November 12, 2014

Searching for Joy


First, let me say thank you all for your comfort and encouragement last week. Little did I know how my week was going to go south from there. Truthfully, last week sucked. And I don't even like that word. It was like the sucky cherry on top of the sucky sundae. What I'm trying to say is that we have had some trying months. Like 6 of them. Hey Life! I'm waving my surrender flag!


I'm a big fan of choosing joy. You guys know that. I look for it always and forever in the small moments as well as the big. There are certain times when that can be more challenging than others. I mean, it's pretty dang easy to find the joy when life is handing you nothing but rainbows and kittens, right? I think the times when it is harder to find, it's actually much more important to search it out.


I choose to not let the hard times make me bitter because I grew up in that atmosphere and it is pointless and toxic. I gave myself time to wallow in the misery a bit and then I picked myself up and forced myself to look beyond it. It doesn't mean the bad stuff goes away, it just means that I'm choosing to focus on something else. For now. To keep myself sane.


So I picked up my camera, which is an amazing way to help me see my world differently. It turns out there are small joys all around me. Like Christmas decorations in the studio. And almost finished knitting projects. The makings of a comforting cup of chai. Cold days and cozy evenings. Books to be read.


This was just the attitude adjustment I needed. It turns out I cannot be grumpy while wrapping presents or flipping through Christmas books. Now it's a new week and a fresh start. I'm feeling calmer and I've gotten my perspective back. I'm gently reminding myself that this too shall pass and the important things in my life are still as they should be.

21 comments:

  1. Sometimes things are just plain "sucky" and we get in a slump and can't dig ourselves out. You sound like you're about to lift your head above the edge, so you're going to be all right. It's life. My camera makes me feel the same way.
    Brenda

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  3. Thanks for reminding me too!

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  4. Joy is always there, waiting to be seen. <3

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  5. I know; been there. I'm glad you're coming out the other side. Love the little ballet mice!

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  6. It's funny, but I find uploading a pretty photo to my computer can make me smile on a gray day, too. You've found lots of sweet treasures to photograph in your little nest, Jen. Those little mice are adorable!! I hope this week continues to bring you things to smile about. :o)

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  7. I am so sorry, Jen, that you have had some "down" time. Life is never an easy journey and just when we think we have found what surely must be our pinnacle of joy it all seems to come crashing down on us. God bless you and I know you will get through this with the courage to face the day ahead with bright expectation. We can't do much else some days. xo Diana

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  8. The timing of your post couldn't be more perfect. I've come to the same decision as you. Some days it comes easier than others but I know it's the only way to proceed. I hope peace replaces your struggle. Let's focus on hope, peace and joy!!

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  10. Oops, made a typo in my previous reply, so deleted it and starting over. I hear you on the feeling down. I have been feeling that way myself for awhile now and this cold, gloomy weather certainly doesn't help. Little things that help me are talking to my friends, getting out for a walk (have to really bundle up!), taking a hot bath with lavender oil, taking my yoga class, working on a project. I'm not thinking Christmas yet like you are though. Still to early for me!

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  11. Dear Jen, so sorry to hear your week “sucked”. Life has a way of always throwing us a curve ball or two when we least need it. But your mindset is just right…. Just like you I love capturing the beauty of the seemingly insignificant moments in my life, your right it doesn’t make the bad stuff disappear but it reminds us of all the little joys around! Beautiful photos as always on your blog!!! Hope your next week will be much better!!!
    Anna xx

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  12. A few years back I picked the work JOY as my word for the year and I tried hard to find the Joy in life around me. I am feeling down and just icky lately and have thought about putting my Joy banner back up just to remind me there is joy I just need to look for it. Praying you find Joy in the little things in life...

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  13. I'm glad to see you have found some things to comfort you during difficult times and i really hope things get better for you but in the meantime keep enjoying your simple pleasures

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  14. oh, jen!! so sorry about all of the trials you've had lately!! sometimes it seems as though the universe is conspiring against us.

    we've had a bit of a Suckvember around here also. i have just had to give myself a kick in the rear, TRY to remember to keep a sense of humor about everything and remind myself that 10 years from now we will hopefully we will remember the fun & sweet moments & that the hard things will soften & become one of those sepia toned, family stories that we learned from & grew closer because of. i really want to give my girls the ability to not only be graceful when then things are going their way, but to also to buck up & face adversity with that same, good times gracefulness. now, i just have to get over that DUMB car accident my youngest had a couple of days ago....:)!

    you are a wonderful, positive, generous person. things will get better. if it helps, you make my life better by providing this lovely, little space for your readers. the cottage nest is different than other blogs in that you share both the pretty as well as the not-so-internet-instagram filtered-perfect parts of your life. thank you, jen!!

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  15. and...suckvember continutes....:) while i was committing murder on the english language, throwing out typos like mardi gras beads in my previous comment, i sort of forgot that i was cooking and now have blackened corn chowder to serve for dinner tonight. ha ha, trying to laugh, be positive, just making funny memories here...:)!

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  16. I'm so sorry that you had such a yicky week. But, you inspire me with your attitude -- I could certainly benefit from the way that you find joy. Reading your posts makes me want to be a better person.

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  17. Truly an inspiration in being positive and LOOKING for joy and a new attitude even with life happening. The past 14 1/2 months have been a difficult time for our family and I struggle with keeping a positive attitude and really being thankful for all that we have so this reminder is just what I needed.
    ~Chris

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  18. I hope soon, very soon, that joy finds you and decides to stay and slumber and wrap you up in its warmth.

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  19. I understand how you were feeling, it happens to us no matter if it is big or small-set backs are a part of life. I am happy you are able to find joy in the little things! I was a stay at home Mom and I felt the problems that came up were even bigger than I had thought. Once I went back to work I was able to deal with anything and not stress out about it as much as when I had time to focus on the problem while at home with the little ones. I think keeping focused on other things-not my problems-helped me to not dwell on the issue at hand and re-direct my pattern of thinking to a more positive level. It takes time to sort things out and put it into perspective but at the end of the day it should be out of the mind to sleep well. I hope this week is better for you! Cheers!

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  20. Your cute chai "station" makes me exceedingly happy! I remember the first time I tasted chai many years ago and telling the barrista that it tasted like Christmas. Hope things turn around for you soon. Hugs!

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  21. wish we could hang out in your studio and wrap christmas gifts together... it all looks so pretty! {how's the mollie makes christmas book? I've had my eye on that one!}

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Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.