Friday Five: Joy

My friend and fellow blogger, Mary Beth, accepted this challenge: “What’s the thing in your life that makes your heart sing? When do you feel most alive?” then threw down the gauntlet. Having rarely met the gauntlet I didn’t want to pick up, I  thought maybe I wouldn’t be able to come up with five, or at least five important things. But importance is relative, and my five came so easily I think I’ll be making a longer list, because it’s good and right to think of the joy in one’s life, when sorrow is far too easily found. So, here are my five and I encourage everyone to at least think about his or her own five (better yet blog about)  and share your joy with all of us.

1) Any conversation with my daughter, Charlotte. Text, phone, in person, it doesn’t matter, I just love how her mind works, her humor, compassion, passion, stunning intellect and most of all the compassion and love she has for me, whom she knows so well but loves anyway.

2) Any conversation with my husband, Paul. First, you should know that like my daughter, Paul is scary smart, an actual measurable genius and it always amazes me that either one of them hold my opinion in high regard, but they do.We do not always agree, but he always makes me think, and laugh, and we can disagree without causing harm to the other.

3) Any conversation with my BFF, John. He’s known me since we were 15 years old so yes, he knows where all the bodies are buried (helped me bury a few) and loves me anyway. A just noticed a recurring theme: he’s also scary smart and maybe helped prepare me for Charlotte and Paul.Pizza

4) Planning, shopping for, preparing and then watching people I love eat a wonderful meal. There is just nothing like it, watching people I love eat with relish (pun completely intentional) a meal I cooked for them. It’s perfection.

5) Working in Education, especially with teenagers, and this has nothing to do with my actual tasks. It has to do with occasionally being in the right place at the right time for a kid who needs someone. Holding a girl as she wept after being humiliated by her own mother, assuring her that she will rise above it; fighting the NCAA for scholarship money for an athlete; teaching a girl how to work through a phone system and get to a human, what questions to ask and what remedies to demand. Little things that aren’t in the classroom bailiwick, these are the things I teach.

What makes your heart sing? When do you feel most alive?

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