The Joy List
Today I was walking around my neighborhood and came across a house that was fully decked out for Halloween. It was the whole shebang: cobwebs on the fence, skeleton ghost in the tree, and a black cat on the front door. I couldn’t help but think – isn’t it a little too soon?
Of course, my opinion doesn’t matter on the issue because this family decided that it was time for Halloween and I’m sure the decorations are making them happy. It’s not immoral (I don’t think?) to start celebrating Halloween 7 weeks early. But it got me thinking: what kinds of changes can I make to bring a little more joy into these cookie cutter quarantine days?
About a year ago, I created a “joy list,” and today after seeing the Halloween decorations, I whipped it out. This list is packed with activities that bring me joy in a pinch. Here’s a snippet:
– Sing and play guitar
– Take a bath
– Read outside
– Send a card to a friend
– Go on a podcast walk
– Make a Nespresso latte
– Listen to praise music and pray
It goes on and on… It’s so simple, but most importantly, this list is a tool. I can whip it out when I need a little pick-me-up, when I feel bored or tired or overwhelmed or just a little listless.
Now is the time for a joy list. Maybe putting up Halloween decorations is on yours. I have a friend who shamelessly put her Christmas tree up last weekend. Maybe it’s renting a car and going for a long drive. Maybe it’s splurging on fancy ingredients and cooking a big dinner. What is something that’s a little out of the ordinary that can bring you joy?
It’s funny how the smallest things can make the biggest difference. These past five months have led us into our own routines, and I’ve been challenging my new habits bit by bit to increase the joy and keep life exciting.
Reply to this email and let me know how you’re bringing a little joy into your daily routine!
- Really looking for a reset? Check out our free five-day Work Life Email retreat! It’s the best way to reset your faith, work, and life.
- I was so excited to hear all the feedback on the Weekly Review Guide – the same document I use every single week to track my faith, work, and life. Download it for free here!
What we’re loving lately (on the blog and beyond!)
- This video is SO ridiculously funny that I spammed my text list this week because everyone has to see it. Basically, this guy “Kenny Strasser” pretended to be a yo-yo master and booked himself on every morning show in Wisconsin, then went onto the news live and well… it was a calamity. It’s very “The Office” humor, so if that’s not your speed you won’t like it (he actually got hired to play Nate on the final season because of these pranks) but if you like The Office and uncomfortable humor, then join me in cracking up.
- Each month, I pick a virtue to focus on, and this month the virtue is Trust! I’ve prayed one line of this Litany every day and it’s been so good. God is good!
- This was a riveting two-part series from The Daily on cancel culture – it’s origin, the implications and where it’s going next. I thought it was fascinating!
- Follow us on instagram and meet our writers – I’ll be highlighting a few of them each week.
Speaking of writers…
- Please lift up Kelly Madden up in prayer as she is getting MARRIED this Saturday! May God bless Kelly and Mark and their families as they celebrate the sacrament of matrimony. You are so loved!
- My friend, Joy, sent me this yesterday and wow it hit my heart. I encourage you to read this beautiful reflection, sent out by Notre Dame, on The Rich Young Man.
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Have something you’re loving that you want to share with us? Respond to this email!
Liturgical Living with Gabriela R. A. Doyle
- On August 21, 1879, Our Lady of Knock (in Ireland) appeared alongside St. Joseph, Jesus, St. John the Baptist, and a lamb surrounded by angels. It is the only shrine in the world where the Lamb of God has appeared. Learn more about the apparition here and pray to Our Lady for healing from coronavirus.
- August 22 is the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, her coronation day after she was assumed. Pray the Glorious mysteries of the rosary (the fifth Glorious mystery is her coronation), and if you have a statue of Mary in your home, make her a little crown out of a special bracelet you have or other household materials. (Then maybe watch The Princess Diaries.)
As my newsletter girls, you’re the inner circle so naturally you’re the first to know…
I’m offering my career coaching program for beta members!
This isn’t just ordinary career coaching, because we have something incredible important in common: we both know that our job can’t and won’t fulfill us, because our ultimate desire is heaven. But that doesn’t mean that God wants you to sit around in a miserable job until you get there!
I’ve worked with women for years to help them get unstuck, and now I’m opening up coaching to the public for the first time! Together, we’ll evaluate where you are today, explore your gifts and long-term goals, and craft a brand that speaks to who you are and what you have to offer. We won’t just develop a plan – we’ll make it happen.
Whether you’re looking for a new job, stuck at a crossroads, or just want more out of where you are, I’ll help you take action and move forward in confidence. Learn more and sign up here.
That’s it for this week. God bless you – get out there and be bold in your life!
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Jane Kennedy lives in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and works in criminal justice reform. When she’s not working or writing, she’s probably catching up with friends on FaceTime, getting lost in Rock Creek Park, quoting C.S. Lewis, or trying to recreate Salt and Straw ice cream at home.