waists at Dillard’s and I love them.  They are comfortable, reasonably priced and don’t look like old lady pants.  I bought black, navy and brown.  Luckily they don’t come in red, green, yellow, orange colors like the thick polyesters that we frequently see running around Florida.  Now if the tiny holes appear again I don’t know what I will do. 

I can’t seem to watch much TV anymore.  I think I am going insane.  I watch a TV show and worry over the characters.  I dream about them, wonder if they are doing ok.   It is so bizarre, does anyone else do this?  Do I need to get my medicine changed?  I used to do this when I was younger, which is why I quit watching the Soaps.  Now we also have all these celebrity real life drama’s playing out in the press and it is heartbreaking.  Maybe my life is finally dull enough that I am looking for excitement elsewhere to feed that drama seed. 

I am thinking about giving up TV for Lent.  How would I go about that with an avid TV watcher in the house?  And what about the Magic; are basketball games considered TV?  Can I give up TV except for Magic?  Is it true that what you give up for Lent doesn’t count on Sundays?  Can I change Sunday’s for Monday so I can see “Dancing With the Stars” when it starts the end of March?  Maybe I should just say no TV after 10PM.

I worry about this stuff, it plays on my mind.  I do not worry about the traffic, the economy, dying because I cannot do much to control that stuff.  But what I am giving up for Lent?  That is big.  I want to please God.  I do not want to disappoint Him.  That IS important.

By the way, my no cussing campaign has gone very well.  I have a few slips here and there but for the most part, I am over that habit.  Maybe that is why I am having trouble dieting.  I quit smoking 15 years ago, I have an occasional drink, stopped cussing, what else is left?  If I don’t have some kind of outlet I might explode.

Is it me or do others find texting miserable?  I DO it because I know some people prefer it but I really prefer talking on the phone.  I like hearing the voice, the tone used.  And LOL just is not the same as the SOUND of laughter. 

I suffer from depression.  It is a very frustrating condition.  I take my meds like a good girl and then out of nowhere I nose dive.  Nothing seems to really trigger these episodes; there is no reason for them.  I am aware that it is happening but am not able to control the emotions.  The people closest to me are used to this and when I am really quiet they know something is up.  If I am lucky it only lasts a few days and I am back to “normal” whatever that is. 

I have more blessings than anyone deserves.  How come I am so blessed?  My little problems really are just that, little problems. 

Why can’t I find a church that I like? 

Why can’t I win the lottery?  Not even the big one, the Fantasy Five would be ok.  I don’t need millions; I would be ok with a couple hundred thousand!   Why not ME?  Well, of course, the answer is why ME?

These are just some of the ramblings of a crazy person.  As I work and as I play, this stuff just runs through my head.  And I pray for the people I love.  I work to keep my mind positive as the thought of the negative taking over is far too frightening. 

Oh no, I promised to give food to the food bank for each pound I lose.  Maybe I should give it for each pound I gain, they will get more….negative. NO, get on the elliptical machine and start pushing…I am such a phony bologna…

Trust God, keep marching.  One day at a time.  Share the love.  Smile.  Think before you speak.  Keep it Simple.  There but for the grace of God go I.  Let it begin with me.  Peace…