Does this picture bring you joy? If you’re a cat person like me or just a fan of chunky orange kitties, then the answer is yes. Let’s say you aren’t a cat person (hard for me to understand, but we’re all different). What kind of photo would bring you joy? Is it a photo if the beach? Maybe a photo of a favorite childhood place? As you’re thinking about the photo, start thinking about the emotions that it brings you. Are you smiling to yourself as you think about it?

Little exercises like this are one of the simplest ways to remind yourself of the things that bring you joy. Another good exercise? Making a list of all the things that bring you joy. Writing out a list can remind you of things you forgot that you loved. It may even remind you that you just love to make lists! I’m sure someone reading this is like, “Making lists is fun? What? No.” Then there are people like me going, “YES! I love making lists! Can I check things off the list too?”

There are tons of other exercises out there for feeling joy. Also, I’m by no means an expert. After a joy filled night, I just felt like sharing a little advice for finding your joy. What is your favorite way to find joy?


The Great Kaysby

NANOWRIMO 2020 – Post One

Hello readers! I haven’t blogged here in a while because I have been participating in NANOWRIMO 2020. This year instead of a fictional novel, I have been writing daily reflections. I thought that I would share some snippets from my reflections. Enjoy!

from 30 Days of Reflection “Day 1 – November 1”

Why am I so excited about a little joy and relaxation? If 2020 has taught us anything, it has taught us that we have to find joy in things. If that means putting up a Christmas tree on November 1, then by all means do it! I think that one of the biggest things that is currently neglected in our society is the willingness to find joy in little things. Society as a whole seems to project that joy has to come from grandiose gestures or activities, but I find that the little things in life can be some of the most joy bringing (like my Christmas tree). This year I have reached this conclusion about life. If it doesn’t bring you joy, then don’t do it. If it does bring you joy, then do it.  

As far as relaxation, that has undoubtedly been hard during this pandemic. It is easy to go down a rabbit hole of “Am I doing my part to stop the spread?” or “Am I going to catch the virus and die?”  Relaxing during a pandemic can be downright difficult.  There are so many expectations by society, family members, jobs, friends, etc that the idea of relaxing can seem about as easy as learning how to juggle flaming swords.  However, relaxation is extremely important. If we can never relax, then we will literally drive ourselves mad and into health issues from stress and anxiety. (I should know, I’m the Queen of Anxiety Land!)

Therefore, I go back to my Christmas tree. The day may have been exhausting leading up to the putting up of said Christmas tree. However, the next time I go downstairs, I know that I’m going to feel joy and relaxation as soon as I see that glow.

Thanks for checking out my first excerpt! Also, in case you wondered, that glow has made me feel relaxed and joyful for 20 days running!


The Great Kaysby

Gnome Story

Artwork by The Great Kaysby

I love to paint, but I’m not a skilled artist. I’ve been to just enough paint and sip parties to call myself a dabbler. I’ve bought canvases, paints, and tools so that I can paint (and sip) at home. Back in February, I decided to host a paint night, and I was determined that I was going to paint a gnome. I knew I couldn’t do it without looking some ideas up online, but I was determined!

Determination led to looking at a lot of pictures of gnome paintings on Google Images. I eventually found a picture of the one above while searching “Gnome Sweet Gnome”, and I decided that this was the gnome I was going to paint. Step one was figuring out how I was going to get the gnome from the picture on my phone to the canvas. In the past, I had printed out the object I planned to paint and traced it onto the canvas. This time that didn’t seem like the best course of action. This led to deciding that I was going to have to attempt drawing it by hand (also not a big skill of mine). Long story short, I drew the gnome by hand, and painted it all myself! The end result was the gnome in the picture above.

So what is the point of my little gnome story?

The first point to my gnome story is that you never know what you can achieve if you don’t try. It would’ve been really easy to have talked myself out of attempting to draw and paint my gnome based on my previous perceptions about my artistic ability. This time I didn’t talk myself out of trying, and I am still amazed two months later at the gnome that I created myself!

The second point to my gnome story is that great joy can be found in the simplest things. When I look at my gnome painting, I can’t help but smile. I think it is important for all of us to having something that we can look at and smile every time we look at it. This thing could be a picture of a vacation, a ticket stub from a movie, a favorite book cover, etc. What the object is doesn’t matter; what matters is the feeling of joy that it provides.

Those are the points of my gnome story. What’s your gnome story?


The Great Kaysby