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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Some Field Work

JOY - A source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something exceptionally festive or satisfying.
[Click here to review this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

I picked Daphna Caperonis' 50 Ways to Find Joy list as my field work this week because in addition to thinking it is a pretty cool list, I knew that there were enough super simple things to do that I wouldn't have trouble keeping my promise to do one each day. So far this is what I've taken on:

Monday #14 Awaken your Inner Julia Child. Create a dish without a recipe from just the ingredients in your pantry. Discover your creative power.

This was particularly easy to do. Rob was out of town so I didn't have to be concerned with his tastes. Jessie wasn't feeling well and I didn't think it would be nice to take a poor sick girl out to the store anyway. We are moving in less then two weeks so I also have the added incentive to not buy anything more that I may need to pack later.  That being said, I should also mention that we have already been doing a good job of eating all our canned goods and no jars of tasty peanut, tomato or masala sauce  were available as good cheats.

I did have some small white potatoes, a sweet potato, onion, parmesan cheese, some frozen edamame  and baby lettuces.  This is what I did: I chopped the white potatoes into small 1/2 inch cubes and sautéed them with the onions in a little olive oil for about 20 minutes on medium/high heat, the potatoes had started to brown a bit.  I then added the sweet potato which was cubed the same size and added about a tablespoon of butter, some black pepper and a little salt. I cooked the mixture covered for about 15 minutes on medium heat. I then added about a 1/2 cup of the frozen edamame and let it cook for another 10 minutes on low heat.

The warm mixture was so delicious I really couldn't get over it. Jessie liked it too. It was sweet, but not too sweet and all together tasty. The next day I mixed the leftovers with a little parmesan cheese and italian dressing and tossed it in a bowl of baby lettuces... totally different but also super tasty. The tang of the dressing contrasted with the sweet potato was awesome, and the little bite from the parmesan just put it over the top. I need to make both dishes again!

Tuesday #10 Know you're loved. There's no greater joy.

Having a two year old makes this simple. Jessie is often running about telling me how much she "lubs" me but what I do far less often is let myself get present to it. I made a point of really feeling each of her little hugs and thoughtful gestures. "Thank you for the milk mommy", "I like you!", "It be so fun to do this with you!" etc. etc etc. When I allowed myself to be present it really was nonstop! I am actually a bit saddened by how much I haven't allowed myself to notice. This was a wake up call and I pledge to pay attention!

Wednesday #2 Get outside. Whenever you feel bored, antsy, or gloomy, go for a walk. The fresh air, changing scenery, and exercise will boost your mood.

Today Jessie and I NEEDED to get outside so this was perfect! In addition to our daily nap walk we took a 90 minute meander around town. Jessie chatted nonstop the entire time. It was really fun and by the time Jessie was ready for the nap portion of the walk I could feel the excercise in my legs which made me even happier about our excursion!

Now for the rest of the week.  Am I ready to amp up the game yet?  I'm considering: 

27 Make a joyful book. Fill a small album with photos and stories that evoke your happiest memories.
Love this idea... but realistically may have to wait until after the move... 

33 Be an active constituent. Take steps to resolve a political issue that worries you by writing your congressperson. Log on to or call 202-224-3121 to find his or her address in a flash.
Will require I actually take a stand when lately I've been slothfully hanging on the sidelines... and what IS THE issue that concerns me most? 

Of course there always is:
23 Sleep in. Allow yourself at least one lazy weekend morning a month.
Why is that this kind of Joy just feels like cheating? Perhaps I do need more work in this area after all!

Next:  Keeping you posted!

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the reminder about the amount of unconditional love is available to us parents of small children--even my boys, at the oh-so-mature ages of 6 & 8, are still often good for a snuggle on the couch, or a "you're the best mom in the whole world" or "Guess what, Mom? I have the coolest thing to tell you!" I know that these moments won't last, and I'm not always very good at appreciating them when they come. Thanks for the reminder.


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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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