4 min read

The glad game & little bright bits

We're at home today, hunkering down from the fringes of Harvey that currently overlap Austin. The damage to the coast―very near our vacation spot a few weeks ago―is tremendous. If you're watching storm progress from afar, please pray for safety from high wind speeds, but mostly for the damage to come from several days of non-stop rain, certainly for Houston and the coast, but also for Austin and San Antonio. We live on high ground and have minimal commutes (I work only 12 minutes away and Nicholas works from home), but we shall see what the next few days bring. Thank you to everyone who has texted us or checked on us! I'm thankful to say that we are safe. I took the second picture below yesterday when the rain was just beginning.

All that said, we're trying to make the best of it and cozying up in our apartment. Last night, I watched Pollyanna (with Hayley Mills) for the first time in maybe a decade. And oh my goodness, I love that movie. As with other revisited childhood memories, nostalgia is all wrapped up in each scene. I'm amazed at how many lines l remembered and how I was particularly enthralled with the food. Pollyanna carries a glass of milk with her up to her attic bedroom, trying her best not to spill it on the carpet. Aunt Polly serves little tea sandwiches and sherbet with cookies at a luncheon. The Sunday night bazaar sells corn on the cob, giant watermelon slices, and huge, fantastic, frosted cake slices, served on a napkin. I specifically remember all of Pollyanna's outfits and the little "rainbow makers" (aka glass prisms), and the Japanese lanterns at the bazaar.

I didn't remember so many key points about the plot, i.e. why Pollyanna came to live with her aunt, why the bazaar was a source of contention, etc. But I remembered how so many parts of the movie made me feel.

If you haven't seen the movie, you should watch it! But if you haven't seen it or don't care to, there is a resounding takeaway from it. I've been jotting blog-related thoughts in a draft called "Little bright bits," or what was to be a post about bright little bits of life lately. And then I watched the movie and there was one part that resounded with that theme to a T: Pollyanna's The Glad Game.

Essentially, when Pollyanna encountered sadness or disappointment, she would reframe the situation, choosing instead to find something to be glad about. It sounds simple, but isn't necessarily easy, when put into practice. And when I'm faced with it, Pollyanna's "glad game" is so appealing not because it's an empty optimism. It's so attractive because it's the choice for joy, the choice for hope. My own version of The Glad Game would go like this: It's not great that hurricane Harvey is stirring up trouble here in Texas, but I can be glad that it means we have a cozy, stay-indoors, have fika, knit-and-sew-everything kind of weekend.  It may seem trivial, but any exercise that allow me to turn away from anxiety or unrest or aimlessless is worthwhile. In a less formal way, here are some other "little bright bits," my own casual way of playing the glad game:

  • multi grain Cheerios, recently rediscovered
  • homemade shrimp curry
  • a freezer full of frozen fruit (I mean FULL, maybe 40 pounds) for smoothies, including strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and mangos.
  • Burl Ives music (both his regular music and his Christmas music ;)
  • a set of new scrubs! I realized I've been wearing only 2-3 pairs for the last three years. They're wearing out and one set has bleach stains. It was time. For any nursing- or scrub(y) people, I tried the Figs brand and I'm thrilled.
  • This article with fascinating pictures about When Knitting was a patriotic duty
  • The idea of "living in an atmosphere of growth" from the Happier podcast

As is generally the case with dreary weather, I've been extra creatively productive, especially since I finished my May cardigan:

New striped flannel zippered pillow cases to coordinate with the quilt. I used the same tutorial as last year when I made flannel Christmas pillow covers.

A baby blanket for a friend's new beautiful baby girl.

Freshly blocked brioche. My Junction scarf is done!

A cast-on party in hurricane weather. My friend, Molly, and I are knitting the Glacier Park Cowl and using the hashtag #glacierparkkal to track our progress, just for fun.

So however you choose joy, or choose hope, work to do it. With a mug of hot chicken broth in my hands and two newly clothed couch pillows to my left, I urge you to do it. The Glad Game is a game changer.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12


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