Joy, Finding and Maintaining; March 10, 2016

March 10 chat topic: Finding and Maintaining Joy

For those who want to warm up in advance, there's this short article on my site: Rejecting a Pre-Packaged Life, that's about finding enjoyment in everyday things.

In a podcast in which she interviewed me, Pam Laricchia said she named her website "Living Joyfully" because of that article. Here is that interview: Ten Questions with Sandra Dodd
and here's something Pam wrote about maintaining joy by choosing positive friends over negative, critical ones: Joy is a Beacon for Community and Growth

TinaBragdon: Hello! Never been in a chat room! I've read these transcripts, and seen my kids on Chatzy. Getting a quick tutorial from ds right now!
Sandra Dodd: The chats are saved, so don't write things you don't want public.
Jill Parmer: Hi All.
Sandra Dodd: It's okay not to write, if you want to just read.
Amber joined the chat 13 days ago
Sandra Dodd: Hiya, Jill and everybody
Amber: Made it! hello hello
JennyC joined the chat 13 days ago
Marta Venturini: Serah won't make it to the chat today. She told me she had something scheduled with her kids today. (don't remember what exactly)
Sandra Dodd: Sylvia Woodman can't, either.
JennyC: This is one of my favorite topics!
Marta Venturini: We've been chatting a lot because they're probably coming to Lisbon right after their stay in London! 
Sandra Dodd: Here's what Syvia wrote: I just realized that I'm going to miss tomorrow's chat on Joy. I'm so bummed because that essay on Joy is one of my very favorites! The reason I won't be home is that Gabriella and Harry and I will be driving north 2 hours to meet up with one of their friends who lives about 4 hours away in NY State. We found a mall that is just about half way between our houses so we are going to meet up there have lunch and then bring the friend back home with us for a long weekend. There was a time when I never would have considered facilitating friendships with people who lived hours away from my kids. Even though the girls can Skype and message every day, nothing replaces being able to hang out in person. I'm happy that I'm able to help them do that. I hope the chat is lively and full of good ideas. I look forward to reading the transcript when I get home.
Sandra Dodd: That's pretty joyful. 
JennyC joined the chat 13 days ago
Amber: aww
Marta Venturini: Sweet 
AlexPolikowsky7 joined the chat 13 days ago
TinaBragdon: Her kids will be happy, and she will be happy to see them happy...!
Sandra Dodd: Tina, the "timer" in this room is we begin the topic when there are ten people or half an hour has passed. With Alex, that's ten.
Sukayna joined the chat 13 days ago
Sukayna: shall i change my color?
JennyC: I agree with Sylvia there, I never would have considered facilitating these long distance friendships. Friends came from school or church when I was growing up.
Sandra Dodd: I tried to set it so you can choose your own color of all the colors. I hope it worked.
Sandra Dodd: But because your names are different lengths, it's not going to confuse me, if you want to keep those.
Sandra Dodd: Amber chose amber! 
Amber: I did, indeed. And have been.
Marta Venturini
TinaBragdon: Doesn't matter on my end Sukayna.
Sandra Dodd: So... joy.
Sukayna: already changed sorry
Sandra Dodd: I was thinking of bringing up another bit of the history of English here.
Sandra Dodd: "Joy" is from French, but it's been in English for 700 years or so. In English that's not "old," that's "Middle English." 
Sandra Dodd: But there's another word that's all English, that arose after "joy" was an English word:
Sandra Dodd: killjoy
Sandra Dodd: You never want to be thought of as a killjoy.
Robin B joined the chat 13 days ago
Sandra Dodd: I've been called that myself. There's a more modern name for it, though—two words that start with "p"
JennyC: Pessimist?
Amber: party p... 
TinaBragdon: pooper?
Sandra Dodd: Right, Amber. And right, Jenny, but different.
JennyC: Oh haha. I wouldn't have guessed that!
Amber: which is quite a visual when you think of it
Sandra Dodd: When I tell people to stay on topic and stop chit-chatting, let's talk seriously about unschooling, I'm kind of a killjoy if they were having fun. 
Sukayna: parade pisser
Sukayna: sorry for being vulgar 
Sandra Dodd: There was a saying, a thing people said to killjoys/pessimists, people who seemed agitated and negative. It might only work in north America, and maybe only 20th century, now.
Sandra Dodd: it is "Who pissed in *your* Wheaties?"
TinaBragdon: Sukayna, that reminds me of the retort to a grumpy person..." WELL, who peed on your cornflakes?" Phrase I remember from growing up. In other words, stop being negative.
Sandra Dodd: Also vulgar. 
Sukayna: yes
TinaBragdon: and another quite the visual!
Sandra Dodd: The other day I saw a video of a young athlete, and the interviewer asked if he wanted to be on a Wheaties box, and he just looked at the guy—had no idea what that meant.
Sandra Dodd: So for Europeans, it's like corn flakes, but wheat, and has photos of athletes.
JennyC: Also, "raining on someone's parade" is like that
Sandra Dodd: Recent Olympic medalists, valuable players of one sport or another, one on each box, fairly current.
Sandra Dodd: So there comes a problem, now.
Sandra Dodd: If someone comes to an unschooling discussion and is being irritating and telling people "You're doing great, don't listen to these people, you know your kids best, don't let anyone tell you that what you're doing is bad..."
Sandra Dodd: They feel that they're spreading encouragement and support.
JennyC: And more interesting, to me, is referring to someone as a Debbie Downer, a character from SNL
Sandra Dodd: "Debbie Downer" (the term) came before SNL did.
Sandra Dodd: I'm pretty sure.
Sandra Dodd: So...
Amber: or even the message that the kids will get messed up no matter what we do
JennyC: Oh, now I need to look around. Of course it did, I just didn't ever catch that.
