I wanted my own space where joyful-to-me things existed, exclusively. On a whim I got myself a new email address. It’s easy, and also free. It felt weird at first, like renting my own apartment to get away from it all. So I let it sit there unused for a while, but available.
I wasn’t unfamiliar with using digital tools to spark my joy. I’m on social media a lot for my work, but I tend to use Instagram for viewing things that bring me joy: books, knitting, food, that sort of thing.
On Friday, I was served a popup from Mason-Dixon Knitting asking if I wanted to get their newsletter, Snippets, every Saturday morning. I usually don’t like getting newsletters. They get mixed up with my bill email and my kids’ school emails and I have to focus on those in the tiny bits of quiet time I get between work and carting children around, not to mention feeding everyone. Just as I was about click the X in the upper right hand corner, I remembered my secret
apartment email. I entered that address right in there. It felt illicit.
On Saturday, when my phone pinged and an email from Kay and Ann over at Mason-Dixon Knitting showed up, I felt unmitigated joy. I poured myself some more coffee and read this single solitary email filled with things I like to think about. I loved how the email wasn’t in my inbox next to other things I “should” be dealing with instead.
On Sunday, as I scanned my Facebook feed, I came upon an article written on Longform. It felt luxurious to read one long article that had time to weave facts and narrative in and out of a story about something I hadn’t thought about in a long time, and that also brought me joy. So, I clicked subscribe there too and entered in my new email address.
On Monday, long after everyone in my house had gone to sleep, I found myself scanning nonprofit websites, especially in Maine. Before my current position at a media brand, and my previous position as a teacher, I worked at nonprofits. I even have a masters in nonprofit administration. Every day of working at United Way or the American Red Cross in my 20s and 30s brought me unparalleled joy. So I clicked on MANP‘s newsletter signup and entered my new email address once again. Now I’d be able to keep up with what was happening in the nonprofit world.
On Tuesday, I set some joy goals for myself which included daily knitting, weeks of planned meals, and reading books that had no purpose but to bring me joy. I already had a knitting newsletter and one longform piece a week coming to my new email
apartment address. So, I looked for a site to supply weekly recipes that were simple. I love my 100 Days of Real Food Cookbook, so I joined the site they collaborate with for weekly meals: Prepear is also free.
On Wednesday, I added some books to my audible and downloaded some Kindle books like
On Thursday, I cast on a new project, read one longform article, put some chicken and salsa in the crockpot for shredded chicken tacos, and thought about ordering something on Etsy and giving them my new email address for updates on its delivery.
It was a week filled with so much stuff. I was working too hard and driving too much and yelling at children. But, throughout each day, I remembered my new email address and felt that flutter that used to come from knowing someone thought I was cute and might call me later.
Get yourself a joy email address today, it’s free and the payback is totally worth it.