Grief is a funny thing, and I feel like an impostor. I know that my grief spilling over after a tragic week at work is only a tiny drop in the ocean of grief those parents and families are feeling right now. In a way, I'm grieving FOR the parents' loss much more than my own. On a larger scale, even these deaths are insignificant compared to tornado devastation in Alabama and even larger losses throughout the world due to weather, war, poverty, and disease.
Here's where I start to get overwhelmed. If I let myself, I will grieve for the world and try to carry it all in my heart. But not only is that impossible, it's impractical. It's wonderful to be aware of the larger world, but I am only one person. I can only help where I can, how I can. I can strive to make a world of difference to a few, or a tiny difference to the world. It's important to balance both of those desires, but right now, overwhelmed with circumstances close to me, I must chose the former: to make a difference to those around me. But to do that, I cannot draw within myself. That serves no one.
I know no list of joys can replace grief, but I found that making this list gave me some perspective in my own life. I highly recommend it. And on the larger scale, isn't it nice to celebrate things like royal weddings and victories in the war against terror alongside local disasters? (By the way, does anyone else imagine that maybe today is like the day baby Harry Potter shattered Voldemort and everyone was rejoicing? No? Just me?)
I digress. Here's my list:
1. Being there when a mom holds her baby for the first time
2. Being there when a dad holds his baby for the first time
3. Inadvertent newborn baby smiles
4. Genuine gummy older-baby smiles
5. A baby grabbing your finger and holding on tight
6. Hungry babies licking your neck or arm when you hold them
7. Babies who stop crying when you touch or hold them
8. Cookie dough
9. Warm cookies
10. Trying a new recipe and discovering that Ross and I both love it
11. Sushi! Particularly at Piranha Sushi in Sundance Square with good company.
12. The Reata... especially the jalapeno mac'n'cheese and dessert bread pudding tamales. And the bread basket. And the awesome "this is so typically Texan" atmosphere.
13. Del Frisco's cheesecake
14. Long runs on a trail. Namely, the Keystone or Trinity Trail.
18. Green things (to look at and to eat)
19. Farmer's markets
20. Free bread at Great Harvest
21. The smell of fresh bread
22. The smell of onions and garlic sauteing
23. Outdoor pools
25. Biking on a trail (so I don't have to worry about traffic)
26. Houses with yards and trees and gardens
27. The library
28. A good book
29. Real friends