The definition of joy is experiencing a feeling of great pleasure and happiness, something that’s been hard for me to find and feel in our current global chaos. But as I’ve been forced to find a new normal, I’ve almost stumbled into some surprisingly joy-filled moments, ones that have provided me immense, albeit temporary, relief and happiness. In hopes of spreading some joy around, here is my list.
OLD ROM COMS
We live in an era where we seek out movie reviews to decide if we want to watch them. If a movie doesn’t meet a certain Metacritic score (usually 86% and up, amirite?!), there’s no chance in hell I’m pressing play. But since I’ve watched every binge-worthy show and new movie out there, my options have been limited, and I’ve found myself drawn to old rom coms. Last week, I watched Pretty Woman, Four Weddings & A Funeral, and Notting Hill. It was absolute heaven on Earth. They didn’t meet the Metacritic standards (I mean they only scored 51, 81, and 68 respectively), but my god, they are classics for a reason. Hugh Grant’s floppy hair and romantic gestures will stand the test of time in my books. I watched Sleeping With Other People, a movie that was recommended by a stranger on Tiktok, and while it was borderline shitty, I was happier than a pig in shit. It made me wonder, When did our movie standards become so high?! I don’t need Oscar-nominated movies; I need a break from reality, where unrealistic love is the answer.
WHERE DID THEY ALL COME FROM?! I’ve lived in my house for almost a year, and I’ve never noticed how many birds live in our neighborhood. Colorful winged creatures whose names I do not know flock to near-by trees as though they’ve been summoned to soothe my anxiety. I’ve been calling it The Bird Vortex. Maybe they’ve always been here, but I have never noticed them until now. Isolation observations really are something. Plus, I’m now the proud owner of three new birdfeeders, and am waiting for a bird bath to be delivered in the next couple of days. It’s my way of giving thanks to The Bird Vortex, helping me believe everything is going to be okay.
No one has comforted me more than this woman. I found her on tiktok, after my husband recommended I follow her. She creates 15-30 second cooking videos, and while my mouth is watering, you can usually find me giggling to her signature sentences. Like “and a pinch of garlic seasoning cuz that’s my business.” If you’re on Tiktok, this should be your first follow. And if you’re not on Tiktok, how are you surviving quarantine?! I seriously want to know.
TEAM JEANS OR TEAM SWEATPANTS
I wrote an article about my recently changed stance on wearing jeans at home. In short, my new opinion is you do you during quarantine. But then I asked you on Instagram if you’re wearing jeans or sweatpants while at home, and your answers had more action than a Bravo Housewife reunion. While I am still Team Do-Whatever-The-Fuck-You-Want, I am personally rooting for Team Sweatpants. Regardless of what team you choose to join, this debate amongst friends, or with our community, will make you feel more alive than the stiff pair of sweatpants you haven’t washed in three weeks.
I don’t really work out. I don’t go to a gym, and I hate workout classes and can barely do a lunge (ask any of my friends). I like to stretch, hike, and occasionally do yoga. But for whatever reason, after coming out of my period cocoon last week, I felt the sudden desire to work out. Properly confused, I took to Google to figure out what I could do. Uninspired by the options, I was reminded of a workout class I took when I lived in LA many years ago: The Class. It’s like bootcamp meets therapy. Or pilates meets spiritual asskicking. While also being a dance party with awesome, loud music. It’s hard to explain. But I was thrilled when I noticed that they’re doing digital classes, and I immediately signed up for their 14-day free trial. While my muscles are incredibly sore, it’s helped me get out of my 10-day funk. I can’t recommend it enough.
RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDS
If someone were to guess my demographic based on my Youtube history, they might gather that I have an exceptionally high budget for an upcoming home renovation, with an overwhelmingly and slightly concerning dessert obsession. I don’t own my home and am nowhere near ready to buy a home, but for whatever reason I can’t stop watching home reno videos. Like this one. And this one. I’ve also been watching an insane amount of bread making and dessert making videos. Like this one and this one. Oh, and this one. I’m not fully sure why these videos bring me so much joy, but they allow my brain to imagine positive what-ifs about my future, even if for just a few minutes. And look, owning a ten-bedroom home while eating kouign-amann three times a day might be a tad unrealistic, but just for right now, during a global pandemic, let a girl dream.