Sandra Dodd: In a discussion of how people can live with more joy, it does seem ironic that I (usually me, sometimes someone else) come along and say "HEY... stop being so 'positive' and get back to the seriousness."
Sandra Dodd: but that could happen at your house, in a way, too.
Sandra Dodd: I said "there's a problem," but there are a few, related problems. 
Sukayna: yeah but that is not being a killjoy
Sukayna: the discussion has parameters
Sandra Dodd: If someone is at your house having a grand old time, perhaps being joyful, about complaining about movies, the internet, politics, junk food... Will you be a killjoy if you say "HEY, change the subject, we're trying to live happily here!"
Sukayna: and what type of joy is that false support type of thing anyway?
Sandra Dodd: And one more kind of killjoy. The party pooper kind.
Sandra Dodd: There is a temporary kind of joy that comes of partying.
JennyC: If what people expect are nice pats on the back and get actual feedback for change, they feel like you've stepped on them.
Sandra Dodd: Getting the giggles, telling stories and laughing, teasing, friendly fun.
Sandra Dodd: In older people, maybe it could involve alcohol or recreational drugs.
Sukayna: but it feels hollow, no?
Sandra Dodd: And that can seem like a ton of joy.
Sandra Dodd: So people get confused about "joy" because it's a word for more than one sort of thing.
Amber: until the hangover the next day
Sandra Dodd: So remembering that sometimes you need to keep some people's temporary joy tamped down ....
JennyC: Being joyful is less about finding it or chasing after it and more about being IN it.
Sandra Dodd: Please tell some stories of joy. The feeling. The state. The value of it, maybe. Times when you really felt it.
Sandra Dodd: I agree, Jenny. but once you've felt it a few times it's easier to get there again.
Sukayna: joy when i first saw each of my children at birth
Sandra Dodd: As with many emotional states, if it's familiar you might be able to induce it, or enable/encourage it. Probably more like if it's familiar you can learn ways not to prevent it from happening.
JennyC: Physically doing something helps me be more joyful. Inactivity can cause me to get stuck in my own head, so doing anything can help. Washing dishes with good music even.
Sukayna: some of the purest unexplicable joy i can recall
Sandra Dodd: That's pretty "explicable," though, seeing a baby you've been carrying for months.
Amber: I have a memory of that too Jenny - I can remember the apartment, listening to In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel, by myself, washing dishes, feeling great
Sukayna: but the feeling was so all encompassing and just bam! there
Sukayna: i was not expecting that deep, immediate attachment and sentiment
Robin B: We moved into a new house in October. The previous owner's plants are coming up and blooming. It's a wonder and I feel joyful seeing it all. Little surprises, every day. Spring is like that for me, anyhow, but it's even more personal this time.
Sandra Dodd: This house we're in now had big irises we didn't expect.  We have the many-generations of them, now, in several places in the yard. I remember the surprise, too, of Oh WOW! when they came up very tall and bloomed.
Amber: I had a really quietly joyful moment a few days ago, trying out Sandra's shelling technique for eggs - I took the bowl into my daughter's room so I could be with her while she watched YouTube, and she started helping me
JennyC: There are people who do that on purpose, live somewhere and plant beautiful things and move on knowing that the next person can enjoy them.
Sandra Dodd: I had two eggs fail to shell on Devyn's birthday, Amber, and I thought that I hoped if anyone was trying it, after that little discussion, that they were having better luck. I had success on another 14 or so. 
Marta Venturini: Playing with Conchinha makes me feel joyful. Just running around, tickling each other and laughing, or playing Rayman on the WiiU.
Sandra Dodd: That's sweet, Jenny.
Amber: I did most of the tapping and rolling and then she would take off the pieces - she did great! Lots of smooth nice looking ones. I was thrilled that she wanted to help.
TinaBragdon: Seeing my kids have joy, like the messge Sylvia described above. And experiencing a joyful experience with them, and it rubs off on me. Like when we saw the Lego Movie in the theater, or being on top the "ferris wheel" lookout at Niagria Falls together., or hearing them "in character" with others the first time I picked them up from LARPing
Marta Venturini: It has helped me boost my joyfulness levels in the past few months, every time my mind tends to drift off to memories of my dad.
Amber: I love listening to my daughter and husband playing video games together. They have cracked up so much over finding some new features. It's such a sweet wonderful sound.
Sandra Dodd: Sukayna's example is probably the most primal/biological.
Sukayna: yes I feel so happy when they are giggling and connecting over games or shows
Parvine: spending time with my kids doing something they have picked, seeing the shine in their eyes gives me great joy.
JennyC: I think part of dealing with the grief of losing a loved one, is remembering the sweet moments.
TinaBragdon: Yes, Amber, video games!!! My dh and kids love to game together, I more watch as I am all thumbs with some controllers. And how much better to enJOY that, from that perspective, than viewing through the lens of "too much gaming, "screen time" etc and being grumpy. Seeing the glass half full instead of the empty.
Marta Venturini: I agree Jenny, but it's still a bit painful for me and goofing around with Conchinha helps me to not dwell on that pain. And there are other times, like when I'm in the shower, that I just let them come and I cry for a bit. I feel better after that too.
Sukayna: i was just doing dishes and two of mine were giggling and discussing sonic in detail
Sandra Dodd: That's the deal, Tina—it's about how you define and view the thing you're seeing, in part.
Sukayna: that was my background, and i was involved but it was so sweet to hear them
Amber: Perspective
Sandra Dodd: Lots of the examples up above look like gratitude.
Sandra Dodd: What are the component parts of joy, y'think?
JennyC: I think it's connected to gratitude.
Sandra Dodd: Surprise or relaxation, sometimes.
