Tag Archives: books

Playing Favorites

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Today is a good day for thinking warm thoughts and reflecting on things that make me happy. Part of being Joyful on Purpose is looking around and noticing the little things that make your everyday more delightful, the tiny details that make you smile. I have a lot of favorite things. Now, I will warn you that this list is not going to be nearly as impressive as Oprah’s and not a single one of you will be receiving these things as part of my virtual studio audience, but perhaps looking at them will cause you to look around your own room or house, or even your office, and notice the joyful things that surround you. Without further ado…

Purple is one of my favorite colors lately. It’s kind of funny because I loved purple as a child, but fell out of love with it as I grew older. Now it shows up everywhere for me. Hmm, could it be because it’s the color of royalty? 😉 Maybe. These pillows are on my bed and I love the colors and textures of them. They make great seating and good lap desks and, well, they are just pretty.

I love wine corks! I don’t care much for the new ones… the corks not made of cork. This is a love I cannot explain.

My modest collection of malas bring me joy. Each one has a different meaning and no matter what religious tradition you come from, you can find a purpose for malas. Count your blessings, repeat your mantras or affirmations, say your prayers, find your sense of calm. I’m especially fond of the one in the center because of the meaning of the beads and also because I appreciate and admire the person who gave it to me.

This is a small stone I picked up on a trip to the mountains. It’s a tiny reminder to me that I need to trust others and myself. It reminds me that things are going to be okay and I can trust my intuition.

I love my “not a bookshelf” and it’s ever-changing collection of books and treasures. I have things up there that remind me of trips I’ve taken, places I’ve lived, the losses and gains I’ve experienced, some simply wonderful reading material that makes me laugh, cry, and teaches me about myself and others, and my very favorite book of all time, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It’s also a great place for my sock monkeys to hang out. Maybe I talk to them… maybe they talk back!

Sharpies. Where do I begin in my declaration of love for Sharpies? I love everything about them from the array of colors to the fine point that grows fatter the more the marker is used. I like to write notes, draw pictures, sign cards and letters. Sigh… yes, I love you, Sharpies.

I also have a love for mini legal pads (which are technically not legal pads I guess). I love them so much I buy them in bulk. I think I like them because they are small, but look important! I also love Pilot G-2 pens. I go through two or three a month… yeah, I’m a little weird in my love for paper and writing instruments! Those little pens are the only ones allowed to grace the pages of my journals unless tragedy strikes and I’m outta ink.

This picture doesn’t mean I love clothes. I like them. I’m a supporter of wearing them. But what I do love is a closet that’s organized by color. Yeah, it’s pretty practical and that would be a word that describes me. But, to be honest, it just makes me smile when I open the closet and see that everything is where it should be, all the colors in order.

Finally, on this chilly Colorado day that began with a blanket of fresh snow on the ground, I absolutely love my apothecary jar filled with souvenirs from the sea. I love my tiny, perfect sand dollar, my pieces of coral, the shells I’ve collected and one or two I’ve purchased because they are too hard to find, and my little stone stingray that brings back memories of beaches, sand, salty water, and fresh tropical air. I’m content where I am right now, but I can’t help smiling when I recall the beautiful Florida coast and my beloved sea.

Look around you today and find the pieces of your world that bring you joy and happiness.

Favorites = Joy

Facing Fears and Letting the Rebel Win

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“Write a book!” they said. “Okay, I think I will!” I said. [insert sound of laughter] So, here the pages sit before me. 49,895 words that need to be edited and revised before the really serious writing begins.

I have been putting the project off for a while, not because I’m afraid to start or afraid to fail. Wait, that’s not true. That’s actually a whopper of a lie. I’m very afraid to start and exceedingly afraid of failing. But that’s not why I haven’t started. It’s because I’m about to relive 112 days that I never in my wildest imagination thought I’d experience. I’m about to put in all the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and words that I wasn’t able to say at the time and also the new revelations I’ve had since May 28th.

