Ordinary Days, Joyful Days

Good morning. 

I like that turn of phrase, it gives the day a chance doesn’t it? 

I’ve been pondering finding moments of joy in the midst of ordinary, even boring days. The kind of days can see you in the car, ferrying kids to 10 different activities, or at your desk at work willing knock-off time to hurry the heck up, or days at home, when there are dishes to do and floors that really need a good vacuuming. 

Doesn’t seem like there’s much joy to be found there does it? 

That’s where the fun starts! 

I’m a fan of turning up my “noticing” dial and making my eyes, brain and my sometimes manky attitude, seek out something that brings a smile to my face. This morning I was reading something about curiousity, and I think it is a wonderful practice in life – to wonder, to daydream, to seek out more than the day might seem to hold at first glance. 

Here’s one of those moments from last week, given the meme treatment.


Some incredibly unfashionable coloured and textured glass, an old pasta sauce jar filled with water, stray label stickiness and all, and some morning light. 

This was my view as I mooched in bed recently and it could have been something I looked right through, or didn’t even notice. But, because I have my noticing dial up, I saw something special in the colours and the light and decided it was worth noticing, appreciating and capturing. 

When I was away recently, the combination of the super sinky bed and unfamiliar surroundings meant I didn’t sleep very well. I snapped this photo at about 4am, while I was listening to a podcast. This lamp has such great lines and the textures and shadows really appeal to me. 

Small things, even things that are an annoyance, like not being able to sleep, can become joyful moments if we tune in to them. 

Can’t sleep? Snap a selfie!! (This was taken in the sinky bed.)

I often take a quick snap my paint palette and it reminds me of the day I bought it, trawling the children’s craft section of Spotlight, not wanting to spend too much money because “I’m not creative like this, I can’t paint”. 

Ha! Guess who was wrong about that? 

My curiousity takes my turned-up noticing dial and does a victory lap around the garden. 

Nyeh, nyeh, we win, they singsong. 

I’m so happy they’re winning – my life is much richer for their presence. I think, at least for most of us, they are by invitation only qualities. Even if you’ve got a positive disposition like I do, you can crank up your noticing dial to the joy setting, if you want to. 

Little things – a jar of water in pretty light, a well-used light pink paint well, can make me feel such big things. 

And big things can too.

I feel wonder, power, promise, and endless possibility when I look at the sky. 

It makes me feel small, yet tall as well. Grounded. 

I mean, just think about it, wherever you are right now, there’s sky above you. Can you see it? 

And there’s sky above me too. 

It’s the same sky. 

Some days the sky it is clear, some days it is moody and filled with clouds, but every day, if we take the time to look up, to notice, there it is again.

It’s the same when we level our gaze at what’s around us. 

Right now I can see a drawing my niece did for me (of the Frozen snowman), I can see a photograph of a tropical flower, which I bought on a holiday many years ago, I can see a cane bound chest of drawers that belonged to my grandmother. I see my sketchbook and my new slippers. I see scarves and a poster from Frankie magazine, and just by noticing, and listing those simple, everyday things, I’m smiling. These things, and the memories and people attached to them, bring me joy.  

Would you try something today? 

Turn up your noticing dial, and see what happens. 

What’s right in front of you, that can bring you joy? What’s above you, or beside you? 

If it sparks something, please let me know! I love it when the comments section gets busy, that always brings a smile to my face.  

Dialled up,

Annette x 



It’s a hard knock life


“Don’t it feel like the wind is always howlin?
Don’t it seem like there’s never any light??
Once a day, don’t you wanna throw the towel in?
It’s easier than puttin’ up a fight…”

Everything I ever needed to know, or put into song, can be found in the musical ANNIE. 

Today was one of those days – a day where I felt very much like one of those scruffy but vocally talented orphans in the chorus… stuck in a “hard knock life” loop. Negative, frustrated, damn cranky and teetering on throwing a very exclusive pity party – table for one. 

I couldn’t stop thinking about unfair, unjust, fucked up stuff – from the utter buffoons “running” our country to  the incredibly annoying insurance salesman who really tested my patience today. 