Sukayna: yes connected
Sandra Dodd: The surprise like humor, but if it's a gentle surprise, and makes you smile, that can be what joy feels like, I think.
Sukayna: being able to see or appreciate many things enables the joy to flow, i think
Sandra Dodd: Appreciation.
Sandra Dodd: Something about peace, I think.
Jill Parmer: Unexpected surprising delight.
Sandra Dodd: Joy feels peaceful or safe to me.
Sandra Dodd: I like that, Jill.
TinaBragdon: Being able to be mindful....aware of the present moment, appreciating those little things like Sukayna said. What you are currently smelling or touching. Like your dishwashing example Sandra in the Rejecting a Pre packaged Life article.
Sukayna: appreciating their relationship, water, their minds, the power being here, on and on appreciating in just that few minutes
Sandra Dodd: I think joy is fleeting. Not in a bad way. I don't think it's a thing that goes for hours and hours.
Sandra Dodd: Contentment can, though.
AlexPolikowsky7: I like that Jill
Jill Parmer: Perhaps it was redundant, but I was trying to think of little things that I smile at, and get that happiness at something clever or cool or beautiful.
Sandra Dodd: The example of hearing role-playing kids in character—there might have been a parent or two in the past who would have been critical, or dismissive, hearing that.
JennyC: There's something in it that is like the opposite of worry and fear.
AlexPolikowsky7: Yes! I am content! Joy comes when we roll around laughing at something funny together !
Sandra Dodd: Surely with goofing around, and games, same thing. If the response were to be "settle down," or be quiet or that's stupid, joy is neutralized in the child (maybe, unless he's past the point of caring what the adult says) and prevented in the adult.
JennyC: For me anyway, those 2 are really the killjoy, worry and fear.
Amber: Or eating.
Sandra Dodd: I was thinking embarrassment and inflexibility.
Sandra Dodd: Those might be fears, though.
JennyC: Even if the kid is past caring what the parent thinks, that ever present negativity seeps into that kid
Sandra Dodd: Eating meaning some people can't find joy in it? Will be negativie?
Robin B: Embarrassment was a big one for me.
JennyC: Embarrassment and its twin, shame
Sandra Dodd: True. It might not kill the joy of the giggly moment, but it can build up because if the child internalizes that voice, keeps a recording of "settle down" and "grow up" or whatever, he can be his own killjoy for life.
MaryinCO joined the chat 13 days ago
Sandra Dodd: Joy can be kind of... kind of effervescent. Bubbly.
Amber: That eating can be joyful ... or definitely not ...
Sandra Dodd: But sometimes it's just peace, clear lungs, still mind.
Parvine: I feel joy rises from within me in certain moments. It is an energising kind of feeling.
Sukayna joined the chat 13 days ago
Sandra Dodd: Or maybe the quiet version is not "joy." Maybe it's being centered. Appreciative.
Sukayna: joy as the mountain, contentment as the plateau?
Marta Venturini: Yes, energizing. I can relate to that.
JennyC: That kind of joy, Sandra, is harder for people to feel and find because it's often solo stuff, in your head stuff
Sandra Dodd: Maybe, Sukayna!
Sandra Dodd: That was my warm water running on your hands, though, kind of joy.
TinaBragdon: ...and negativity as a valley?
Sandra Dodd: Feeling a physical sensation and relaxing into it all the way.
Sandra Dodd: Maybe I took too many drugs in the 60's.
AlexPolikowsky7: When I am watching the Northern Lights dance in the sky while in a dark quiet place I feel a lot of joy! Same as watching my kids sleep.
JennyC: I think it's a necessary component to joy
Sandra Dodd: Wonder!!!
Sandra Dodd: Joy-and-wonder joy?
Sukayna maybe we all took too many one time or another
Sandra Dodd: I went to get Jill's quote: "Unexpected surprising delight."
AlexPolikowsky7: Wonder joy! Wonder brings me joy?
JennyC: It sure does for me Alex
Sandra Dodd: Maybe sleeping kids and northern lights aren't "delight." Maybe they are stop-breathing moments.
Marta Venturini
JennyC: And I think a person needs to open to experiencing wonder in order for that to happen
Jill Parmer: Cool Alex, those pictures of the sky and Northern Lights, gave me a smile and intake of breath, and delightful wonder. Then I thought about you and how lucky to see them for real.
Sandra Dodd: Somewhere I described negativity (or probably depression) as a dark hole.
Parvine: appreciating the wonders all around brings great joy!
Amber: Openness - acceptance
Sukayna: being uninhibited
JennyC: Right Amber
Sandra Dodd: Oh! Found that quote.
Sukayna: able to be unashamed at feeling that joy wonder
Sandra Dodd: It was neither just negativity nor depression. Give me three entries, and I can put it all here:
TinaBragdon: I remember some of that discussion on FB, Sandra I think from past posts maybe, or recently? Sort of phrases like the "vortex of suckitude" or touching the edges but not going in.
JennyC: People who aren't open to it can and will shut it down and prevent it from happening
Sandra Dodd: I had the feeling you were trying to find ways to justify and protect your negative attitudes instead of ways to let them go. I could be entirely wrong. It's a longstanding motherly tradition for moms to heave a great sigh about *how HARD* it is to be a mom, and *how DIFFICULT* children are, and then for all the other moms to mutter on about how they understand and how entirely correct the sigh-heaving mom is.
Sandra Dodd: It's a hole. A dark hole.
Sandra Dodd: Hop out into the happy light!
Sandra Dodd: End of quote; it's here:
Sandra Dodd: YES THIS: -=-able to be unashamed-=-
Sandra Dodd: It takes becoming a child again.
Sukayna: this was (is?) huge for me
Sukayna: made a HUGE difference in our family
Sandra Dodd: When my article on playing was translated into French, there's a part the translator assured me would not go over in France.
