Finding Joy In What I Have


It all started with bread. (There’s no such thing as a bad story that started with bread, right?) So I joined the sourdough bandwagon way later than everyone else. While the world was baking up delicious fermented loaves in 2020, I was perfectly content watching Tiger King and grabbing takeout margaritas from my local taco spot. Fast forward to 2022. I started a journey to heal my body from the inside out, which led to finding some gluten sensitivities, which led me down the rabbit hole of the goodness of sourdough.

Once I started, I couldn’t get enough. I named my sourdough starter Severus and attempted to add it to every recipe. The more I made, the more I loved it. I idolized the gurus I discovered on social media. While my kitchen and technique weren’t near their level, I was proud of this new endeavor and the delighted bellies it brought my family.

With each loaf baked, I store it in a large Ziploc bag (that is often washed and reused) and then place it on a tray. This tray is not the splendidly hand-carved cutting board that my idols were storing and serving on. Far from it. My tray is a beat up, plastic, fast food-looking tray given to me by my mom (and probably thrifted from Goodwill before her). It is chipped with sharp edges, discolored, uneven, and covered in knife markings. Pair that with a plastic baggie just sitting on top, my sourdough aesthetic is vastly different than what I see as I scroll my phone for inspiration.

I made an Amazon wishlist for some items I thought would level up my sourdough game. My favorite was a bread storage box that would look perfectly pleasing on my countertop (that is constantly covered with crumbs, dishes, and a random assortment of everyday items that don’t belong in the kitchen at all). As I saw a total for the dozen or so items, I paused. Do I really need a $75 bread box that was a glorified Tupperware container? Is a dough hook absolutely necessary when I usually resort to using my hands anyway?

I realized that I was getting so carried away with what others had, that I didn’t appreciate what I already had. Sure, my tray probably would have been thrown away by McDonald’s as unusable… but it was perfectly functional and served it purpose. I decided to delete my wishlist and find joy in what I have.

Today I look around my kitchen, house, and everyday life and seek joy in what I have. Is my kitchen scale have pieces falling apart? Yep. Does it get the job done every day? Yep. I don’t really need to keep up with the fashion trends of the minute I see on young influencers of TikTok. My leggings from 2015 and my favorite fuzzy cardigan bring me joy. I don’t want to purge my bookshelf to get rid of clutter. My multiple shelves of favorite reads and TBRs bring my joy. I find joy in the mundane and the ordinary. Some days I have to look harder than others, for sure. But this mindset has kept me from that jealous fit I found myself in during the Sourdough Frenzy of Summer 2022. Similarly, I go back to the epic KonMari strategy of, “Does it spark joy?” If I see something in my house that hasn’t been touched/worn/utilized in months, it can probably get gone to Goodwill. I discovered a pair of fabulous blue jeans in the back of my closet that I’d been hoarding, even though they haven’t fit quite right since baby #1. I realized that they’re not sparking any joy for me by not being worn, and it was silly to yearn for that body back when the one I have is grade A awesome.

So while this all started with bread and a tray (which is still used today), I carry my attitude of finding joy beyond and into my everyday life. My need for more and seemingly better stuff has faded. Keeping up with the Whoevers isn’t important to me. I don’t want to constantly lust for what I don’t have, but rather be content and joyful in what I already have.