Several years ago, I wrote about searching for “slices of joy” in my daily life, quoting:
“Happiness doesn’t have to be a constant overarching feeling. It can come as sweet, short moments throughout your day.”
A couple of slices of joy I’ve been savoring recently:
+The way Tilly “hugs” me by resting her head against my face and leaning her weight onto my body every night. Dog love is real.
+The discovery that “One Fine Day” is streaming on HBOGo — one of my all-time favorite romcoms. It hadn’t been available for rent or purchase on any streaming network for so, so long. Is it embarrassing to note that I owe many of my #momgoal aspirations to Michelle Pfeiffer’s character in this movie? (N.B.: Michelle Pfeiffer is #goals in general…). When she retrieves a blueberry muffin from her bag, Mary Poppins-style, I remember thinking, even as a self-absorbed teen: “I want that to be me one day — prepared, nurturing, organized.” I despise the word “cozy” but this movie is just that — a warm hug on a rainy day. (May I also recommend any Nancy Meyers or John Hughes movie as welcome, life-affirming distraction?)
+The smell of coffee in the morning.
+The fact that children’s enrichment programs are offering free, online music and dance classes — we’ve done Dance with Miss Rachel, Jamming with Jamie, Ramblin’ Dan via Union Square Play, and Cosmic Kids Yoga, making donations to support the performers where appropriate. I bring out this bag of percussion instruments and both children are happily engaged for a little pocket of time — micro loves the egg-shaped shakers and mini goes wild on the whistles (yikes).
+We’ve also been tuning into this old Raffi concert on YouTube, and it’s distinctly possible that I enjoy it more than the children, though they rock out, too. A classic for a reason. His voice is chicken soup for the 1980s-born soul.
+The smell of freshly-bathed babies. (Still use this classic.)
+Daily FaceTime sessions with siblings and friends. We’ve had a lot of good laughs together.
+Eating dinner on the floor, around our coffee table (currently on sale!), at night, which has the vague feeling of trespass that building forts in the living room or “camping out” in the basement used to when I was a child.
+Making banana bread with Emory.
+Mr. Magpie learning to play “Baby Shark” on mini’s prized recorder.
+Watching “Seinfeld” before bed. Though we’ve seen every episode countless times, the “Phone Message” one had us laughing so hard we could hardly breathe on Friday night.
+Cooked-from-the-heart, rib-sticking classics like Anthony Bourdain’s Braised Pork Shoulder with Fried Shallots and Quick Pickles (from his Appetites cookbook, which is excellent), which we serve over huge, satisfying mounds of Jasmine rice. Note: it is a lot of up-front work for Mr. Magpie, but then we batch and freeze leftovers to enjoy over the weeks to come. (Incidentally, this most recent batch led Mr. Magpie to decide we need to upgrade our rice cooker. I didn’t even know rice cookers existed until Mr. Magpie brandished his when we moved in together. We still have the same one — and I believe his was manufactured in 1962? It consistently burns the bottom of the pot into a brown layer of impossible-to-scrub-off rice and does not yield particularly fluffy results but it had not dawned on either of us that an upgrade might work wonders. Though I should add that I am still, ten years into our marriage and my discovery of aforementioned rice cooker, delighted by its ease of use — so much so that we have afforded it carefully guarded cabinet space in our Manhattan apartments. At any rate, he is debating between a Cuckoo and a Zojirushi. Both are hideous in my opinion but consistently top-ranked.)
+Realizing I’ve crossed the threshold into being able to make one meal for both of my children — micro now more or less eats everything mini does, just diced into smaller pieces. It is such a relief and simplifier! These plates and these small bowls are still my absolute favorite. Both are dishwasher and microwave-safe. The “wells” of the plates are deep so you can serve things like applesauce, yogurt, soup, cereal, etc without an issue — and the bowls are the perfect child size for snacks.
+This performance of “Lost Stars” (from the lovely movie “Begin Again”). I can’t hear it without remembering this one night my best friend visited me in Chicago and we turned this song up to the loudest decibel and went cruising around the city, singing at the top of our lungs, windows down. The best feeling.
+The scent of these dryer sheets.
+Mini’s excitement decorating Amazon boxes with these dot markers.
+Blasting ’90s pop during happy hour. “My Pony,” anyone?
+Online shopping, where not a day goes by that another incredible sale/discount does not materialize…a few of my favorite finds/scores, several of them from small businesses:
THIS PIMA PLAY DRESS (30% OFF AND FREE SHIPPING WITH CODE BRIGHTEN)
50% OFF THESE PRECIOUS JAMMIES (DISCOUNT AUTOMATICALLY APPLIED)
NOT ON SALE BUT I MUST OWN THIS DRESS
$5 LEGGINGS — LOVE THE LEMON PRINT
10% OFF THE INCREDIBLE HOME DECOR SHOP ST. FRANK (RUN BY MY GIRLFRIEND CHRISTINA), PLUS 10% OF PROCEEDS GO TO FEED AMERICA. I LOVE THESE THROWS (PERFECT GIFT) AND WOULD LOVE ONE OF THEIR FRAMED OTOMIS
What slices of joy are you enjoying right now? Please share in the comments! Would love to appreciate your joy vicariously.
P.S. Have you had the wherewithal to read? I will admit I’ve not read a page in weeks, in part because I am very busy with the children and in part because I am craving a different, less active kind of distraction these days. Recs please!
P.P.S. Nothing and everything.
P.P.P.S. My other heartbeat.