Sunday, March 28, 2021

29. The Simple Joys

The longer I live, the more pandemics I survive, the more grief and loss I witness, the more I appreciate the simple joys in life.  The last five years have been some of the most challenging in my life given the increase of hate crimes, violence, Trumpism, and COVD19 tragedies.  At the same time these strains enabled deeper level of gratitude for persons, places, and things that help me to feel abundance and peace, even if only for short periods of time.  My simple joys through the past 50 years include (but are not limited to) the following:

— My mother’s hugs
— 36-year catalogue of Pet Shop Boys music
— The cheese slipping off the first bite of pizza
— Listening to Dolly Parton reading, “My Life And Other Unfinished Business
— Seeing Adam Singer smile
— The opening theme of Days Of Our Lives
— The moment the New York subway goes WHOOSH while entering the station
— Waking up without chronic pain
— Reading a non-fiction book that enriches my soul and awareness
— Seeing clients in my therapy office
— Teaching a reluctant group of healthcare providers about PrEP
— Watching Bruce Richman teach a reluctant group of providers about U=U
— Listening to Michelle Obama reading, “Becoming"
— Treat Williams dancing to I’ve Got Life on a tabletop in Hair 
— Jolking (jogging + walking) at least 3 miles every day
— The final 10 minutes and 38 seconds of “Xanadu
— Receiving affirmation from Goldie I’m doing the work today that I set out to do in 10th grade
— Opening a new bottle of PrEP
— Listening to Tina Turner Chant 
— Seeing snow pile up on the streets before the dogs get at it 
— The first 15 minutes of Don Lemon’s show
— Listening to Labrinth’s Miracle [daily during COVID19 lockdown]
— The moment when an airplane lifts up from the ground into the air
— “Oy With The Poodles Already"
— Opening a new jar of peanut butter
— Hairy chests 
— Owning my apartment in New York 
—Walking into a grocery store with enough money to purchase what I want 
— Watching “Santa Barbara” reruns on YouTube
— Visiting my created family Matt & Richard, Gal & Clif
— Participating in a protest or rally for something I believe in
— Hearing Stockard Channing sing, “There Are Worse Things I Can Do
— Visiting my Aunt Florrie and her purple house
— Getting an email or message from someone in the world telling me I helped them have better sex
— Driving through the Southwest, especially Arizona and New Mexico
— “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
— The smell of stale beer and cheap cologne in gay dive bars
— The movie “Harold and Maude
— The moment when the lights go down before a Broadway show begins
— Watching Cher interviews on YouTube
— Giving / receiving massage
— Wandering around Manhattan in 65-80 degree weather
These are just a few of simple sounds, sights, tastes, and lived experiences that have brought me joy, especially in recent times.  Part of what makes getting older fun is nurturing many different ways to feeling happiness.  I hope you find your own simple joys and nourish them as well.    
Damon L. Jacobs is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist helping individuals and couples enjoy life with peace, purpose, and pleasure. His books "Absolutely Should-less" and "Rational Relating" help people experience connection with joy, serenity, and meaning. His work has been featured on CNN Health, The New York Times, MSNBC, USA Today and more. He can be reached at or 347-227-7707

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