Amber: Being able to do some of these things - and I'm also thinking about Pam's writing about picking who you surround yourself with - that seems to come from confidence
JennyC: Is that the French cynicism coming through?
Sandra Dodd: No, not that page. Now I need to find it. Carry on here. I'll be back soon.
Sukayna: i feel joy when my kids are unashamed of their imagination and play
Amber: but also, feeling joy, witnessing that joy, to me, seems to help build confidence
JennyC: The vortex of suckitude is something I came up with to describe people who love negative attention
Sukayna: i am happy I could help create the right safe place for them to be so joyful
TinaBragdon: I thought that was you Jenny!
Sandra Dodd: I did argue with her. It's on the deschooling page (one of my oldest pages) and there were three examples. It needs three. She only left two, which (as writing goes, or other kinds of art, maybe) makes it worthless.
Sandra Dodd: The quote:
JennyC: They may even be fun people, but overall the vortex is very strong
Sandra Dodd: the student was getting a lapful of tea, and said, “My cup is full!” The master smiled and said, “Yes, it is. And until you empty yourself of what you think you know, you won’t be able to learn.” Weird Al says it a different way in “Everything You Know is Wrong,” and Christians say “You must surrender yourself.” Before that Jesus said, “Unless you become as a little child…”
Jill Parmer: I really like that..."able to be unashamed". Sounds so pure and happy.
Sandra Dodd: For the French translation, she wouldn't leave the part about Jesus.
Sandra Dodd: Who gives a rat's ass whether it's about Jesus, in that context? That makes a fairly strong tripod with a zen story and a Weird Al Yankovic song, I thought.
JennyC: Oh, okay. That makes sense.
Sandra Dodd: But she thought that the French were so non-religious that it would offend people.
JennyC: Parables are fun
Amber: What a killjoy that translator is
Sukayna: i was thinking the other way
JennyC: Right Amber!
Sukayna: as in taboo, lowering him
Sukayna: so many man made rules about spirituality, usually humility was most of the original package
Amber: Well if the French, in general, have a cultural negative attitude towards children, then maybe they wouldn't get it
Sandra Dodd: OH my gosh. The link on that page has gone to a different article in French for who knows how many years. 
Marta Venturini
Sandra Dodd: I found it, but it doesn't link from that page. 
JennyC: Hey, accidental editing
Sukayna: multitasking
Sandra Dodd: Yeah. Well. Yet another thing for my list of things I will never finish doing/writing/fixing. 
Amber: I haven't read them so I'm not sure what all they say, but there are books that rave about French parenting
Sukayna: lebanon (where i live) was a french colony, their playground, so there is alot of cultural stuff leftover
Sukayna: that is why i mentioned it that way, but i could be wrong 
Sandra Dodd: I could take that paragraph to the french translations of unschooling stuff group on facebook. The original translator isn't around much anymore.
Sandra Dodd: So how about kids, and joy?
Sukayna: way too patronising for me
Sandra Dodd: If one of my kids is joyous about something I don't understand, I feel great if I can succeed in not being a wet blanket (another term for killjoy  )
Sukayna: creating a place for them to be themselves
Sandra Dodd: If I can't be a part of the joy, at least I can back away and let it continue to effervesce.
AlexPolikowsky7: I spent the weekend with Gigi and her basketball team plus parents in a State
JennyC: That's a big one Sandra!
AlexPolikowsky7: Tournament and hotel.
Sukayna: a safe place to be free from negativity and criticism that is baseless and mean
AlexPolikowsky7: I saw killjoy parents telling their kids no just
AlexPolikowsky7: dang!
TinaBragdon: I know one thing I noticed right awy from my kids, when they were little (and even now), is how in the moment they are. Even that about little kids I have been around in general, at least in my experience. Joy in the little things. Not having the crap/baggage from adults.
AlexPolikowsky7: So killjoy parents saying no for no good reason and bragging about being mean.
AlexPolikowsky7: Ugh
Sandra Dodd: Yes, Tina. So one of the best things unschooling parents can do, even before they themselves are good at accepting and feeling joy, is not to...
JennyC: And for sure, parents train that out of kids. It takes a lot to keep it alive. A lot of not getting in their way.
Sukayna: that is the trend, means you are a 'good' mom/dad
AlexPolikowsky7: Kids loved me because I talked to them like people!
Sandra Dodd: not to piss in their kids' wheaties.
JennyC: Yep, Alex!
Sandra Dodd: Other kids can do it too, especially in school.
Sandra Dodd: They can say "That's stupid."
Sandra Dodd: "you like THAT?"
Sandra Dodd: "What are you DOING?"
Sukayna: you weren't the bad guy Alex?
Sandra Dodd: erosion of joy
JennyC: I love the book Star Girl because it touches on that
Sukayna: usually I am kind of given the stinkeye for being attentive or at least respectful to the other kids...
AlexPolikowsky7: me no!
Sandra Dodd: Joy can come of learning to ignore stinkeye
Sandra Dodd
AlexPolikowsky7: I treat my kids like people.
Sukayna: yes
JennyC: Well, of course, you are giving permission for kids to behave kid like
Sandra Dodd: Alex, for future editing purposes, did you mean "me too"?
Sukayna: like water rolling off my back
AlexPolikowsky7: I can ignore stink eye really well
Amber: she meant "me, no - I wasn't the bad guy"
Sandra Dodd: If anyone here doesn't know what "the stinkeye is," GOOD!
AlexPolikowsky7: I have a friend has a small farm in town and her kids are
AlexPolikowsky7: Assigned chores
Marta Venturini: I did that sometimes with Bruno, the "you like THAT?" part. I'm glad I learned to appreciate his joy too and to keep my mouth shut, whenever I was about to say something that might kill his joy.
