The Joyletter

What helped you find love?

Published about 1 month ago • 3 min read

Hi Reader,

This weekend we celebrate Mother's Day, a holiday that has long been complicated for me. So it's fitting that this week a question landed in my inbox that took me back to a time in my life when my dreams of finding a partner and being a mother felt tender and uncertain.

I have a question and it’s totally fine if you don’t want to answer it. When I read your Renewal chapter in your book, I very much related to the first part of the chapter where you talk about feeling left behind in the marriage game. I am currently 34 years old and have been searching for a good man for a long time now. I stay in shape, have good character, and have done a lot to improve myself. Was there anything that shifted for you that helped you find your husband? I am experiencing some curative effects from applying many of your joy techniques. I just wonder if there’s something you learned in the process that could be useful to someone like me.

I know this reader is not alone in her question, so I asked for her permission to answer publicly.

Read my answer on the blog

And scroll on for the new productivity tool that's keeping me joyfully focused, a nudge to buy yourself flowers (whether or not you have kids who remember to do so), and new research that shows that art can indeed save lives.



One Thing

Buy yourself the tulips

Why is it so hard to buy yourself flowers? You may not struggle with this (and if not, good for you!) but for the rest of us, it's worth asking why such a simple pleasure feels like such a frivolous indulgence.

Maybe it's the combination of purposelessness and transience. Flowers don't do anything, and they don't last very long. But, as I remind myself every year when I hem and haw over whether to get the tulips from my local farmstand, life doesn't last long either.

It doesn't have to be tulips, of course. Feel free to insert your fleeting, purposeless pleasure here. And go for it!

Research Highlight

Can rainbow crosswalks keep pedestrians safer? According to this study, a big fat yes.

The study looked at crosswalks and intersections at 17 sites in the Northeast and Southeast US where "asphalt art" had been added. The types of improvements included crosswalk paintings, painted plazas, intersection murals, and sidewalk extensions.

Researchers compared 2 years of data following the artworks' installation with historical data from the years prior, and found these interventions were linked to a 50% decrease in accidents involving pedestrians, a 37% decrease in crashes that led to injuries, and a 17% decrease in the total crash rate.

Far from being just decorative, art is a valid tool for increasing safety in towns and cities.

Delightful Discoveries

I'm often asked how to balance minimalism with joy: maybe "minimax" is the answer?

A new productivity tool has me making real progress on some important long-term projects. It's not a to do list, but a morning ritual that helps you plan your day and get the most important things done. Get a free month here.

How to double your art collection using things you already own (I recently framed a sheet of tickets from the first time we took Graham to a carnival, and it instantly became my favorite piece in the house.)

This whole line of swimsuits is so fun, but this is the one that has me most excited for summer

G. got a big kid bed this week (red, of course) and I couldn't wait to outfit it with this duvet set

Dove back into Julia for season 2 last night and was reminded why I love this show so much: beautiful relationships, thoughtful dialogue, and oh, the food!

My search for "joyful basics" continues with this dress, which comes in a ton of colors

Awards that do not exist (that you're trying to win anyway). Ooof.

I loved the springy simplicity of Ayo Edebiri's Met Gala look

A beautiful collection of playroom favorites by a former teacher

Last week I shared that I was trying out this new chemical-free nonstick pan. Just thought I'd report back that I've been putting it through its paces with all kinds of sticky stirfries and it's still the favorite. No other nonstick has come out of the cabinet since this one arrived!

My new favorite Instagram follow

Quote of the Week

"There is another world, but it is inside this one."

— Paul Éluard

The Joyletter

by Ingrid Fetell Lee

Designer, bestselling author, and founder of the School of Joy. I help people find more joy in life and work through design. Join more than 45,000 readers who receive our weekly treasure trove of science-backed tips, delightful discoveries, and inspiration for living a better life.

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