Jessie: In New Hampshire where most of the trees are bare and the birds have started prowling about the feeders.
Most of the time I think of myself as a fairly positive person. I prefer to look for the bright side of most situations and to strategize how to get there. But, I have to confess, it has been feeling like more of an effort than usual lately.
I don’t think it is just me. In fact, I am fairly certain that a general feeling of low-level meh is visiting most people that I know. It has occurred to me recently that some of the sparkle has gone out of my cider. But, like all of my sleuths, I am a person biased towards action
Last week during one of my morning thinking sessions I pulled out a notebook and started a list of things that are building blocks of joy for me. The list was as follows:
- Sleeping 7.5 + hours each night
- Walking outside daily
- Working up a sweat
- Throwing a party
- Enjoying a meaningful conversation
- Helping someone else to solve a problem
- Singing to my dog
- Creating something, even if it is just at the rough draft stage
- Reading something that is well written
- Eating foods that truly nourish me
- Writing a letter to a loved one
- Spending time in a sauna
- Bathing in the sea
The list is a good one, in my opinion. Any of the items do the trick. But that last one took on a whole new level of joy when one of my beloved sisters invited me to swim in Saco Bay, Maine, with her on Saturday. Yes, this past Saturday. As in the 11th of November.
I’m not going to lie; I was a bit worried. As much as I adore sea bathing I haven’t done so between October and May since I was a teenager. But, Larissa had been in several times over the last few weeks and assured me it would be a lovely experience. I agreed that it would at least be memorable. She provided scuba-type booties and mittens and I came prepared with my bathing suit, a towel, post-dip sweats, and a hat.
My sister recommended that we remain in the sea for at least 10 minutes. We managed 15. And we both submerged beneath the waves 3 times. I haven’t felt so alive in ages! All the way home I shivered and quaked and felt sparklingly invigorated. My car heaters were all cranked to maximum and it took the full hour drive back to get warmed through. But, it was worth it! In fact, I am looking forward to doing it again!
Readers, what is on your list of things that create joy? Have you ever gone swimming when the temperatures hover around 40? Do you like to swim in the sea