Notes from Jan

Sometimes Good Enough is Good Enough

July 10, 2023

Spending time with my Grands boosts my sense of worth. Take the other day, for example. Poco and I were driving to Kohl’s to hunt a swimsuit ” that didn’t make weird tan lines.” As we drove from Ipswich to the Liberty Tree Mall, she told me I was kinda normal. Which isn’t going to get me listed in Who’s Who but I’ll take it. She went on to add that I was amazing for my age to just need reading glasses. Then added, “Most people your age need binoculars.”

Well, whenever I’m unsure of who I am or why I’m still around, I just need a car ride with one of my Grands. They remind me that I’m good for something. Good enough for them to want to spend time with me and good to hear, as Poco took my arm, ” You have nice skin for your age, Momo.” This time she didn’t add, “squishy.”

Poco’s a quick shopper. Soon she sashayed out from the dressing room to seek my opinion. That, in itself, was affirming. Well, it was one piece and perfect for Poco. I marveled at how good she looked and thought about my mantra. “The first thing each morning I try on my bathing suit, that way, nothing worse can happen the whole rest of the day.”

Actually, that’s not my practice but I read it somewhere and you get the point. Truth is, I like being free from worrying about how I look. Avoiding “weird tan lines” never enters my thinking. I just wrap myself in a caftan and head to the beach to sweat it out.

Well, there’s nothing all that spiritual in this blog except to say JOY’s swirled throughout the time Poco and I spent together. And as David Steindl-Rast , a Benedictine monk, said, “The root of JOY is gratefulness…It is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us JOYFUL.”

So thanks, Poco. And to any who read this blog, I hope you get a shot of joy, a nudge to be grateful to someone or for something today. And, if you’re concerned about weird tan lines, Kohl’s still has some caftans on sale. Men, just grab a t-shirt.

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  • Reply Radina Welton July 10, 2023 at 1:06 pm

    Such a delight to read this just seconds after I posted GRATITUDE for a memory of being with family, six grands, seven years ago. Your Poco is a lot like my 11-year Harper. Everything on the surface and bubbling out. Love it!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg July 10, 2023 at 2:55 pm

      Well, Poco’s 12, so she and Harper probably have a lot in common. And I’ m pretty sure that gratitude keeps us younger than our years.
      We aged with our children but grandchildren help us stay young at heart. Always good to hear from you, dear Radina.

      • Reply Myrna July 10, 2023 at 3:13 pm

        I love to hear “Poco-isms”! I’m happy you share them with us so we can smile or laugh along with you. I’ve been known to hear a few of the same comments from a grand or two myself. Thanks for brightening my day!!

        • Reply Jan Carlberg July 10, 2023 at 6:35 pm

          Thanks, dear Myrna, for adding your comments . Pleased to read I brightened your day on this gray, rainy one in these parts. But I dare not complain when so many are suffering from life-threatening heat.

  • Reply Jeanne Smith July 10, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    Thank you, Jan for your columns – always faith-filled and a delight. As an 82 year old grandmother of 14, they fill me with joy and gratitude and I thank God each day for all my family. God bless you and yours.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg July 10, 2023 at 2:57 pm

      Congratulations, dear Jeanne. You’re rich in Grands. Sounds like you and I have much for which to be grateful. May JOY flow to and through you this day.

  • Reply Carolyn Sylvester July 10, 2023 at 3:00 pm

    Jan, You made me smile, as usual. That’s joy! However, 200 days of straight (almost) rain in Massachusetts isn’t giving me much joy, except I don’t have to water my plants. They are dying on their own….. HA HA. I cannot imagine how Noah and his gang felt during the 40 days of rain. 2 days in a row is too much for me, never mind 40!!! But I did remember to put my white plastic lawn chair I keep by the front door, under the overhang, out on the sidewalk for God to wash it off for me. It had leftover pollen in it from earlier this Spring. Now that I think of it, that’s joy! I don’t have to wash off the chair… I am smiling again. Have a great day, Jan. love, Carolyn

    • Reply Jan Carlberg July 10, 2023 at 6:38 pm

      Thanks, dear Carolyn. It’s been a good day. What a stretch of rain we’ve had this summer. The sun’s due to shine again and you’ll have a nice clean chair on which to sit and fan yourself from the heat!

  • Reply Dale July 11, 2023 at 6:56 am

    The simple things of life are profound when they come from our Father’s hand. Good enough always will be good enough when they are His. Blessings dear friend. Dale

    • Reply Jan Carlberg July 11, 2023 at 9:14 am

      Yay! You’re back. Always good to learn from something you’ve added to the blog by your response, my brother Dale. Praying today’s a day you sense God’s strength and joy as you put one foot in front of the other by faith and disciplined determination. And you have both in spades, to use an image not in the Bible. Love always to you and Marty.

  • Reply Anne Kirby July 11, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Such a fun blog entry! Thanks so much.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg July 11, 2023 at 4:35 pm

      You’re so welcome, dear Anne. Laughter does us all good.

  • Reply Joyce Ruppell July 13, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    After 3 weeks with 7 grands ranging in age from 1-10. I needed this joyful pick me today! I hope I can feel as useful someday! Thank you !

    • Reply Jan Carlberg July 13, 2023 at 4:35 pm

      You probably also needed an extra long nap and afterwards, a glass of iced tea. But I can only take a quiet house for so long, then I need a GRAND invasion. As for feeling useful, I’m sure you were and are of far more value than you could or can imagine, dear Joyce. Laps are more useful for sharing love than laptops.

  • Reply Wendy July 14, 2023 at 12:48 pm

    Hahaha – so many chuckles on this one! Thank you for spreading JOY – you’re the best! (After time with grands that is) 🙂

    • Reply Jan Carlberg July 15, 2023 at 11:03 am

      Good catch, dear Wendy! But then, you always were a great athlete at Gordon. Yes, few things come before time with Grands. Loved seeing pictures of you and Steve with yours. Poco looks like her Mama, but she’s a lot like her Dad. A Fun kid and unpredictable. Some would call it “payback.”

  • Reply Wendy July 17, 2023 at 9:21 am

    Haha! ❤️

  • Reply Maggie Rowe July 17, 2023 at 1:11 pm

    Oh how I would love to meet that precocious, precious POCO of yours. She sounds like what my mom used to call a “pistol” in the very best of ways! I hope she has inherited your gift with words so that one day we’ll be reading POCO as well as Jan. Our oldest grand, Libby (10) was here last week and announced that when she graduates from college, she intends to move into Peace Ridge and take care of us. It’s perfect as she will be our LTC plan, ha!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg July 17, 2023 at 6:06 pm

      Sounds like your Libby and my Poco would enjoy each other’s company. With such fun caregivers, we’re apt to die laughing.
      In the meantime, hope you/re enjoying more peace and long bouts of joy during this break, dear Maggie.

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