The bits and chunks of joy list

The bits and chunks of joy list

Laura Vanderkam posted recently about her bits and chunks of joy list, and I was inspired to do the same. The idea is to have a go-to list of activities so that you can fill up the available moments of your life with bits of joy, instead of checking email, again.

This is what I came up with, but I’d love to add to it. I’d love to hear what your own list looks like!

5 or 10 minutes:

Listen to a song I love. Preferably a peppy one.

Stretch and use my theracane. Last time I got a massage, my therapist told me I needed one of these for my killer sports injury/too-much-typing-disease combo and it’s amazing.

Read a magazine. I don’t do this a lot and it feels so indulgent when I do.

Watch the latest Emma Approved.

Do a brain dump. (I always feel terrific after I get everything out of my head and onto paper.)

Look at family photos with the kids. (This is one of the reasons I want to get them off my computer and into photo books!)

Thumb through a cookbook with gorgeous photos and lots of text. (Smitten Kitchen has been my favorite for months.)

Turn my kids’ everyday food into something delightfully silly, or especially beautiful. (Funny face oatmeal, or flower-bedecked salads.)

Have a living room family dance party. 

30 minutes:

Go for a solitary walk.

Call an old friend.

Talk to Will—with no devices and no kids.

Curl up with a novel and a cup of coffee or glass of wine.

Bake, by myself. (No little helpers!)

Write a poem. Yeah, they’re crap, but it still makes me happy to tinker with words and meter.

Out and about: 

Walk the city sidewalks. I love to window shop: all the fun of shopping, but no pressure and NO decision making!

Browse the little local bookstore.

Browse a stationery shop. This is my happy place.

Get a massage. 

Hike with the family (although at this stage it’s hit or miss whether this will actually be joyful).

Eat breakfast out–one of my favorite things.

That’s my constantly-evolving list. What’s on yours?

PS: this post has a cousin: the checklist you need to have.

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  1. Shannon says:

    “Bake, by myself. (No little helpers!)” ~ oh, this is such a luxury, isn’t it? My youngest calls herself “Your Little Helper” and will say, “I’m going to help you whether you want it or not.” Such a precocious six year old………..I find myself baking while they are school just to lose myself in the process w/o worry about egg shells or spills. Not that I don’t bake with her (and her sister, too) but I bake more so that I get to enjoy the process too.

  2. Jeannie says:

    I always have a snack with my mid-morning coffee, but I try to make it special: e.g. toast a scone in the toaster oven and spread it with the lemon butter my friend gave me for Christmas. Then I savour it with coffee in the living room while reading a book — NOT at the computer! (Most of the time.)

  3. Kim says:

    Love this idea! Before we moved part way across country—6 months ago!—I had a similar list tacked to my bulletin board. It hasn’t yet seen the light of day, but will in the next month or two when we finally move into our new house. In the meantime, I find movement of any sort is good. Stretches in the apartment, walks in the (normally) mild TN air, visits to the library, walks in the parks or along the river.

    By the way, I have enjoying reading your blog which I found via a link my daughter shared with me.

  4. Mary says:

    Hi Anne,

    I’ve gotten so many wonderful ideas from you. I’m at the end of my first whole 30, my reading list is stacked FULL of your recommendations, and I forward your posts on family and marriage to my fiance so much, he’s finally bookmarked your blog for himself. So… THANK YOU.

    Just a thought (and maybe it’s one you’ve had already), but I didn’t know these family “yearbooks” existed until recently. Maybe this would be a great/easier way to get family photos from the computer to a turnable page?

    • Anne says:

      Yes! I’ve had that post bookmarked. I’ve done small books using Blurb, but I want to make a full year one for 2013. I hope that’s not too ambitious. 🙂

  5. Nina says:

    These are great ideas. I consider scrolling through my bloglovin feed and reading a few posts a bit of joy too. Your blog is great! Found it through a tweet by Katie Gibson a while back and it’s been sitting in my favorites folder on Twitter to check out. So glad I did! Going to follow on Bloglovin now.

  6. Rachel says:

    This list sounds almost exactly like a list I would have written for myself…except that I wouldn’t have written it. I would have been too busy checking my email, again. 😉 Thanks!

  7. Ginger says:

    You recently linked to this, and I went back to review the post. I realized it’s similar to a running list I keep on my Evernote. I call it “Free Richness” and I started it once on vacation when I realized some of the things I reserve for vacation weeks, I could easily incorporate into my daily life…
    Shop at a gourmet grocery, watch a Pixar short or a favorite Broadway number on YouTube just (I got this idea from Dinner: A Love Story where she mentioned that after dinner, they sit together and watch a “movie” with their small girls before bed… but the movie consisted of something short, like a favorite Pixar short or a music video), go to the garden store for an herb plant, attend a Pure Barre class, bake bread, check out a stack of cookbooks from the library, burn a candle in the morning, go for a swim, sit on my porch, and wear my FAVORITE outfits, makeup, and hair.

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