Small Moments of Happiness: August 2020

The staircase at Hillwood Mansion and Museum. The late owner, Mrs. Post, bought many Russian art pieces from her time as the ambassador’s wife to the USSR.

I’m glad August is almost behind us. While I try to find something good in the everyday, it’s really hard to sit back and relax when the world around me is on fire. There was yet another shooting of an unarmed Black man by police. He is alive but paralyzed from the waist down. I can’t in all good conscience sit here and count my blessings when so many families are suffering from so much tragedy. That said, I did find the Democratic National Convention hopeful. It gave me hope for what is to come this November. My favorite part about the DNC was the roll call. If you want to virtually travel across the US and territories, then please watch this amazing roll call.

I also visited two museums in August, the National Gallery of Art (see a short tour here) and Hillwood Mansion and Museum. It was wonderful to meander through near-empty rooms admiring art. I won’t do it again anytime soon, but these two excursions should tide me over until there is a vaccine.

How are you? Are you slowly venturing outside again?

xoxo, Jane

Small Moments of Happiness: July 2020

Welcome to August!

What made me happy in July? Well, I really love working from home so that was a big moment of happiness for me. I’m down to a routine and I can’t imagine ever working in an office again. I’m sure that day will come sooner than I’d like, but for now I’m savoring the productivity and peacefulness of working from home.

I also received my copy of Sanditon. You can see it above, it’s the third book from the left. My Jane Austen Penguin Clothbound Classics series is now complete.

In July, I worked on my various writing projects, read a few interesting books, listened to my favorite podcasts and took lots of nature walks (in the humidity, but you can’t win them all). I also completed another The Great Courses. It was about Prince Albert. Very interesting to learn more about him.

July was a very productive month, but I’m glad it’s August because I want to inch closer to the end of this year and the end of this presidency.

How was your July?

xoxo, Jane

Small Moments of Happiness: June 2020

Looking down Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C.

It is difficult to sit down and write about what made me happy in June. It’s selfish and out of touch because June was an awful month for most of us. We are grappling with a deadly pandemic and systematic racism. Among a thousand other problems. And I won’t lie, I’m feeling a touch of depression because I feel helpless. Nothing seems to ever change…but I’ll try to remain hopeful. Don’t worry, I’ll do more than keep hope alive. I’ll vote. And I’ll continue to be vocal. And I’ll continue to donate to the causes that fight injustice.

I do feel it’s healthy to try to focus on a few good things, but out of respect for what our country is going through, I won’t wax poetic about it. I’ll be brief. Here we go: in June, I bought new books, went on several garden walks, listened to The Great Courses (highly recommend) via Audible and my library app, picked up library books and of course enjoyed every cup of steaming morning tea. So I think the moral here is that it’s the little things in life, the small moments of happiness.

I very much hope you had a few small moments of happiness too and I’d love to read them, if you’d like to share in the comments. I hope you have a great Friday and a wonderful new month.

xoxo, Jane

Small Moments of Happiness: May 2020

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With a pandemic firmly settled in our lives and not seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, I tried to make the most of May, one of my favorite months of the year. However, I must admit that I feel silly writing about happiness when the world is on fire so I’ll keep it short and sweet.

May was about fresh air and springtime walks, enjoying flowers at home and spying them in gardens on my walks. I even bought my first bouquet of peonies to bring home and they’ve bloomed beautifully. I enjoyed the quieter pace of life while working from home. I hope it’s been a peaceful, healthy month for you too.

xoxo, Jane

Small Moments of Happiness: April 2020

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Another month is drawing to a close. I truly hope that your April was better than March. Was it?

Here are a few things that brought me joy in April.

The Andrea Bocelli Music for Hope Concert

I thought it was so nice of Andrea Bocelli to do this concert for the world. It really brought me hope and made me feel like we really are in this together. I also found the cathedral stunning. Andrea Bocelli has the voice of an angel.

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Audible

Like most of us (I know that readers of this blog are like-minded individuals) I find comfort in books. I mentioned earlier on the blog that I signed up for the Audible membership. I’m really pleased with it. It comes with one credit per month towards a free audiobook, no matter the length or cost. After that, the audiobooks are discounted for Audible members. It also comes with several free monthly Audible Originals. So far, most of April’s Audible Originals weren’t my cup of tea, but I’m hoping May will have a few that are more my style. Before I signed up for Audible, I used my library for digital audiobooks (which I will continue to use for when I don’t want to purchase audiobooks). I would start with your library before committing to a paid membership.

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Tea on a rainy April day. A glorious cup of tea makes for a joyful morning.

The Great Courses

I listened to a Great Course via my library’s digital collection. If you need an educational diversion, then I recommend The Great Courses. They have courses on literally every subject on the planet. My course was about espionage which I highly enjoyed.

TV adaptation of Belgravia

I’ve already mentioned this on the blog, but period dramas are seeing me through this pandemic. Belgravia is doing a nice job of keeping me going. I also watched Doctor Thorne (Anthony Trollope adaptation) on Amazon Prime. Loved it.

What have you been enjoying?

xoxo, Jane

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I leave you with this picture of tulips from a few years ago. (Maybe I should have also mentioned that another thing that brings me joy is scrolling through my flower photos from years gone by.)

 

Small Moments of Happiness: March 2020

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March was awful (awful!!) and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you why. Instead, I’m going to focus on a few small moments of happiness and I hope you will too.

I decided to treat myself to a book subscription to Persephone Books. The first book, Mariana, arrived in March. It’s good luck that I received the book before the bookshop closed due to the virus. I also bought a number of books to support booksellers, both local and in London. This cheered me up immensely.

Some other small moments of happiness were books and reading in general, my community banding together to see us through this pandemic and our talented, selfless health care workers.

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And tea. At least there is always tea.

Your turn! What were some of your small moments of happiness last month?

xoxo, Jane