There are probably some rules written somewhere on the proper way to write a book: how to organize, schedule, write, edit, revise, edit again, etc. There are no doubt things I should do and things I shouldn’t do. And I’m one of those who would follow all the rules…normally. I adore a good schedule! I love a list of dos and don’ts! But this week I’ve been encouraged and dared to stop being practical, to challenge the way I think things should be done and follow my own way. So I sat down and had a conversation with myself (Practical Jacque and Rebel Jacque have interesting talks… Practical Jacque wins a lot; Rebel Jacque pouts a lot) about how I need to approach my project, my new baby. It began with Practical Jacque saying, “You’ve already got a blog. You don’t need to write a book, and what if no one buys it? What if you don’t even finish it? It’s going to take a lot of time and energy that could be spent elsewhere.” It ended with Rebel Jacque saying, “Shut up and write…” So, here it goes!

Today, do something impractical. Break your own rules (but not any laws, please… wink, wink). Follow your own dreams. Take a chance in even a little way. Face your fear of starting something by starting something! Face your fear of failure by failing and then starting over again!

Starts, Stops, and Failures = Joy

The Tattered Cover

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There are many ways to escape the hustle and bustle of life, wind down, and recharge. Two of those places, for me, are libraries and bookstores. I think I’ve been a bibliophile since the first time my mom ever read to me. I read more fiction than non-fiction, probably because I enjoy transporting myself to different times, places, and circumstances. I love the power of words on the page; some books have changed my way of thinking and one or two have likely saved my life.

The year before Jordan went to Kindergarten I set a goal to read 52 books in one year, specifically novels. We lived in Elizabeth, Colorado, which at the time had a very tiny library. Thankfully, the selection of novels was pretty good. When Jordan would nap or entertain himself with toys or play outside, I would crack open a book and read…read…read. Some books I could finish in one or two days, others like Alex Haley’s Roots, took a lot longer. I read books I didn’t like at all and books I loved so much I have read them again. I found authors I now love, such as Anna Quindlen and Jodi Picoult. I read books that made me laugh, get angry, and shed tears. That was a very good year.

Yesterday I drove downtown to visit the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver. It’s the kind of bookstore with old wooden shelves, hand-written signs, lots of comfy couches and chairs, and it’s filled with fellow bibliophiles. Unfortunately, it doesn’t house as many books as it has in the past, thanks to the digital age. I appreciate a good e-book that saves me shelf space and allows me to carry hundreds of books in my purse. There is even a great “go green” argument for going completely digital. But there is something special about holding a book in your hands, turning the pages, feeling the paper and smelling the ink. I’m one of those who dog-ears pages and when I re-read a book I find it interesting to see where I stopped before.

I spent over two hours at Tattered Cover, part of that time nestled in a corner on an old chair, flipping pages. I could have bought dozens of books, but walked away with just five. One of them is The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I’ve seen the movie, which was great, so I know the book will be even better. I picked up Thich Naht Hanh’s You Are Here about living in the present. In the travel section I grabbed Driving Mr. Albert, a memoir about the journey two men took with Albert Einstein’s brain in a Tupperware bowl. Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder has been on my wish list for months and there it was staring at me, begging to be purchased. I was too weak to refuse. The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho was my final choice. All I did was read the first sentence on the front flap of the dust jacket and I was hooked: “How do we find the courage to always be true to ourselves — even if we are unsure of who we are.” Five choices to add to the growing number of books I want to read. I just might shoot for 52 again.

When I left Tattered Cover, it struck me that I am kind of like a worn book myself. My cover has definitely been tattered over the last few months. There are moments that will always be like dog-eared pages and others that will be breaks in the spine, marking places or circumstances that left a deeper mark. There is a certain beauty in tattered covers though.  The edges are no longer crisp, they are rounded. The rough surface has been smoothed. A well-loved book has a softness to it. Lately…over the last five months in particular, I feel very well-loved and I hope it shows. I hope there is a softness to me, inside and out.

Tattered Covers = Joy