Dear People’s people,

During the service on November 15, I told a story of how my friends supported me through post-partum depression by sending me lists of things that bring them joy. Not all of their sources of joy worked for me, but the act of trying to find joy was valuable. In the service, I asked you to share things that bring you joy so that we all might have a list of things to try when we feeling low. Here is what you wrote:

  • Houseplants,
  • vanilla anything,
  • baking for friends,
  • journaling,
  • fresh coffee,
  • strong winds,
  • crisp air,
  • Beatles music,
  • date night,
  • planning my garden,
  • cuddling,
  • singing,
  • talking politics,
  • blooming flowers,
  • wading in a creek,
  • Animal Crossing,
  • Beethoven,
  • Kleinstuck Preserve,
  • a warm cup of tea,
  • listening to Rachel,
  • birdwatching,
  • dance parties with kids,
  • Pride and Prejudice,
  • the smells of cooking,
  • games with loved ones,
  • grandchildren,
  • children’s laughter,
  • Zoom exercise classes,
  • coloring,
  • Winnie the Pooh,
  • petting my cat,
  • carrot pudding,
  • being with children,
  • walking my dog,
  • nature walks,
  • Facetime games,
  • disc golf,
  • my family cooking,
  • family game night,
  • hard weather walks,
  • singing Hall & Oates,
  • Facetime silly effects,
  • chocolate malt ice cream,
  • talking to my adult child,
  • holding my beloved’s hand,
  • listening to my favorite music,
  • walking in the woods,
  • completing projects,
  • smiling,
  • dogs,
  • training rescue horses,
  • The Battle for Christmas,
  • running,
  • video games,
  • chocolate,
  • backrubs,
  • kimchi,
  • baking bread,
  • playing music,
  • reading Rumi’s poems,
  • Last Tango in Halifax,
  • walks with my children,
  • watching live concerts online,
  • The Great British Baking Show,
  • sunshine,
  • Zoom,
  • snacks,
  • baking,
  • hugging my partner,
  • moon and star gazing,
  • exercising,
  • walking with my husband,
  • the smell of cinnamon,
  • puppies,
  • cuddling cats and dogs,
  • Zoom calls with my children,
  • cooking soup for family,
  • plants,
  • the Hamilton cast album,
  • coffee,
  • learning a new skill from Youtube,
  • making someone smile,
  • drawing,
  • Lord of the Rings,
  • snuggling animals,
  • playing Roblox,
  • family connections,
  • fresh vegetables,
  • stretching,
  • ‘70s music,
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young,
  • tall evergreen trees,
  • Tana French books,
  • kids dancing,
  • making a big fort,
  • ginger,
  • folding origami peace cranes,
  • watching the clouds,
  • breakfast,
  • cooking for someone,
  • reading the Enola Holmes books—all six,
  • the smell of Lowe’s,
  • making a painting,
  • fresh snow on the trees,
  • singing along with Lido Shuffle,
  • movies,
  • eating candy,
  • working in the garden,
  • sending and receiving snail mail letters and cards,
  • Aquarius / Let the Sun Shine In,
  • talking to friends,
  • reading a cozy mystery,
  • playing with art materials,
  • drawings and colorings from children,
  • pictures of my great-nephew, hiking,
  • the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency mysteries,
  • making Bravo’s mushroom soup,
  • planting bulbs,
  • reading to children,
  • Queen Victoria’s Grandchildren,
  • books by Jasmine Guillory,
  • making pottery,
  • a weighted blanket,
  • Schitt’s Creek,
  • Grace and Frankie,
  • Plainwell Ice Cream,
  • the smell of a snowy day,
  • making masks,
  • children’s One Voice choir singing ‘Memory,’
  • helping my neighbors,
  • making a snowman,
  • the smell of line dried clean clothes,
  • naps,
  • packing for a trip to any mountains,
  • Yoga with Adriene YouTube videos,
  • stitching,
  • baby goats,
  • People’s karaoke,
  • watching gardens grow,
  • hearing a beloved’s voice,
  • reading Thich Nhat Hanh,
  • playing games online,
  • drawing,
  • and buttered toast.

I am planning to keep this list close in the coming months. When I am feeling low or despairing, I will look at this list, pick something accessible to me to try and see if it brings me joy too. Even if it doesn’t, the effort will help me feel more connected to our community.

Take good care, everyone,
Rachel

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