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On a quest to find what brings me joy
📝 Notes from Jenn:
📜 Published: Who Gets To Call It “Coffee”? [Sprudge]
If the industry as a whole does decide to move forward with a definition of coffee, it’ll be interesting to see how discussion shows up and where/when government bodies appear. On one hand, we run the risk of stifling innovation. Is this a risk that we’re willing to take when the industry is already precariously perched? On the other hand, specialty coffee could be seen as a “brand,” and any marketer would tell you that a brand’s value risks dilution if you don’t draw lines in the proverbial sand.
🛠 Current project: Doing more things that bring me joy
🔏 Last week, paid subscribers received Part 2 of my In Focus interview with barista Xi Bago.
🍩 What I ate/drank/snacked on: I took my boyfriend to his first u-pick fruit experience. We picked five pounds of strawberries at Blue House Farm—some were turned into a compote, others into a lemonade, and the rest were frozen. It was a beautiful day when we went & we’ll probably be returning for pumpkin picking season.
I’m on a journey to find more joy in my life.
It’s reached that point where I’m contemplating tidying up à la Marie Kondo, just to get that feeling back:
To determine this when tidying, the key is to pick up each object one at a time, and ask yourself quietly, “Does this spark joy?” Pay attention to how your body responds. Joy is personal, so everyone will experience it differently.
It’s not quite a depressive symptom for me (right now), though I could see that argument as ringing true, too. Anhedonia is the clinical term for experiencing a loss of interest or pleasure in something you used to enjoy. An article about this on The Mighty, describes it as a wet blanket:
Depression throws a wet blanket over the reward process in your brain. Some research shows this disruption prevents you from registering positive events or cause difficulty determining why an activity should be enjoyable in the first place. When your reward system doesn’t work properly, it’s difficult to feel interested in anything.
Fortunately, unfortunately, I know why it’s been happening. It’s more to do with me not enjoying most of my work rather than me losing interest in it. I’m in that transitional phase right now where I’m the only one who can do this necessary thing, and none of it is fun to me. There are blips of pleasure, like writing this essay or finding a little topical spark to go down a rabbit hole for. I’ve found myself staying up later and later, because bedtime means that the day resets itself, and I have to start yet another painful workday.
This has been happening for several months now and, as such, has led to other parts of my life—where I know that I’m still interested in hobbies—being doused with the wet blanket. I wish I were the type of person satisfied with a 9-to-5, clock-in, and clock-out kind of work, but I am not and never have been.
So here I am, writing out my feelings and grabbing onto whatever I can to feel joy again.
An article I share in the “Interesting Reads” section of this newsletter is about creative mortification. The first step of reawakening creativity is “to get back in touch with our intrinsic motivation for being creative—the internal joy and fulfillment that inspires us to create in the first place.”
I wouldn’t say I’m in a creative block, per se. But I’ve experienced this similar feeling enough to know that I need to get ahead of it or otherwise risk spiraling into inaction.
I recently bought this adorable notebook. It has these thick, textured pages bound in the middle with a leather cord. It was going to be my ideas notebook, but it’s now my “finding joy” notebook. I’ve started writing one joyful item per page as I think or experience them.
Some of them:
Long walks on the beach, breathing in nature
Cuddling with Zoey
Uneven, thick pages of a book
Post-workout sense of accomplishment (but not the workout itself)
I want to fill these pages and use them as a reminder of what brings me joy. And, be intentional about doing joyful things regularly, whether by scheduling them with friends or taking a few minutes out of my day to do them.
I know that sources of joy are unique, but I would still love to know how you find joy in your life and what brings you joy.
👀 interesting reads
For folks who once relied on Twitter to interact with colleagues and neighbors, who used the app as an essential public square where anyone could be heard, even if they didn’t have institutional backing or the all-important “clout,” the loss of Twitter as a meaningful social tool has meant a loss of income, opportunities, and precious social and professional connections.
Everyone is setting boundaries. Do they even know what it means? [The Washington Post]
Aguirre says she has clients who feel guilt after being told they are not respecting a boundary. But in reality, the other person in the relationship is misusing the term as a means of control.
What is Creative Mortification and How Can You Overcome It? [Greater Good Magazine / Berkeley]
In other words, when the experience of sharing your creative work with someone whose opinions you value is so harsh and critical, you lose the joy of creation. It was coined by professor and author Ronald Beghetto, an internationally recognized expert on creative thought and action in educational settings
The big idea: why we need to learn to fail better [The Guardian]
Failing well is about increasing the frequency of intelligent failure where the upside more than compensates for the downside.