Ordinary Joys

This month, WildWoman‘s book in the subscription box was ‘The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary’ by Catherine Gray.  The book was unexpectedly enjoyable; a light-hearted and conversational read, backed-up by a lot of research into psychology and mental health.  With an ever-growing TBR pile, I was initially reluctant to pick up this book but it was filled with life-affirming commentary and space to note down my own ordinary joys.

At book club, we discussed gratitude lists, hedonic treadmills, maximising and feeling like we always need to be having the best sex ever!  Then Donna (WildWoman’s founder) suggested we reflect on our ordinary joys and share with the group:


Sharing our ordinary joys was wonderful!  By nature of being young women in a book club in Brighton, I’d hazard a guess and say we’re all fairly similar in some ways, but what surprised us was some pleasures cropped up again and again:

Many of us enjoy being in bed with fresh bedding, cuddling pets, a cracking cup of tea, home-cooked food, the joy of music, crisp-winter walks… the list goes on – all showing ‘common humanity’.

Some of us are close friends, some of us had only met for the first time that evening, but we all left feeling as though we’d had an insight into each other’s lives.

Much like how bedside tables and bookshelves can illuminate facets of our personalities, so too can our ordinary joys.

What we’ll all do with our post-its, I’m not sure.  Maybe some of us will put them in a jar to save for a gloomy day – to seek out simple ways to cheer ourselves up.  Maybe some of us will chuck them in the bin.  For me, they’ve sparked a blog-post and a better appreciation for the little things in life.

My Ordinary Joys:

Making lists before bed for a clear head.

An unintentional rhyme!

When my handwriting looks delightful with a good pen.

Driving fast on a clear road in the sunshine.

Having that first sip of wine after one hell of a day!

Remembering something I’ve been trying to remember.

Arriving at a bus or a train station just in time!


Stolen from the other girls because I wish I thought of them:

Hearing rain on the window when I’m warm in bed.

Having a clean and tidy house.

Fresh bedding.

Sharing a smile with a stranger.


Even if you’re cynical about ‘gratitude lists’ (like I am), I’d really recommend writing down your ordinary joys, especially if you’re feeling sad.  It’s a sure-fire way to help a smile creep onto your face.

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