Amber: or "me? no"
Sandra Dodd: Amber, Alex is right here. The more discussion of it, the more there is to edit out.
JennyC: I got lots of stink eye in the local unschooling group I'm in. It's hard to let it go sometimes, but so freeing. In that freedom of letting it go, you really do feel peace and even joy.
AlexPolikowsky7: She told me one of the kids did not feed the animals for days and some died. The kid was 9. My kids are not required chores. When hey do it they do it well and would not let animals starve!
JennyC: But part of that for me, is absolutely knowing that we can help or hinder our kids in so many ways and I know I'm doing well in helping my kids.
Sandra Dodd: So that mom wasn't taking care of animals OR of her kids. They will live with her shaming them (telling the neighbors, and people she hasn't even met yet) that they starved animals to death. That's pretty sadistic.
AlexPolikowsky7: Sorry. Typing is not going well today!
Robin B: That's terrible.
AlexPolikowsky7: And that is why I am not participating much just reading.
Sandra Dodd: I like AlexPolikowsky7, as though there were six others before you got here.
Marta Venturini
Robin B: Ha!
AlexPolikowsky7: Oh she has excuses ! Her kids are
Sandra Dodd: So much not joy, about assigning chores in life or death ways. NOT joy.
AlexPolikowsky7: Pushed to be top and have to go to Ivy League school
JennyC: My dog killed one of the neighbor's baby chicks. I told them. It hadn't been caged properly and got into our yard and my dog "played" with it. I was horrified when they sent their 6 yr old kid to fetch "his" chick.
Sandra Dodd: Perhaps joy requires life. So it's hard for Marta, with grief, or others in grief, to get back to joy coming easily.
AlexPolikowsky7: Oh that is horrible Jenny 
Sukayna: terrible
Sandra Dodd: OKAY! Alex and Jenny, STOP!
Robin B: Ugh.
Sukayna: thank you!!
Sandra Dodd: Everyone here could tell a story of someone else's crappy parenting. Let us not do that.
Sukayna: about to cry over here
AlexPolikowsky7: In another joyful news we
JennyC: I buffer my kids from stuff like that
Sandra Dodd: That's how to kill the joy in a chat.
TinaBragdon: Or we will get sucked into ... the Vortex!
AlexPolikowsky7: Have anew baby heifer and she is doing awesome!
Sandra Dodd: Shit, buffer ME from it, Jenny!
AlexPolikowsky7: And I rescued a cat this morning from Animal
JennyC: Ok. Sorry you guys.
Jill Parmer: I liked what you said above, Sandra, about enjoying your kids' joy or backing away if you weren't enjoying it.
Sandra Dodd: Alex is more used to the death of animals than most of us have needed to become.
AlexPolikowsky7: control and took the the local no kill rescue. I name the cat Watson
Jill Parmer: I find a lot of delight watching someone else in their joy. It's just so... so...happiness making.
AlexPolikowsky7: True Sandra.
AlexPolikowsky7: But some animals you are
Amber: Last week, ErinElizabeth said "Life has been so much sweeter since I started actively looking for ways to create joy for my family, even (especially) when I wasn't feeling joyful myself"
AlexPolikowsky7: More attached then others
JennyC: So the world is full of stories like that and it's super easy to see them. I almost destroyed a chat on joy, with one story.
AlexPolikowsky7: Laughter usually brings joy. Sometimes all we all need is a good laugh to bring joy in!
TinaBragdon: rubs off. Or at least for me, sort of a fake it until you make it sort of sense. Start with that step, doing something for someone else, which makes you start to feel a bit better, not be so negitive or bummed.
JennyC: I generally prefer comedy over other types of movies or shows
JennyC: Because I laugh and laughing makes you feel good and immediately brings up your mood
Sukayna joined the chat 13 days ago
AlexPolikowsky7: Jenny one of the reasons I prefer Korean Dramas!! So much more
TinaBragdon: Like Jill said...watching someone else in their joy....because of a small step you did. Happiness making .
AlexPolikowsky7: Joy then American
Sandra Dodd: Jill's delight in others' joy comment reminds me of the end of the movie "Love Actually."
Sandra Dodd: Jill's delight in others' joy comment reminds me of the end of the movie "Love Actually."
Sukayna: It feels good to be part of creating that joy
AlexPolikowsky7: One of my favorite movies!
Marta Venturini: Liam Neeson's character? 
Sandra Dodd: Watch it from 2:30 (two and a half minutes in) if you don't already know it. There was a statement made earlier that when people meet at Heathrow, you see love. (anyone know the quote?)
Sandra Dodd
JennyC: Oh, I experienced delight in your new car Sandra. Seriously, that made me happy to see your delight in it
Sandra Dodd: IMDB to the rescue!! The quote:
Sandra Dodd: IMDB to the rescue!! The quote:
Sandra Dodd: Prime Minister: Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around.
Catiamaciel joined the chat 13 days ago
Parvine: " actively looking " and learning to make the better choice in each moment helped me so much in finding and feeling joy.
Sukayna: wonderful quote!
Marta Venturini
Sandra Dodd: And for the movie closing, they made a continuous loop of "God only knows what I'd be with out you (God only knows...)" from the Beach Boys song.
regan joined the chat 13 days ago
Sandra Dodd: Ah, Jenny, my beautiful little toy car that will go 90 mph... It's SO CUTE!
Sukayna: like the dishwasher and microwave, so happy to see you happy
AlexPolikowsky7: It is indeed very cute!
JennyC: It's an interesting visual, that movie clip, exponential of joy filled moments
Sandra Dodd: I didn't go 90 mph. I went 85 by accident, once.
JennyC: By accident  
Sukayna: was it joyful?
AlexPolikowsky7: 85!!!! Good lord!
