Thursday, August 25, 2016

Small Joys: volume 25

This week I started my second year of grad school at the IU School of Nursing.  Per usual, I'm sitting here writing a blog post instead of doing an assignment.  I've learned something about myself while juggling the duties of my job, school, being a wife, caring for our home, and raising a puppy.  What I've learned is that I can't really do my best work if I don't give time for my creativity, and many times that comes through the time I spend writing in this space.  This week I have some especially small joys that have made me week so lovely.

No. 1: Extra long PJs.  As a 5'9" woman, I have long struggled to find PJs that are an adequate length.  I don't like PJ pants that skirt my ankles and look like capris.  I want long PJs that drag on the floor and cover my toes.  And the only way I've been able to obtain those in recent years has been by wearing yoga pants to bed or by buying PJ pants that are too large in the waist in order to gain greater length.  In any case, I was browsing at Target today and found THE PERFECT LONG PJ PANTS.  See them here.  They don't look impressive in the photo but they are oh-so-soft and SUPER long.  I'm considering buying them in several colors because I have finally found the song of my people.  Or the PJs, at least.

No. 2: Volcano candles.  Would you ever expect yourself to pay $28 for a candle? No? Me neither.  But I did.  I had a birthday coupon from Anthropologie and decided to purchase said $28 candle for a birthday present to myself last April.  I've never been more pleased with a candle.  Check out the Volcano Capri Blue candle for a long-lasting, indulgent buy that will be sure to make your home smell like an Anthro store as soon as you walk in.

Image source: Anthropologie

No. 3: Sugar Paper office supplies.  Ok I know that it appears that all of my joys are material things this week... but I'll make up for it another week when I'm broke from my $28 candle and my Target PJs.  Sugar Paper is one of my favorite stationary companies, and they came out with a line for Target a few years ago.  This year, they did a larger line with Target that included some really cute office supplies (usually they do planners and notebooks).  Today I scooped up some Sugar Paper file folders and can not wait to use them for school! 

Image source: Target

No. 4: Being a TA!  I don't know if I've communicated this well or not, but in addition to pursuing my dream of writing and publishing my Small Joys book, I also very much desire to move away from bedside nursing to get involved in the world of academics.  I aspire to be an instructor in a nursing program, and with little experience teaching, I've wondered how I would get there.  I accepted a position as a TA for a Nursing Theory class this fall and am WAY excited to get my feet wet with the course.  

No. 5: The 'Happier' Podcast.  I just recently got into podcasts and am so sad that I did not discover these sooner! I now listen to Gretchen Rubin's Happier podcast every morning while I'm getting ready, and I usually squeeze in another episode while I am on my way to work.  I enjoy listening to the healthy habits and strategies that Gretchen and her sister, Elizabeth recommend in order to pursue a happier life.  I'm more into self-help things like this than I would care to admit, and this podcast nourishes me so very well in so many ways.  I would love to start my own "happiness project" like Gretchen did for her book, but I think instead, I'll embark on a smaller journey, adopting a few healthy habits that I've already long-desired to incorporate into my life.  

No. 6: Hand lettering.  I am super stoke to take a Modern Calligraphy course with my best friend and mother-in-law in two weeks in Wilmington, NC when I head home for a couple of weeks.  I'm VERY much looking forward to this course that will be taught by a friend I used to work with in NC.  I've been watching YouTube videos and practicing some hand lettering on my own, but it will be nice to have a more formal class.  

No. 7: A Pending Trip Home.  As mentioned above, I'm preparing for a 2 week vacation beachside in North Carolina.  I'm super thrilled to introduce Doc to the beach and the ocean, and I'm way excited for all of the lovely things I crave about home when I'm not there.  This trip is giving me motivation to plow through the first few weeks of school so that I can fully enjoy this beach trip and time with family/friends.  

No. 8: A Conversation with a Stranger.  I was getting my new glasses at the eye doctor yesterday when a man sitting beside me in the waiting room starting making conversation.  He started talking to me about his mother's death and how he had been her caregiver for four years while she suffered from lung cancer.  He talked about how his identity was changing now that he wasn't a caregiver and how he was just starting to learn about his place in the world now that she wasn't here.  I felt teary inside but didn't want to cry in front of this stranger.  It brought back so many memories of my grandmother as she suffered through breast cancer, and I felt intense sorrow for this poor man.  Yet, he had so much joy and such great perspective on how his life was moving forward now.  I left feeling touched by this conversation and hopeful for the life that is waiting for him.  I'm so glad for friendly, extroverted people who break me out of my little introvert shell.

No. 9: Little Doc.  He may make this list every week.  Doc has been extra snuggly since I started school and does not like that I have to focus on reading pharmacology textbooks instead of playing with him.  He makes me laugh almost every day and has made our house a little lighter than it used to be.  

No. 10: A best friend weekend.  My childhood best friend flew up here to hang out with me last weekend, and we had just the best time.  We drove to Columbus, OH for the Belong Tour with some of our favorite Christian women.  I was introduced to the incredible Angela M. Davis whose workout video I will surely be purchasing as soon as it comes out.  I heard necessary words from Shauna Niequist, my favorite author of all time.  I laughed while Jen Hatmaker quipped about different things that were just hilarious coming from her mouth.  I fell in love with Nichole Nordeman's voice and the equally amazing music of Johnnyswim.  Alex and I spent Sunday bopping around Indy and eating at some of my favorite places.  She's joining me for beach trip 2016 in a couple of weeks and I can hardly even stand the wait!  

That's all for this week.  Still to come: Needtobreathe this weekend, a 3 day weekend, reading more in a book for fun, and a taste of fall weather.  So many good things.  

Lots of love,

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