These tight "squeezes" - also a high. Especially when given to me rather than a doll :)

A Balanced Approach to the Friday Tradition

Since our trip to Italy, I haven’t kept up with Joy Pockets. A couple of weeks after our return, I mentioned that every time I set out to write them, I felt insincere. I was feeling off, and just not in a place of deeply focusing on gratitude. There was and is so much going on in our lives, both joy-inducing and frustrating, and I guess Joy Pockets weren’t the best way to really reflect on all of that.

Interestingly, just as I was feeling all of this, the creator and host of Joy Pockets, Mon was feeling out a new, more balanced version of her Friday reflections. Keeping it Real¬†looks at what Mon refers to as the highs and lows of the week, instead of focusing on the joys alone. I love this new approach, as all experiences have something to teach us, and reflecting on the challenges of a week can make it even easier to appreciate the beauty in it all. Needless to say, I’ll be joining.

So here’s my week:


Persistent grumpiness breeding guilt breeding grumpiness

Feeling buried in things we simply don’t need.

Unpleasant conversations – conflict.

Things forgotten until it was too late.

Frustration with my studies, and a sense that I’m wasting my time.

These tight "squeezes" - also a high. Especially when given to me rather than a doll :)


Periods of feeling refreshed and able to let the grumpiness go. Pure enjoyment.

Realizing how fortunate we are to have more than we need.

Positive feedback and encouragement.

Growing connections with some wonderful, generous people.

Wonderful news from friends.

Tickets booked.

Extra sleep.


What sticks out about your week? Any highs or lows to share?

16 thoughts on “A Balanced Approach to the Friday Tradition

  1. Jess

    Teary eyed about the grumpiness, Melissa! I remember those days, hormones in full control, actually I still have a lot of those days. They are so hard to pull through especially when you are aware of how you are acting but can’t seem to reign in the beast. Sending you lots of hugs.

    I am glad for your sleep! You need as much as you can get, growing a baby takes a lot. And glad you could let the grumpiness go, its all you can do, you know? Have a great weekend xoxo

    1. melissa Post author

      “Can’t seem to reign in the beast,” describes the feeling perfectly. I can always count on your to understand. Thanks for celebrating the sleep with me!

  2. Monica

    tickets to where? i still need to decide on a date for our uk flights.
    i hear ya about the grumpy-guilt-grumpy cycle!

    so glad you’re enjoying this new format. really feels balanced huh?

    enjoy your weekend.

    1. melissa Post author

      The tickets are for our move, though I’d take an exotic vacation about now, too! We’re getting ready to leave Guam for Washington D.C. Good luck booking your UK flights – exciting, I’m sure!

      And yes, this format really does feel balanced. Thanks for inviting us all to join in!

  3. Laura

    Keeping it real! That’s a very interesting initiative. I know the feeling of insincerity when trying to focus only on the positive side of things. It is as real as life that we are not always feeling fine and I feel it is positive to accept negativity as a part of the whole.
    Thanks for sharing!!

    1. melissa Post author

      I love that your take on positivity, Laura, and I have to agree with you there! It feels great, really, to accept whatever we’re handed and take what we can from it.

  4. imene

    I so agree with you, I loved finding Mon’s Keeping it Real series. I used to post a picture with no words about my week but I was feeling like a total cheat. We all have ups and downs and i can’t think of a better way to close the week than just admit to it ;o)
    Friends, connections and trips are good for the soul! Enjoy!

    1. melissa Post author

      Thanks for visiting, Imene. I used to do a picture with no words, too (“This Moment”?), but it really does feel great to reflect on the week more fully. I’m glad Mon suggested it!

  5. Melissa Vose

    (((hugs))), grumpies allowed. How will Annabelle know how to allow herself grace on her most difficult or moody days if she never sees you have difficult or moody days? Pregnancy is hard. Moving is hard. Parenting energetic toddlers is hard when pregnant. Hang in there. You. Are. AWESOME.

    And I LOVE the balanced approach. The joy only bit is a bit on the cheerful side for me, since my life isn’t joy only…. LOTS of joy, but if I only presented the joy bits, it would feel a bit off. And I wouldn’t be nearly so funny. Or awesome. =p

    Hang in there, babe will be here soon, and your peace will come back.

    1. melissa Post author

      You’re the best, Melissa. Your sharing of the not so joyful bits of your family’s life can definitely be both funny and awesome at times ;) and just plain relatable, too.

      Balance seems to be a theme for me this year, and I’m loving it! That’s not to say I have found it, of course, but I’ll keep working. Thanks for the reminders :)

  6. Janine @ Alternative Housewife

    I really like this approach… It definitely feels more genuine. (Not that Joy Pockets wasn’t genuine, but a lot of blogging – mine included – is focused on ways we’re happy and succeeding, which can be hard for others to live up to, or even to read through on a particularly bad day.) As someone who admires your parenting, it’s refreshing to see that you have struggles too! Glad you’re seeing through the grumpiness.

    1. melissa Post author

      Thank you, Janine! The parenting admiration is mutual, and it really is nice to know we all have ups and downs. I’m not sure what it is that makes us all more quick to write about the ups, but it definitely doesn’t give a balanced picture.

  7. teresa

    I was just wondering where your Joy Pockets were. I like this approach too.
    I’m trying to get this house ready to sell and to move just across town and I’m not pregnant! I can’t imagine how you’re doing it all with the emotional element of pregnancy!
    Deep breaths, be super nice to yourself.
    Get more of those super squeezy hugs!!

    1. melissa Post author

      I think a move is stressful no matter the situation. I’ll be thinking of you as you prepare for yours! Thanks for the support, friend :)

  8. Ariana Lemarr

    Wonderful news from the friends.. what the news about? ;) extra sleep..that is really good that you are going that extra mile and getting sleep. Very essential at this moment as for the phase you are passing through. :) Hope you enjoy even more.

  9. Cindy

    I will share my top ones. As a low, on Fridays I always think about quitting my job, that I don’t really love. Ob the high side, weekend is coming, which means I have time to focus on improving my tango dancing skills :) Cool post idea!


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