Then there’s the profound injustice of people being in excruciating pain – pain from devastating losses, pain caused by health issues that seem to have no end in sight, the pain of having to let go of dreams that haven’t been or won’t be realised – in relationships, families, careers, in simply feeling at peace. It can be hard to ignore the naysayers and doomsday prophets filling up the airwaves with their gloom and fear-mongering. 

And thanks to the web, it seems to be par for the course that we now can get virtually spewed on online, by people who feel the need to chuck a fit and throw passive-aggressive shit around on social media, and then act utterly bewildered that they’ve caused a ruckus. “Just saying” doesn’t make mean, bitchy, bound to offend comments okay. Just saying!!

I was in danger of being swallowed whole by it today. Ugh. Not a good place to be. 

And the worst part – joining in seems all too easy. If everyone else can chuck a tantrum, I’ll chuck one too!! 

I had to take myself out for a drive today, before my head imploded with too many cranky thoughts. 

As I literally headed for the hills, my mind was swirling with things to blog about – how unfair life can be, how shattered I am for people I know who are in the middle of massive storms, how completely powerless I feel knowing there’s nothing I can do or say to change those things. Then there’s the more immediate and personal – I feel dispirited and sick of being resilient about looking for work… blah blah blah. Yeah – this stuff is guaranteed to be a winning blog post!! 

A strange thing happened, as I got through the afternoon traffic and hit the climb into the hills. 

As the store fronts and “you need more crap in your life” signage gave way to ferns and weatherboard houses, to steep gravel driveways and less cars on the road, my blood pressure evened out. 

Almost against my will I noticed the beautiful spring blossoms, the colour of the sky, the canopy of trees sheltering me. 

Has the drive changed anything? No. Shit is still shit. But by getting up off the couch and letting my brain ramble through all the shitty thoughts, I am not itching for an argument like I was an hour ago. I’m not in fight stance in my head. 

I am still heartbroken and fed-up about some things, that’s inevitable. In fact, it’s really a good thing, because it shows that I care. 

A drive into the hills doesn’t make the politicians or the narcissists change, but today it changed something much more important – my attitude. 

And it changed the soundtrack in my head – less “full of sorrow life, no tomorrow life” and more of the awesome dance break in “We got Annie!” 


What’s playing on the soundtrack in your head? 




Colour me happy

This morning I was doing the most mundane of tasks, dealing with a sink full of dishes – but when I looked down, the combination of the suds and the yellow and white patterns caught my eye, so I rushed down the house to get my trusty iPhone and snap a few shots.


Some days the dishes are just a necessary evil – another task among many to get through, and on other days you look down into the sink and see beauty. I’m glad I saw that this morning – in mugs from Coles and IKEA. It put me in a great frame of mind.

Yellow mugs and sudsy water – incidental happiness. That leads me to wondering about the power of colour in every day things.

I have found myself observing the world more consciously lately. From admiring the trees shedding their autumn fashions, to the sharp contrast between building facades and a bright blue sky, or a grey cloud filled sky and the vibrancy of a red traffic light, I’m looking for colour and pattern, and finding that the looking brings me happiness.

I am being exposed to more colour than usual through an online creativity course I’m doing. There are lessons and activities, links to videos and articles about amazing artists and creative people I’ve never heard of, and a few I know, and it is all meshing with something that starting this blog has sparked in me – the desire to SEE things.

To see where I am, who I am, where I’m going and how different ordinary things can look if you are mindful of them being more than obstacles, or background scenery or just, well, ordinary.

So today I just wanted to share some of the colour in my world, and urge you to see the colour in yours.

I bought some oil pastels yesterday for an assignment for my creativity course. I got them from the kids’ craft section – very apt for my level of artistry! I think they are beautiful.


Whether you are faced with the colours of this morning’s breakfast dishes in your kitchen sink, or a fruit bowl overflowing with limes and oranges, or the view of your garden, these ordinary things, if you allow them to register, can colour you happy.

What are you noticing that is bringing a smile to your face?


What colours make you happy? They could come from very unexpected places, if you let them.


Annette x