J is for Joy

Rainbow made of patchwork squares cut up but not sewn

Not being able to think of anything good for the letter J, I asked the Facebook hivemind. Thanks to Angie and Sue for “Joy” and no thanks to the rest of you for being ridiculous. 

The timing of this post is interesting. To me, anyway. Not that long ago I realised I struggle with happiness and enjoyment as these things are strongly linked in my mind with shame and embarrassment. Which is not to say I’m never happy, or never enjoy anything. I do, many things, but there’s always the underlying feeling of wrongness. I don’t feel that I deserve joy or pleasure, so when I experience them I get a burst of shame and self consciousness.  This is probably better explored somewhere that isn’t my blog, but it’s been an interesting realisation and explains why I try so hard to remove myself from things I really love to do. Funny old things, brains.

The past year has been quite confronting on the “having a nice time” front. Can you confront a front? I just did, rules be damned. The almost literal explosion in my social life, the fact I can almost play a proper chord on a uke now if you don’t look too closely, travel, crafting – it’s been a good year and yet I still sit around and think “I don’t deserve this”. Shut UP, brain. So, while I poke my brain with a pointy stick and shout at it, here’s some things that bring me a lot of pleasure in life. Some of these will become, or already are, posts in the Alphabet thing. Consider this both a best of, and a preview.

I’ve already written about my beloved and slightly odd dogs, but all dogs are pretty much my favourite dogs. Mostly. I’m not a huge fan of Pugs, but it’s not their fault they happened I suppose. Dogs are awesome. They’re so dog like, it’s wonderful. The hound just walked in, stared at me, blinked and wandered off and I was delighted. When a dog likes me, I feel like I’ve won at life.

I sew a lot. Mostly I make Morsbags – free reusable shopping bags made out of scrap and recycled fabric. These are a joy to make, hugely satisfying. They’re even more fun to give away, I like a random act of kindness. I also make soft toys for funsies and occasionally skirts. I’m not a brilliant seamstress (not even in the Discworld sense), but dammit I’m enthusiastic. Just don’t ask me to set a sleeve because you’ll end up with three sleeves and none of them will come off the shoulders. The image at the top of this post, because I needed an image for this post, is the patchwork squares I cut for a skirt I’m making. I have a craft blog if you’re interested.  Yes, that’s two blogs I barely update…

I started taking ukulele lessons in January 2015, thinking it was about bloody time I did the thing I’d been thinking of doing. Turned out to be quite a good life choice as I get to spend a couple of hours on a Tuesday night with the most marvelous bunch of nutters I ever did meet. I knew a few of them before, sort of a bit. Considering I only really left the house for festivals I didn’t get to know anyone much. Now I have all these people to love, it’s brilliant. And I do love them, dearly. Still feels like a bit of an admin error that I’m allowed to hang out with them though. I am, btw, terrible at the uke and do more flailing than strumming. If I ever get a chance to practice outside class, I’ll be unstoppable. Ish. Maybe.

Critters and creatures.
If I’m ever alone in a room and saying “Oh hello!”, it’s probably a spider. I mean I’m talking to a spider, not a spider is doing a Lyn impression. My car is full of creatures with varying amounts of legs. I’ll stop everything to watch a mantis, or a spider, or a magpie eating figs (this years fig crop is entirely inside magpies at this point). White Winged Choughs fill me with glee, those scrappy, untidy, chaotic birds. Frogs are a special favourite and the local population has to put up with being peered at and exclaimed over and told how handsome they are. Have you ever seen a frog give someone the side eye? I have.

I am a poor quality gamer. I am terrible at almost everything I play. As an example, I was playing Assassin’s Creed last night (the first one, I’ve only just replaced my 360 and am doing catch up). After an assassination, I was supposed to dash away, hide and then return to the base. I did manage this, but only after several minutes of falling off buildings, landing on guards, hiding but then unhiding, falling off another roof, getting distracted by the view long enough to get stabbed in the spine… but I had a brilliant time. I can never remember the controls in the heat of battle, so I flail wildly and sometimes it works. I love games though. I love exploring in them, and that feeling when you’ve failed a boss 96 times but then you finally kill the fucker. The Assassin’s Creed series is as good as I’d hoped, and so gorgeous to look at. Which is probably why I get stabbed a lot. “Ooh, view! Oh I’m dead now”.

Another thing I am not so great at, but love to do. I’ve come to accept I will never be published, which in a way is a bit of a relief because it means I don’t have to worry about how good I am. I can call every character Bananaface and it doesn’t matter. I’ve never done that, but I might for the next Nanowrimo. Or camp Nano is coming up, hrm…

I’ve a million other things to add, but I can’t express them very well, or they’re just bloody private keep your nose out you. So I’ll leave it there with the addition that the previous year has been the most laughter filled of my life, for which I need to thank (in no particular order) Sue, Sharon, Suzie, Craig, Aitch, Helen, Marjan, Bron, Lizzie, Frances, David, Gillian, Angie, and Mark and probably people I’ve forgotten because I’m an awful person.

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