Friday, September 4, 2009

Finding peace and joy in the Internet age

I'm sure I'm not the only person here that can lose HOURS on the Internet. Sit down for a second and get up literally hours later...and the word "lose"'s appropriate, right? Because you have no idea where those hours went and while you were totally engrossed in whatever you were doing/reading you actually got nothing done.

And that would be OK, if you got up refreshed and ready to take on a new challenge, but I'm betting you don't. I'm betting you get up feeling more tired or even angry than when you sat down.

Why is that and what can we do to combat it?

Personally, I think we all need to take back life's little joys. Those little things that have no "get something done" value, but that bring us that hard to describe sense of peace, where just for a few seconds or minutes everything feels all right. Where we know we are OK and we are just happy to be.

When is the last time you felt that? I'm betting it wasn't while trolling blogs.

Now, obviously, we are all individuals, but I'm going to give a few suggestions of how I think you can bring a little joy back into your life and it would be great if you could add to the list too. Because, honestly, can we have too much joy and peace?

  • Buy fish--the live kind in a tank. Okay, I know cleaning the tank can be a pain, but there is something about watching fish that is just restful. This summer we bought a tank for my daughter--her fish, her tank. Two guesses who cleans it. Uh, yeah, me, but guess what? I don't mind because I truly enjoy taking care of the little critters. And bonus last week one of them have babies. Now we have fish available to share the joy with others.

  • Grow a plant. Plants can be a pain, but they can also be quite rewarding, and some just bring you joy by looking at them. Have you heard of moss terrariums? My cousin has started selling them and while at first they seem a bit silly, I can really see the appeal. They just make people happy.

  • Hug a tree. It's become a joke, but honestly there is nothing that makes me feel more a peace than standing in a grove of trees, especially old trees. I'm a big believer in energy and it is almost as if trees soak up all the negative things we carry around with us. If you don't believe me go sit outside under a big oak one afternoon. See if you don't just feel better.

  • Go for a walk, but somewhere in nature. I take my dog for a walk every day and one of our special joys is seeing a heron that has taken to fishing in a local pond. It's a bird...see birds all the time, but seeing that heron makes me smile.

  • When I was little my grandparents had a farm. It was around 360 acres of fields and woods. I wandered that land a lot and I discovered a lot. My family were not the first people on that land. I found signs of Native Americans, and old farm houses, cemeteries with slaves and deserted hidey holes (root cellars built to hide from tornadoes), persimmon trees and walnut trees. I found all kinds of things I wasn't looking for and every discovery brought me some kind of peace. When is the last time you wandered where you didn't know what you were going to find?

  • Snuggle with your children if you have them. My kids have both gone through their afraid of the dark/can I sleep with you stages. And I have given in at times to both of them, but here is the real secret...I never feel safer and more at peace than when my kids are snuggled up next to me. Everything just feels okay.

  • Watch a puppy (or for some maybe a baby). They get such joy out of everything. How can't a little of that rub off on you?

Okay, now your turn. What can you do today to bring yourself a tiny bit of joy. (Not fun, not


Jess Granger said...

I bake cupcakes and decorate them.

There is something so sweet and innocent about a cupcake. It's just a little cake, so small and perfect, and they're 1000 times better when they're adorable to boot.

Lori Devoti said...

I like to bake too. I've done the cake decorating thing too which for me is a strange mix of joy and hell. Kind of like writing.

Mary Ann DeBorde said...

Mary D
zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Lori, thanks for the wonderful list :) One of the things that soothes me is either walking at night or sitting outside enjoying the beauty of the night sky - all those twinkling stars are like watching God smile down on me, and that's when I realize how much there is that man doesn't really know and has yet to discover!

And I think Jess's sweet cupcakes are a lovely idea :) and Lori, like you, sometimes I just write and write in the wee hours of morning (sigh - my paranormal blog makes me look like a nutcase but I love thinking and writing lol)

And lastly, sometimes I just cuddle one of my two kitties and listen to the gentle rumble of contented purrs.

Hugs to All ~ Mary