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Are You Missing the Joy in Front of You?

This article is a preface to "QUIET JOY", an article I am reposting today from October 2010. That was a long time ago, yes, but it also seems like yesterday. And this is a memory I particularly treasure.

Rincon, closeup It's a little story about my wonderful dog, Rincon, and a delicious game we made up called Apple.

Now, if you read my articles last spring, you know that I lost Rincon in April. And you know that, because he was the doggie-love-of-my-life, I created a "Planned Resilience" program for myself as soon as I got his diagnosis, so I wouldn't be incapacitated by the loss.

It has worked well, and I am still sticking to it.

I definitely grieved and I still miss my Good Boy (some days a lot!), but I also have been keeping my heart open to the joys and beauty in life. 

That includes remembering the joy that Rincon brought me.

And that's what the article is about. Joy. 

But not the jump-up-and-down joy we usually think of. This is about quiet joy. The kind we don't usually give much thought to. The kind we often overlook. The kind we need more of.

This kind of joy is subtle but powerful. It can be a frequent, nourishing part of our day if we learn to recognize it.

We often miss quiet joy even when it's right in front of us.

Our minds are on other things: goals unreached, plans for the week, things that happened earlier in the day or that we are afraid will happen in the future.

So the quiet joys slide right by us and disappear. Most days we miss multiple opportunities to be nourished by quiet joy.

And then we wonder why we're not happier.

Yet when we teach ourselves to be on the lookout, to notice quiet joy and gently cherish it in the, life becomes amazing.

Quietly amazing.

By the way, I want you to know that even though this is my first apple season without Rincon, I am still in the backyard every evening playing the game and basking in the quiet joy.

My other dog, Chloe, loves playing Apple, too. At 13 she is not exactly lightening, but I assure you...

...we both come in beaming.

Wishing you an abundance of quiet joy,



  1. Eva Lisle

    What a sweetly delicious reminder to savor all that is, indeed, right in front of us. I am myself learning to let these quiet joys be my guide, rather than “should” or “must”. What a difference it makes in the face of unsettling news or devastating loss. Thank you Martia for your sweet voice of Love. It is always a delight.

    • Martia Nelson

      Thank you so much, Eva. And yes, the quiet joys do cradle the losses. I like your musings on joy in the blog you posted today, “Can Joy Be My Guide?” at .


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