For my final post on The Art of Simple, I thought that I would share what’s on my good list, a list of what’s making my life a little sweeter these days.
At the beginning of 2020, I started a page in my bullet journal labeled, “Yays.” It’s something I’ve done for several years.
Sometimes the label is “Wows” or “Whoas,” but this year it was “Yays.” The intent behind it is when I get to the end of the year, there will be a whole list of Yays to remember. (In hindsight, maybe the Yays should have been Whoas this year!)
Little did I know what 2020 would bring and how hard it would be to add to the Yays page. Everything has been canceled this year. But even though 2020 has happened, I have written down plenty of Yays.
Here are a few of our 2020 Yays:
- My father-in-law had two successful hip replacements
- Tygar graduated from high school
- All of our kids made the honor roll for the first time
- Eden had hip reconstruction surgery + is recovering well
- Gunnar has found a new hobby: live game streaming
- My visits to the Mayo Clinic have been helpful in my health journey
- My nephew came to visit for 17 days
- Outdoor dining at our favorite restaurant on Father’s Day
- Stone got his learner’s permit
- Greg had an unexpected job change, but the transition is going well
Consider this as an idea as you head into 2021. Keep track of your Yays throughout the year in your journal or in the notes app on your phone.
A habit that my family is going to instill this year is the practice of celebrating Advent.
During Tsh’s chat with Seth Haines in Episode 53 of The Good List she said, “Advent is an invitation to slow down, to remember that life is not about me and to actually enjoy the buildup to the fullness of the Christmas season.”
Now more than ever we need that reminder. To slow down and remember that Christmas isn’t just about one day. As a Christian, it’s a reminder that Christ has come, and will come again one day.
Some may argue that this is a tradition and not a habit. But habits can become traditions, right? I think so. At least that’s the hope I have for my family this season.
A Work of Art
One of my favorite books from my childhood is Watership Down, by Richard Adams.
Watership Down spurred my love of reading. Even though it’s a tale about rabbits, it is so much more than that. It’s about life, faith, community, friendship, adventure, family—of finding home amidst extreme circumstances—all in the setting of an idyllic English countryside.
I usually pick it up once a year and leaf through it and read a few pages here and there. The copy I have is held together with scotch tape.
A few of my favorite quotes that are applicable to what we’ve been living through this year:
“You know how you let yourself think that everything will be all right if you can only get to a certain place or do a certain thing. But when you get there you find it’s not that simple.”
“To come to the end of a time of anxiety and fear! To feel the cloud that hung over us lift and disperse—the cloud that dulled the heart and made happiness no more than a memory! This at least is one joy that must have been known by almost every living creature.”
(p.s. Last year, Netflix released a four-part series based on Watership Down. Have you watched it?)
My lap laptop desk. Don’t laugh. It’s amazing.
I don’t really have a desk in my home. Well, I do, but we “inherited” it from the previous owners of our house and it’s not really what I would pick for a desk. I use it sometimes, but my biggest issue is that I cannot sit in it comfortably and cross my legs.
I love a desk or a table where I can sit comfortably, and cross my legs if I need to without pushing back my chair.
Enter the lap laptop desk. I can have a desk anywhere now! To be completely honest, I have spent a lot of time working in my bed this year because of some health issues and working with a laptop on your lap isn’t ideal, plus it gets hot!
We purchased a similar one for my daughter a few months ago when she had hip reconstruction surgery when we knew that she would be attending her e-learning classes from her bed. It worked perfectly.
Tsh, thank you for the honor of working together and writing in this space for the past few years. Your generosity to share The Art of Simple with so many different writers and creators has been a blessing to so many.