AlexPolikowsky7: Ha Sukayana!!!
Sukayna: I accidentally got to 200kmh with my car when it was new
TinaBragdon: (thinking in metric km/hr)...good lord is right!!
Sukayna: then i remembered to tone it down and chillax
Sukayna: i was still a mom
Sukayna: but it was a sweet gift from my husband  
Sukayna: and it was a joyful accident
Sukayna: legal speed limit too
Sandra Dodd: Salt flats? Germany? Texas?  
Marta Venturini: The legal speed limit in Lebanon is 200km/h??
Sukayna: lebanon, south
Robin B
Sandra Dodd
Sukayna: there is no speed limit. unfortunately, very dangerous roads
Marta Venturini: Wow
AlexPolikowsky7: Ha!
Sukayna: but it was sunny dry empty
Sukayna: safe enough
Sukayna: joyful
Sukayna: for a minute

Parvine: Lebanon has its own special laws 
Marta Venturini
Sandra Dodd: So "joy" words other than "killjoy"?
Sandra Dodd: Joyful
Sukayna: yes it does 
AlexPolikowsky7: Kinda like Montana ( is it still like that there??) where is Deb Lewis when you need her?!!
AlexPolikowsky7: Joyous!
Amber: enjoy
TinaBragdon: Like a word association game?
Sandra Dodd: No, like forms of the word.
Sandra Dodd: enjoyment
Sukayna: unencumbered?
JennyC: Joyous
Sukayna: jovial
Sandra Dodd: Not synonyms.
AlexPolikowsky7: Jovial is young
Sandra Dodd: though jovial might be a distant relative.
JennyC: Rejoyce
Amber: I want to say I read once where Sandra suggested "joy" over "happiness"
JennyC: Rejoice I spelled it wrong
Catiamaciel joined the chat 13 days ago
Sandra Dodd: juvenile is young, Alex. Jovial is happy.
Sukayna: thats what i thought
Sandra Dodd: Good one, rejoice.
Sandra Dodd: Joyfully as in Pam Laricchia's website name
Amber: oh wait, it's in the Rejecting the Prepackaged Life!
AlexPolikowsky7: That is right!! Jovial I got it now!
Sandra Dodd:
Sandra Dodd: juvenal looks like jovial—what is it in Portuguese?
JennyC: So, joyful
JennyC: My mom's name is Joy, short for Joyann
Marta Venturini: Two different words: "Jovial" and "juvenil"
AlexPolikowsky7: Enjoyment.
MaryinCO: Joyfully Rejoycing
Catiamaciel: (Boa noite/ good nigth. I'm happy to be here. On my Phone, after a very full day. )
Sandra Dodd (Joyce's) and (Pam L's) both have "joy"
Amber: joie de vivre
Sandra Dodd: Amber, it's in the article here:
Sandra Dodd: I'm happy that I have a new car, but there is joy, now that it's new, sometimes.
Sandra Dodd: I'm enjoying it.  I don't "enjoy" my old used van. I appreciate it. I like that I can drive it in the dark—put the key in without looking or thinking, turn lights and wipers on and off without surprises. 
MaryinCO: overjoyed
Amber: nice Mary
Sandra Dodd: Nice, Mary!!
JennyC: I've taken to hiding people on fb that post negative stuff and I try to post good things. That's how I saw your car, it was a happy moment on fb.
Sandra Dodd: 'Overjoyed" reminds me of Jesus Christ Superstar, Herod's song. "Jesus, I am overjoyed to meet you face to face..."
Sandra Dodd: It was used sarcastically, sort of, in that song. Or in a freak-show way.
Sandra Dodd: I need to quote that song in the lyrics game, about rumors/gossip/whisper. 
Sukayna: hard to be joyful when people keep trying to suck you into the vortex
Sandra Dodd: Impossible.
Sukayna: i have tried to pare it down in my life- contacts and friends- because i can only handle so much
Sukayna: said many times Sandra
JennyC: Well yeah! And sometimes, you can kind of toy with the edges but too much and it sucks you in!
Sukayna: as you have said....
Sandra Dodd: I skim facebook. It's like a river flowing by. If I go to the river, I don't try to look at all the water I missed. I see what's passing by. I look at 20 or so posts, just skimming for good, personal, happy stuff.
Sukayna: yes and the price is too great
Sandra Dodd: And then I go to my actual facebook business. Discussions and the lyrics game. Messages from Kirby (that's where we communicate)
TinaBragdon: That's a good idea Jenny. Like if you read only negative news, it alters your perceptions and it seems like the whole world is that way. etter to read good things instead that lift yoiu up.
Sukayna: I try to find lots of other happy families and people
TinaBragdon: And happy FB pages, like Good News Network!
JennyC: I managed to land myself in this community theater full of positive people
Amber: Huff Post has a Good News page - I found Sandra's Bowie letter posted there
Sandra Dodd: This was created by an unschooling mom. It used to be an e-mail newsletter.
Sandra Dodd: Now it's a big international deal! 
AlexPolikowsky7 joined the chat 13 days ago
Marta Venturini: Pretty cool!
Sukayna: cool!
JennyC: Not to be confused with Jehova's witnesses, who came by while I was in chat  they left a flier
Sukayna: I think people sort of know they need more positivity but for whatever reason fail to work at it
Sandra Dodd: Keith's experience with facebook is way different than mine. He reads lots more, and more politics, and more bitching and moaning.
JennyC: My husband is all about the games
Sandra Dodd: I can pass over that stuff like a waterbug, with the sunshine on me and my feet dry. 
Marta Venturini: Does it impact his mood, Sandra?
AlexPolikowsky7: My husband is all about the cows ! They talk about cows!
