We’ve all got them – those places that we go to feel better. The book that sits on the nightstand and gets reread, that song that gets repeated over and over and over again on the iPod, or that pair of jeans with the holes in the knees that we’ve been wearing since high school. There’s something so comforting about taking ourselves to that special place that reminds us of who we are, what we truly love, and allows us to just kick back and be ourselves.
Not that everything is “OLD” – sometimes you discover a NEW book or song that takes you to a very special place and either inspires, comforts, or gives you the feeling like it’s a part of YOU. Perhaps it’s a temporary favorite. It doesn’t matter, it’s about feeding yourself with ideas, inspiration, memories or whatever you NEED.
So….here is a partial list that brings joy to my life (in no particular order).
1. Striped boatneck shirts – I have a closet that’s FULL of them. From LL Bean to Zara, some bought at Sam’s Club and other’s in beautiful shops in Paris. I’ve been wearing this style as long as I can remember. It’s part of my uniform (more on my uniform in a bit).
2. Patti Smith – in some odd way, I’ve always identified with this amazing poet and songstress. Her written word inspires me, her songs make me want to sing along and dance, and the glimpses that I’ve gotten of her life seem to be so similar to my own.
3. Paris – In 1972 I made my first pilgrimage. I spent 3 months living in a dirty suburb of the most magical city in the world. I went with $100 in my pocket, a job teaching dance in the basement of a church, and dreams of living there. As you know, I get back as often as I can. If I had to choose ONE PLACE that defines HOME to me – it would be in the Marais – in Paris. The one place that I feel completed whenever I return.
4. Books by Bob & Melinda Blanchard – I used to be a self-help junkie, until I realized that I had all of the help right here. I tend to live my life “off the cuff” and whether good or bad, it’s who I am. One minute I’m making dinner at home and the next I’m tasting Sherry in Spain. I’ve found it so important to go after what you love in life, and NOT TO PUT IT ON HOLD UNTIL….(fill in the blank). That’s just what the Blanchard’s did and their books are inspirational for anyone who believes in living the life you’ve always dreamed of. They are truly Champagne Living.
5. My gold hoop earrings – they are simple, elegant, and the last gift my dad gave me before he passed away. When I wear them I feel as those he’s right there whispering in my ear, you’ll see me in them almost all of the time.
6. Friends & Family – I count myself as very lucky to have the most wonderful friends and family in the world. People whom you can share your joy as well as your misery with. People who don’t judge but simply say things like “so…what have you learned from that?” or who are ready to drop whatever they are doing and have lunch at a ridiculously expensive restaurant and share the cheapest thing on the menu (just to be there), or just go shopping at the same outlet store three days in a row. You know who you are and I THANK YOU for being my friend.
7. Champagne Living – I was retired before starting this blog, and sat down at my computer one day with no particular roadmap and just began typing on blogger. What I wanted from the site was merely to have a hobby, hone my writing skills, and see what all the blogging fuss was about – what I got was an outlet to share my lifestyle, wonderful new friends (including my readers), a business, and opportunities that I’d never have dreamed of when I began.
8. Scarves – I know this sounds silly, but I love tying them in all sorts of creative ways. I’ll wear them on my neck, waist, or around my hips. I’ll drape them simply across my neck, or tie them in intricate designs depending upon my mood. They’ve been a signature of mine since the 60’s and have remained such. I have a beautiful old picnic hamper on the floor of my closet that’s stuffed tightly with more scarves than I care to admit.
9. Dancing when no one’s looking – It’s who I am and what I do. I went to college for dance, toured in dance companies before becoming an actress (and later on going into the restaurant business with my husband), and even after leaving the world of performance I would dance as a hobby. It was cut short in 1998 when I had an accident that left me unable to walk. I had been told that I’d have to live the rest of my life either in braces or a wheelchair, but thanks to my dance background I walk and live without either of those, and used dance along with my surgeries and physical therapy to heal myself. While I may never jeté across a stage again, I can twirl to my hearts content in my living room.
10……this spot is reserved for future joy. You are welcome to park here and enjoy your life, just leave enough room and share your joys in the comments below.
Debra Oehlberg says
What brings me joy is enjoying the things I can’t through others. Seeing photos of exotic vacations on FB, how other people are crafty, parties people are attending, inspirational charity activities…makes me happy for them and inspires me to do better, as well.
Marcie W. says
I love your list Zippy! My joys are homemade cheesecake, my kids’ intense laughter, strong coffee, and my memory foam bed.
What a great post. Usually people talk a lot about what’s bothering them, it’s always refreshing to find a post about joy 🙂
April Decheine says
Love my Gold Hoops, Love my scarves, I am always buying a vintage scarf at the many antique shops we like to frequent. I love my mens white button down oxford that I wear over leggings, not so much in public recently but the style I figure is always in. Very Doris day, Jane Fonda, Audrey Hepurn ish 🙂
Paris is on my list of places to travel. Can’t wait to see it some day – hopefully with the right guy. I’ll keep dreaming!
Crystal @ Simply Being Mommy says
I love this post, Zippy. It just lets me know a little bit more about you.
BTW, so jealous of Paris. I wanna go so bad.
April – I used to look for the PERFECT shirts in the men’s department…just the right length, slightly fitted and french cuffs. We must dress similarly.
I go almost every year (and when I have the money I try to go twice a year). I’ll end up living there someday. I know the city so well that I’ve thought about putting together trips for girlfriends. I know most of the street markets & food vendors, the best places to shop (for less of course) and the wonderful restaurants that the guidebooks never tell you about. Oh & I have a list of landlords who’ll rent an apartment for the week for the price of ONE NIGHT in a hotel in the BEST neighborhoods.
Don’t wait. You can always go back again with the guy. Do it ASAP!
Thanks! Complaining is for a quick girlfriend’s telephone call, the internet is for celebrating!
Ooohhh….strong coffee and homemade cheesecake. What a great combination.
I haven’t found my ONE PLACE yet. I hope I do someday. I dance like a fool, whether people are around or not makes no difference. I have no fashion sense whatsoever so scarves, shirts, and accessories are outside my knowledge realm. I love that you reserved the last spot. Always room for future joy.
Love your list! Think I’ll wear my (white) gold hoops today. 🙂
I love that – so, you’re sparked by new things!
Now you’ll be thinking of them as they tickle your neck.
Billie – perhaps your “one place” is where you are RIGHT NOW – or maybe it will be so unexpected that you have a HUGE aha! moment the minute you find yourself there.
LOL – fashion sense is not sensible at all. I figure that we’re just a canvas for clothes, makeup, etc. Since YOU’RE the artist whatever appeals to you (looks, comfort, etc.) is RIGHT.
Great list – family and friends are the number one thing that gives me joy.. then chocolate 😉
What a great list! So many people dwell on bad things that it is nice and refreshing to read a list of good things. I always love playing songs on repeat, making them my ringtone…just surrounding myself in fun music 🙂
Virginia from That Bald Chick says
What a great list!
Really nice list!
I have never been in Paris… and i hope that i will go someday…
Ty @ Mama of 3 Munchkins says
What a wonderful list!
Ashanti Guenther says
Thanks so much for considering my bathroom shelves a highlight! Made my day. 🙂