What is bringing you JOY?

Times just continue to be the most frustrating. Like, THE most frustrating. 

Several weeks ago I DVR’d The Country Music Awards show mostly to see T Swift perform. And finally, a week or so ago, with my coffee and before walking the dog, I watched a few minutes. I caught Tricia Yearwood sing “I’ll Carry You Home” for those in Country Music that have passed over the past year. (* please see link below of a version of the song. Not the one from the show, but please listen to this beauty…..)

Anyway, there I was. Sitting on the sofa in my walking clothes, coffee in hand and I cried. I cried and I cried. It had been a hot minute since I have had one of those self indulgent hard cries. Notably it was also the 1 year yarzheit (anniversary) of my Father’s passing, and I had spent the night before chatting with my beloved 1/2 brother, where love for one another was shared. But, despite the love fest and bonding, for a few minutes right there as my day was just beginning,  I felt hopeless. 

Hopeless. That’s a strong word. And, please do not think hopeless in the sense that I could EVER do self harm. No. Not that sort of hopelessness…..More like….Panic. Panic for our Country. Continued worry about the health of all in our country and worry about keeping “the VID” away from my family. Freak out about when our business will return to any normalcy. AND when Congress will pass a 2nd stimulus package, as if not, we are not sure what will happen. Supreme Court nominations… Overwhelmed by all the projects I have to do. How to grow our business into a new world sustainable one…..see….NOTHING small here. 

But then, as if this was not enough, a few hours later, driving down the highway with my #farmboy on our way to the farm, the tears hit me again. The snotty kind of crying. I just once again felt  such panic. 

Such a feeling of Doom. Frustration. Worry.

I have been leery to express any of this in front of my man as I do not want to cause him any more worry than he is already feeling.  So, I have purposefully kept myself busy with little projects to keep me out of his way. To keep me, well…to keep me busy. Organizing, cleaning, painting, exercising….I am not trying to push my feelings or emotions away…just trying to not focus on them. To not let them be all that consumes me. And, I have found that for me, staying physically active is the way. 

So, after my not 1 but 2 cathartic cries, there we were, the first morning at the farm…. I was drinking my green smoothie, having walked the dog. The morning was glorious….And, I felt a little more optimistic. I took a few pictures on my walk and I began to focus. And remind myself of what is bringing me some joy right now.

Mind you, I want nothing more than to just go back. Back to “before”….(hahahaha….BC has a new meaning to me with Before Covid!) Back to when we felt a little safer. Back to when RBG was alive. Back to when I did not have to worry about all of my people, nor wear a mask. Back to when I could hop on a plane and visit friends and family in Vermont. Back to when we were planning for this to be “our” year with all kids gone and off pursuing their passions and healthy,  and planning a trip together and buying a new car. Back to when we business was decent. Just back. But mostly, just back to not worrying so much.

But, seeing that time travel is yet to be possible whether forwards or backwards, I will have to settle for finding joy in the small, here and now moments. 

Sometimes it is my hot coffee in the morning, or my cold breakfast smoothie. Sometimes it is cleaning out and organizing a closet. Or, getting the veggie garden weeded. Talking to my daughter. Hugging my #farmboy. I am, throughout all of this, finding some return to creativity. Not my more forward thinking styling, but at least I am wanting to create. And, that in and of itself is bringing me a little comfort, and a little happiness.

But, I do know one thing to be true…. that sitting still and not doing something, anything is my certain undoing.

Knowing and understanding a few of these things is comforting, but I must say I am still very confused. Bewildered. Torn.

And here I have to pause and ask you, my friend…are you anything like me? Are you a ball of confusion too? Filled with internal struggle and duality? For example:

One minute I am saying…”I am NOT going to drink too much through out all of this chaos. I am going to make healthy choices.” And an hour later I think I am just going to drink my way through all of this noise and stay numb until we are out of all of this…

One minute I am saying…”I am going to fight this nasty business of aging hard core. Every step. Just FIGHT like hell.” And, and hour later I am thinking this is life, just roll on with it and enjoy living and stop fighting what you can not honestly control.

I have often teased that I am a Taurus/Gemini, having been born on the cusp between the two,  and that makes me a bull headed twin. So, I am no stranger to duality, being a “twin”, and a strong willed one at that. I can see and feel both sides of any story. But, this year, and these circumstances ,are killing me. KILLING ME.

As I mentioned, I have, throughout all of this, continued to keep myself busy. First it was deep cleaning and trying new recipes using items we had at home. Then it was organizing. Now I am on to craftier pursuits, as well as repainting and reorganizing laundry rooms and bathrooms. 

I am funneling all of my funds towards these efforts mostly as a way of staying sane. Purchasing nothing directly for myself. I am no longer spending money on my rosacea friendly eye cream, my organic body wash, my Aveda shampoo. Instead, using my resources to making our surroundings softer and more livable. 

I am finding the time to walk our new rescue pup twice a day and trying to fit in exercise everyday, even if all I can grab is 20 minutes. 

The joy I am finding throughout all of this IS that I actually find pleasure in returning to the simpler things. I am not a glamour girl. I am not a designer babe. I have always followed my own style path, but it is easy to get used to fairly regular manicures and pedicures, and going to get my brows done. But, throughout all of this, a return to the simpler life, where I do for myself or go without is a breathe of fresh air. NOW, if only that air also came with security for our business and for our health and that of our loved ones.

But, I am missing my people. My kid. My “sister”. My girl in Cali. I am missing feeling free to welcome in all our kids without any worry. I want to travel to Vermont and see my mom and my friends. I want to go to Cincinnati and see family. I want fun. I want to stop worrying. And to stop feeling anxious. 

I am somewhat of a control freak. And this has me out of control. Our personal world is wacked. Our country is wacked. The world…wacked. I can not take any more of all of this. 

And, just when I feel joy, hopelessness creeps in. And then, when I am feeling hopeless, joy creeps in. 

I am working hard to cling to joy. 

So, JOY I keep looking for. I am starting to find my way back to creating. It is slow. And it is definitely baby steps. But out of ashes is a bit of creativity and rebirth. 

Joy in talking to my kid daily. Joy in having “our” youngest home with us alone, as we have never had one on one with him. Joy in nature. Joy in my surroundings. Joy in my partner and our life and our health.

What about you? PLEASE fill me in. What is filling you with joy? with hope? with love? Do you know of people doing caring things? Lifting people up? Tell me stories of goodness you have encountered. Fill my heart with stories of good health. Whisper sweet stories of fun and adventure in to my soul.

Because you, and your stories of living through the middle of all of this, will bring me great joy.

Mad love all.


  1. Finally put on my big gurl pants and made Virtual Zumba with Lisa a reality. Not without some serious pull out your hair technical struggles I must say. If Cruser can’t make it over the mountain or through the mountain then she finds a way to go around the mountain. Week 2 of virtual Zumba with Lisa is coming tomorrow. I find it feeding my soul deeply. Keep feeding your soul and I’ll see you on the the other side of “Covidworld”. Cruser luvs APD – smooch


    1. Lisa, first of all, you bring so much joy to so many with your smile and your energy! So, thank you! Congrats on figuring the new world out and making it happen! YOU are a rock star! Much love!


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