Sukayna joined the chat 13 days ago
JennyC: I love it when you post pics of baby cows
Sandra Dodd: OH!! I hadn't thought about someone having bunches of dairy-farm facebook friends. :0)
Sandra Dodd: I have lots of unschooling facebook friends, and then a subset of people from my home town—relatives and school friends.
Sukayna: that is positive, though, usually
Sandra Dodd: Kirby's is mostly gaming—WoW, D&D, Ninja Turtles.
AlexPolikowsky7: I have a lot of family from all over and childhood friends.
JennyC: I'm genuinely surprised by how many unschooling fb friends are negative
Sandra Dodd: Holly's used to be punk rock shows and parties, and unschoolers.
AlexPolikowsky7: Then dog show people, another big group!
AlexPolikowsky7: Unschoolers are
Sandra Dodd: Marty's is humor, medieval armor and weapons, Las Vegas jokes and trips, SCA events and announcements.
AlexPolikowsky7: Probably the biggest group of friends.
Sukayna: I am surprised by all the negativity i see, since i am not as used to it as before
JennyC: Same for me Alex
AlexPolikowsky7: If someone is negative I unfollow them.
Sandra Dodd: I don't wallow in my friends' problems, either, so maybe I'm "not a good friend."
JennyC: Yep
Marta Venturini: Me too, Alex.
Sandra Dodd: Some people glom onto the vague negativity and want all the details of illness, divorce, the tales of the other person's more distant relatives' legal troubles...
AlexPolikowsky7: My close
Sukayna: too much gossip then
Sandra Dodd: Sukayna, I remember when I was coming up above the surface of negativity.
Sandra Dodd: Around 1988, I think.
Sukayna: plus negativity
AlexPolikowsky7: My close friends are positive people. I tend to not interact with negative people for very long
Sandra Dodd: I was going to Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings, and La Leche League meetings, and both of those involve hope, built out of sharing negative stories.
Sandra Dodd: Odd but true. 
regan: I have to find a way to stay apprised of the homeschooling park days and field trips on Facebook -- without also seeing the posts of the local homeschoolers about curriculum, DCF, etc.
AlexPolikowsky7: I am more positive now because I complain less and focus on gratitude more
Sandra Dodd: And I began to physically feel the benefit of looking up instead of down (literally, and figuratively)—of looking at Kirby's future, and my second pregnancy, and Keith, and happiness, instead of back and down.
Sukayna: maybe it is in the knowing there is a need for change to encourage the hope?
JennyC: I've used the phrase "hopeful optimist" before
Sandra Dodd: Regan, get a friend to pass you the good parts, maybe?
Sukayna: I can see that, Sandra, how one would progress that way
Sandra Dodd: It's easier for some people to stay as they are.
JennyC: It's a problem isn't it Regan? I think you can change your settings to help
Sandra Dodd: Unless it's killing them or ruining their families, or keeping unschooling from working, it's easier to leave it as it is.
Sukayna: sometimes it is too painful to acknowledge things need changing
Sandra Dodd: Yes.
Sandra Dodd: And it can separate people from their family and friends (facebook or otherwise) to say "Okay, no more stories like THAT for me, show me cute kittens!"
Sukayna: sometimes too painful to remain unchanged  
TinaBragdon: Yes Alex, changing your mindset! I recall raking in my backyard last fall (I have 8 oaks, and neighbours have oaks). Hard work, but once I became thankful that I had trees, and a home, and focused on enjoying the breeze and the sun and critters it was so much easier!
Sandra Dodd: NICE, TINA
Sandra Dodd: (sorry to yell that)
Sandra Dodd: We have ten minutes. Any wise last words?
JennyC: Ginger SaBo said something interesting; that some people are busy waiting for life to happen to them and others are busy living life.
Sandra Dodd: Any unschooling emergencies to discuss before we quit?
JennyC: *Sabo
Sandra Dodd: Nice, Jenny.
Sandra Dodd: The last paragraph of my article on joy (Rejecting a Pre-Packaged Life) has:
Sandra Dodd: Your life is yours, and it is being lived even as you read this. Do not wait for approval. Do not wait for instructions, or for a proctor to say "Open your lifebook now and write." Have all the joy you want, and help your children, neighbors and relatives find some too.
Sukayna: Like the John Lennon is what happens when you're busy making other plans
Sukayna: dont you also have a certificate for living joyfully without permission?
Sandra Dodd: I don't like it as much as I used to.
Sukayna: ah yes
Sukayna: but originally, it was nice. when i was newer
JennyC: Yes! And I think, that sometimes when people are waiting for life to happen to them, they are living in this mindset that things aren't great and something will come along and change it. When really it's something you actively change.
Sukayna: absolutely
Sandra Dodd: I made it to hand out at a conference long ago, and then handed them out for a long time, but people found ways to misinterpret stuff there. 
TinaBragdon: Like the Nike motto....just do it.
Sandra Dodd: Yep
Sukayna: knowing how much I can change for the better (towards JOY)
JennyC: Yep. I live in Nike town, so that's all around me.
Sandra Dodd: Philosophical shoe boxes.
Sukayna: but the motto is actually negative?
Amber: I printed out that certificate - although I think I used the alternative - I have it formatted as a certificate if you'd like a copy of it
Sandra Dodd: Jill lives near philosophical tea boxes.
Sukayna: my daughter read it was quoted from a man on death row :/
JennyC: That's great! I love that Jill lives near philosophical tea boxes!
Marta Venturini
regan: Quick question (i hope): How to prepare for criticism and anti-joy that you know is coming? My in-laws are coming next week, and they are very critical. (A sample: our son talks too much, talks too loudly, watches too many videos (when he's not talking, I guess), doesn't comb his hair, needs to learn about team sports, etc.) We'll get through the visit, of course, but I find myself fretting in the days leading up to it.
