Musings + Essays

Publishing the Good News.

By: Jen Shoop

I’ve shared this poem in the past, but it floated into my mind this morning:

They don’t publish

the good news.

The good news is published

by us.

The good news is that you are alive,

and the linden tree is still there,

standing firm in the harsh winter.

The good news is that you have wonderful eyes

to touch the blue sky.

The good news is that your child is there before you,

and your arms are available.

-Thich Nhat Hanh

I wrote: “We don’t trumpet the small and trivial wonders of everyday living because of their ordinariness–because they are grout rather than tile. It is the work of a grateful heart to rename these things.”

About a decade ago, I realized that happiness is not a static condition, and that expecting otherwise is a recipe for disappointment. I’ve described it elsewhere as follows: “I am not a particle that toggles between bands of “happiness” and “unhappiness” and stays put. I experience happiness in small bursts, usually at the hands of something wildly trivial, like the lay of sun on our back porch at four o’clock in the afternoon, the sight of my son’s pudgy, still-babyish fingers on my dress, Mr. Magpie carrying a handful of raspberries in from the garden in the morning, the smell of coffee at the beginning of a slow weekend morning.” I was talking about this on Instagram in the context of small things that had sparked joy in the previous 24 hours, and I asked Magpies to share a “sliver of joy” from the past day, and the replies were universally uplifting.

Today, I’m taking the imperative of publishing good news literally. I’m sharing some of the these slivers of joy from the Magpie community. They build a beautiful mosaic of grateful hearts “renaming the little things”:

“Video from my 10 year old autistic son’s teacher of him playing happily with peers.”

“Reading a book on the lawn with my girl.”

“A FaceTime call from my son in college…love seeing his face.”

“Getting in bed at 8:45. Sleeping until 8 am.”

“Gorgeous sunny walk with my coworker along the East River.”

“My 12 year old son with a developmental disability packing his own lunch.”

“My constantly-on-the-move 14-month-old son taking a beat and snuggling with me this morning.”

“My baby clapping.”

“Returning home.”

“I woke up to birds chirping this morning.”

“I’m five weeks pregnant today.”

“Eating the granola my mom makes and flies out to me or sends home with me every time I visit.”

“My 18 month old saying unprompted ‘I love mama.'”

“Sitting in direct sunlight while my tea brewed.”

“Sharing a Passover book with my infant son, even though he’s too young to understand it.”

What other good news can we publish today, whether literally (feel free to share yours in the comments!) or figuratively (leaning forward to appreciate something small and wonderful from your everyday life)?


+”I now believe that a woman of substance is someone so at ease with herself, she can give herself to others without self-diminishment or self-projection. She can be happy for friends, and sad for them, too, without losing anything of herself. She can listen without interjecting her own story; she can marvel without battling jealousy; she can endure unkindnesses without questioning herself. She does not need the last word, the biggest laugh, the adulation, the apology: she is full without the feedback. She stands still in her center.” More on this here.

+An envelope containing the world.

+Green flags. (The opposite of red flags.)

Shopping Break.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links below, I may receive compensation.

+The colors in this dress are joyful! Reminds me of a CeliaB, but under $200.

+PSA that Macy’s is offering 30% off RL polos and oxfords. I just stocked up for my son. I love the classic blue and white oxford stripe and bought him the next size up in that as well as a standard white oxford, and the polo in pale pink.

+J. McLaughlin has some amazing handbags out right now — this one reminds me of Marni, and this one reminds me of Ulla J. Love the blue!

+Had to have one of these scrunchies for summer. You know how I feel about their swimsuits…!

+Speaking of swim, the athletic wear brand Left on Friday just sent me a few of their swimsuits to try for summer! I can’t wait to wear. They have really fun mix-and-match tops and bottoms in great colors.

+Cara Cara has the most gorgeous new arrivals. This dress! And this one! The florals are so spectacular!

+A staple for bumped limbs/heads in our home — these “fix” everything!

+Sweetest summer dress for a little lady.

+It’s a bit of an eye sore, but this toy is a guaranteed hit with children.

+Has anyone tried Fair Harbor’s athletic wear? I think I might order these in the sailing stripe. I need some more all-purpose fitness shorts (not just for running) as we will be hiking quite a bit this summer.

+A chic, on-trend wedge sandal at a reasonable price.

+Zara score!

+My son requested red sneakers — he’s worn his NBs into the ground! — and I ordered him these. When I showed him the picture online, he was so excited, he ran around the house showing his sister, Mr. Magpie, and the nanny what they looked like!

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6 thoughts on “Publishing the Good News.

  1. Ooh, curious if you have tried the Fair Harbor shorts! To me they look very similar to Patagonia Baggies, which are my favorite all-purpose active shorts. Perfect for hiking, kayaking, etc! I have a pair of the regular Baggies in black and the “Barely Baggies” (shorter inseam) in navy and love both — the Barely Baggies aren’t too short for me at 39, either, prob bc I am short!


    1. I know several people who are determined devotees of baggies, including my husband! I hadn’t known about the barely baggies – worth looking into for Colorado hikes. Haven’t yet pulled the trigger on the FH shorts but very close to! Will report back!


  2. I’m going through what I believe will be one of the most stressful periods of my life (managing a parent with a degenerative condition who is transitioning into aged care), so this post is very timely – as I often find with your posts when I’m going through it Jen!

    I loved reading other’s good news, it gave me a boost. My other tactic (which, now I think of it, was also inspired by you) is to add to a Note titled ‘Glimmers’ on my phone. Every time my almost 4 year old boy does or says something cute, I add it to the note. My recent favourite? Him giggling with his hand over his mouth in disbelief at me mistaking Elsa for a princess – ‘she’s a Queen mama, not a princess!’

    1. Leigh, my heart goes out to you — I can’t imagine how difficult this time must be. Sending you love and support from this corner of the world. I love your glimmers note! Such a great, near-tactile way to capture the good news 🙂


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