January 11

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A Collective List of Small Joys

By Odyssa

January 11, 2023


Our days have two faces - the beaming and the downcast. In between lies a space of neutrality.

Within that space, there are small things that make a big difference. These things are not what we call essential but they give meaning to the hours we consume while here. 

I made a list of these things today. 

Final day at Tung Thu Beach, Cat Ba Island, Vietnam

Mama's cooking

cozy socks

ginger tea 

scented candle

morning yoga

sea shells

a student asking which word to use in her essay

my students teaching me a Vietnamese phrase

clicking 'Publish' after writing a blog post

the smell of my dog after bath

(her smell before bath is okay too)

old photographs from home

purple pens, fountain pens 

cheap, yellow daisies from the market

oatmeal with honey

cycling between fields and mountains

Morning cycling in Ninh Binh, Vietnam. 

waking up to a plan-less Sunday

finding a quiet cafe in a noisy city 

writing prompts

sharing podcasts, articles, and books to people who will enjoy them 

thick jackets and blankets

finding the right book when it's needed

video calls with friends and family

having the right words to say

knowing when to be silent


Making this list is nice to do once in a while. What would you put on your list?

Read my open letter to 2023 here.

Odyssa

About the author

Odyssa is a writer from the Philippines. She is the author of Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love. When not working or writing at home, she's out walking their dogs. She enjoys traveling, practices yoga, gets lost in books and Korean drama. To her, making time for a daily practice or ritual is the best gift to one's self.

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