Sandra Dodd: Before they can come, quickly order a copy of "Free to Learn" by Pam Laricchia.
Sandra Dodd: Come his hair.
TinaBragdon: Is that your perceptions, or the relatives?
Sandra Dodd: Comb his hair.
Sandra Dodd: Wash and comb his hair because the grandparents are coming.
Sandra Dodd: Just do it! 
Sukayna: prepare him for their expectations
Sandra Dodd: Ask him not to talk so much and to talk softly.
Sandra Dodd: Seriously.
Amber: Oh good question regan. I have a similar situation. My mom's coming. Last time she was here she called my daughter a brat, in front of her. Don't know what to say or do when that happens!
regan: The hair comment came from when we went to visit them for a week. I shine him up for visits, but I didn't realize I had to do that as a houseguest as well.
Sandra Dodd: Why not prepare him a bit, so that you're not so worried?
JennyC: And then let him slip away to another room when things heat up
Sandra Dodd: A week's a long time to visit hostiles.
Sukayna: thats what works around here-be prepared lionKing style
AlexPolikowsky7: Yep. My kids wash their hair for visits and going to the doctor and events!
TinaBragdon: Same here!
Sukayna: like anything else where there are expectations
Sandra Dodd: Amber, why did you invite her back, then? Tell her (in writing, in advance) not to call the girl a brat. Not when it happens, but in advance.
AlexPolikowsky7: Stay at a hotel next time or make it a shorter visit.
Sandra Dodd: In writing, so she can't remember it differently, or claim otherwise to other relatives.
JennyC: If anyone called my kid a brat, I'd tell them to stop name calling.
Sukayna: find a way to visit on your terms? your turf?
Jill Parmer: I was looking at one of those tea boxes, and they have less quotes on them now. I used to love reading them.
Sukayna: you might have more opportunity to create a backup plan for tense times that way
Sandra Dodd: It's hard to risk a fight in front of the kids.
Sandra Dodd: Oh darn. They did used to have some fun stuff. Very wordy and artsy
JennyC: I have a very old fridge magnet from Celestial teas
Sukayna: sleepytime tea with the bears....
Sandra Dodd: We found neutral visits fun. Or we would stay with the grandparents for one or two night, tops.
Sandra Dodd: They would stay in an RV park a couple of miles from us, usually
Marta Venturini: Two nights are tops for us too.
Amber: I don't know. It's better she comes here because going to her house means dealing with my stepdad who seems to make things worse
Sandra Dodd: Instead of hanging out at the house, we would go out, whether in their town to the zoo or rocket museum, or in our town to the children's musuem or something
Amber: and she asked to come visit
Sandra Dodd: Get out of the house every day if you can, Amber.
AlexPolikowsky7: Yes ! And get out of they house with the kids to give them some breathing room.
Sukayna: yes so on your terms sort of
Parvine: thinking of fun things to do together, that they could all enjoy.
JennyC: That's always better. People behave better in public, usually
AlexPolikowsky7: Go to a park
Sandra Dodd: Any unschooler who has NOT given the parents/grandparents a copy of Pam Laricchia's book should stop complaining and get that book.
Amber: Okay. Pretty sure we have plans already for most days.
Sukayna: at least you could have a back up activity or space for the kids
Sandra Dodd: Here's how to use it: Ask the grandparent to read that book, and then you can discuss it.
Jill Parmer: I think some in laws and other adults are jealous of young people. Maybe you can find some cool things about them, or get them to share some stories of their childhood, or your husband's childhood. Or find some things they can share with your family.
regan: Good advice... I will be proactive and anticipate the sticking points, instead of just worrying.
Sukayna: yes Jill
Sandra Dodd: If she says One WORD about unschooling or parenting, hold up your hand and say "have you read that book?"
Sukayna: sometimes they like being paid attention to
Sandra Dodd: If the answer is no, say "When you've read it, I'd be glad to discuss it."
Sukayna: feeling included and valued
Parvine: grandparents can easily feel left out too.
Sandra Dodd: Either she will read it and be inspired or reassured, or she won't read it, and you can put off the discussion for years.
Sandra Dodd: Find places where the kids can be impressive and have fun. Climbing equipment, parks with playgrounds, childrens' museum, miniature golf, zoo
Robin B: Off to an appointment. It's been a busy day and I'm sorry I wasn't here more. I'll read later. Bye all. /leave
Robin B left the chat 13 days ago
Amber: Wouldn't be so bad if my husband wasn't also traveling part of the time she's here - He is usually my grounding force.
Sandra Dodd: I need to go hang out with Keith. to get out of the room smoothly, type this all by itself on a line /bye
Sandra Dodd: But you can stay as long as you want to.
Amber: Thanks Sandra
MaryinCO: This has been an inspiring chat. Thanks!
Sukayna: thanks Sandra for hosting us
MaryinCO left the chat 13 days ago
Sandra Dodd: I won't save the end part if it gets personal. I'll go back to the end of the "joy" parts.
TinaBragdon: Off as well. I can't come back next chat as I am working , but will try to come to more. /bye
Sandra Dodd: Next week I forgot the topic.. Anyone know off hand?
Amber: joyful strewing
JennyC: Thanks for the chat!
regan: We haven't told these grandparents that we're unschooling. We emphasize the parts that sound like unit studies/project-based homeschooling. For their approval. This is an upper-class family with Ivy-league expectations.
Sandra Dodd: Strewing! Thank you.
AlexPolikowsky7: Thanks!
Sandra Dodd left the chat 13 days ago
Jill Parmer left the chat 13 days ago
AlexPolikowsky7: Regan I don't talk about unschooling either
Sukayna: just say homeschooling and smile
AlexPolikowsky7: Got to go!

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