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Monday, September 21, 2009

Some initial observations from the JOY trenches!

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

It has been less then 24 hours and I am already noticing more Joy.  To be fair I have been mulling it over and planning my approach for the last week but, never the less, since the official start MORE JOY is percolating!

While taking Jessie on her nap walk (stroller walk on a specific route which is the ONLY way she will take any nap.  lol)  a complete stranger said, "You look beautiful today!!" I am wearing yesterday's clothes, and since Jessie has a cold and we have been house bound, I haven't even showered yet someone said that I look beautiful! It can only be the reclaimed JOY on my face!

I had just come from the post office where I sent a couple of things off to a friend and I enclosed a note. Normally I kind of hem and haw when it comes to the closing on the note. Signing "love" always seems a bit over the top, especially to someone I'm not very close to. "Fondly" seems less then my feelings actually dictate. I mean, I ADORE sending unsolicited presents to people. "From" seems kind of sad, and "Sincerely" is far too formal and then it hit me... OUTRAGEOUS JOY!! I used to sign all of my personal correspondence that way but somehow I had forgotten! Outrageous joy IS exactly what I wish for you and yours but somehow in the face of everyday life I had forgotten.  Remembering this alone makes my experiment worthwhile.

I did not choose to make "smile at three strangers each day" one of my Bliss Initiatives, (feel free to make it one of yours!) but I have been thinking about it since mentioning it in my post last week. What I realized is that Jessie greets EVERYONE with an enthusiastic smile and while I generally do smile too,  I avert eye contact and say or do something so that we don't actually fully engage with people we don't already know. Jessie is SO JOYFUL but I have actually been throttling down the experiences! Truthfully I have even been a bit embarrassed by Jessie's exuberant behavior. Somehow I made the decision that only a certain amount of restrained joy is appropriate when interacting with strangers.  YEESH! It is truly hard to believe that I used to think of myself as the possibility of outrageous joy. I've actually allowed myself to become the possibility of keeping joy in check. Thank goodness I decided to play this game!

Next Post: A little Moxie with my Joy please

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


  1. As we sat blowing bubbles on my front stairs, on my very busy street, Noelle (2) Waved and yelled "ha-row!!!!" to almost every car. Most were in their own world of cell phones, radio, or personal thought - but some, they saw that little girl waving furiously at them and they laughed and waved back. She does this to cars who allow us to cross the street, and basically every person we walk by. She spreads a little joy to these people - I like to think they may just pay it forward.... wouldn't that be nice?

  2. Yesterday I was getting into my car and had 30 mins left on my parking sticker...I attempted to gift it to the woman who had parked behind me but wasn't fast enough. However! It crossed my mind. On day 1. To share joy with others by doing unexpected nice things for strangers. Thanks for such a thorough job on your posts, i love it!!!!

  3. Yes Maria, That would be nice! And thanks to you and Rebekah for reading along! The game is 10 times more fun knowing you guys are watching!


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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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