The Little Joys

It’s been tough lately. 

The news is grim. 

Take alone what we learned this weekend about Russia’s war crimes in Bucha, Ukraine…

My heart breaks. 

And the worst thing we don’t know when or how this horror will end. 

The feeling of powerlessness, anger and despair threatens to crush me in its merciless grip. And I know that I am not alone in this feeling. Many Ukrainians and fellow Russian are feeling exactly the same way. 

Yet, I also know that it’s important to stay resilient during these hard times. I know this because I can’t do much to help the war effort. And I know that not taking care of myself and brooding is definitely not helping the people of Ukraine and is not helping me.

In this war, my role and the roles of many others is basically the one of a spectator. If I am nothing more than a spectator of the war, then do I just give up since I can’t change anything anyway? 

And the impulse is exactly that, to lay down and boil in your own pain over what’s going on. 

But I think it’s important to do exactly the opposite. I will go as far as to say it is our responsibility to take very good care of ourselves and to search for little joys in our everyday lives. 

Maybe then, we can at least help ourselves and those around us. Making a positive change or influence on a very local level…But it is still a good thing. 

And what are the joys? 

They are unique to every person. They can be very small, and that’s okay too. 

It can be something like enjoying a matcha latte in an airy bright cafe by yourself. Or taking a bubble bath and listening to your favourite tunes. 

If you are lucky and live by a seaside, you can go for a walk along the shore. Its nice to look at the waves that are foaming at the shore, trying to reach your toes. But then gently retreating to repeat the cycle over again and again. The air is fresh and salty from splashing waves. Every breath is enjoyable. 

Your little joys can be productive as well, cleaning a little bit, reading a book that has caught your eye a while ago ( even one chapter will do). Cooking or baking can be a little joy for some. 

Its nice when your home smells like pastry, butter and sugar. It feels cozy and welcoming. 

A little joy can be interactive as well. You can surprise a friend by stopping by with a bubble tea in your hands. Or bringing them a piece of pie you just baked. Or you don’t have to bring them anything at all. You can just be there for them and with them. 

I personally have a pet now. He is a cute 9 weeks old Maltipoo. His name is Wilson. And he is my little joy. I love playing with him, hearing his grunts during the tug of war. I love when he sleeps on his back with his tiny paws up in the air. I love how he stomps his paws on the floor when he tries to run towards you as fast as he can. 

And he, being my little joy, gives me strength and resilience. I know that I am much more helpful to myself and others when I feel happy. I know that taking care of myself allows me to take care of others. 

Even though, I can’t stop my country from being destructive towards others and towards itself, I can be resilient. I can still be trying to be kind, understanding and helpful towards myself and others. I can still derive happiness from little things. And that counts for something. 




Guest Blogger : Karina Nechaeva

Karina has been with Sentinel since 2021 assisting with Dispatch and Office Administration duties.

She is dedicated to supporting the team and insuring the smoothness of the operation.

Karina Nechaeva holds a degree in Russian Literature and Philosophy.

In her spear time, she enjoys reading and writing. Her other areas of interests are: mindfulness, travel and food.