100 Words: Gratuitous Joy

Tough week.

But not in the usual sense. I've been leading a rebranding initiative at work, and it's intense work. At the same time I've been establishing brand direction for my own consulting business which is also intense. This kind of work jazzes me, but now I'm feeling the burnout. The perfectionist streak running through me can get me in the most trouble when my passion for the outcome is high. I just need to step back from it now that the heaviest work is done--let things settle in the unconscious.

That and a good dose of sunshine which is long overdue in my little corner of the world.

Probably why this piece from ArcticWren stood out for me this week:

“It’s not about sustained happiness, not at this point,” she says, simply.

“What is it, then?” I prompt.

“It’s about recognizing moments.  Not hours, or days, or years, but moments that are… perfect.”

“Such as?”

“Moonlight glistening on newly fallen snow.  Lamplight caressing the curve of your daughter’s cheek as she concentrates on homework at the kitchen table.  Catching a whiff of bread baking as you drive with the windows rolled down.  Waking up to songbirds.”

She smiles.

“It’s in these moments of… of gratuitous joy – in these unlooked for, perfect moments – that we can know happiness.  And that’s enough.”


Moments of gratuitous joy...that's what I'll be paying attention to this upcoming week to bring me back in alignment. I hope you enjoy this passage of beauty. The word is:

The Leopard by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa


"The second lasted five minutes; then the door opened and in came Angelica. The first impression was of dazed surprise. The Salina family all stood there with breath taken away; Tancredi could even feel the veins pulsing in his temples. Under the first shock from her beauty the men were incapable of noticing or analyzing its defects, which were numerous; there were to be many forever incapable of this critical appraisal. She was tall and well made, on an ample scale; her skin looked as if it had the flavor of fresh cream, which it resembled; her childlike mouth, that of strawberries. Under a mass of raven hair, curling in gentle waves, her green eyes gleamed motionless as those of statues, and like them a little cruel."