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My small joys

A white mouse with red eyes leans over the edge of a desk, looking into the camera.
My small joys

I Was Saved by a Mouse

I saved her, and she saved me. People usually say this about dogs. But it’s a different story for me. I was saved by a mouse.

I have just been through a breakup. We have been together for almost 11 years and I believed we will grow old together. Instead, he broke up with me by e-mail. He packed his things and left. I was utterly devastated. And I was suddenly so alone in our (now mine) little flat that it hurt. Even if I’m an introvert, I’m not well suited for solitude. I crave connection.

An unexpected meeting

One day, I was taking a walk in the little valley nearby my home when I glimpsed a spot of white by the road. I stopped and I couldn’t believe my eyes. A small white mouse was sitting in the grass, calmly chewing on something and eyeing me fearlessly. I froze. Then a thought flashed through my mind, an exciting thought. I have to catch her. She wouldn’t survive here.

I didn’t allow myself a pet for the longest time because of the terrible state of my mental health. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to adequately care for another living being. But if I needed to save her, if she would die otherwise, then I will have to – get to – keep her.

I couldn’t contain my excitement as I lowered my hands to her. She was caught easily. I named her on the spot: Daisy. Her little nose poked out of my handbag as I carefully carried her home.

Settling home

I didn’t know the first thing about taking care of a mouse. We had plenty of small rodents at home when I was a kid, but never a mouse, and anyways, it was years ago. For lack of better options, I put her in my biggest pot and served her water and oatmeal, which she consumed happily.

The next day I visited a pet store and bought all the things a mouse could need. A terrarium, small bowls for food and water, a wooden house to hide in, a running wheel, food, and bedding. Then I welcomed her home properly. She explored her new habitat – and immediately started trying to get out. My heart ached for her. She was used to the sweet taste of freedom – but that freedom would mean a death sentence for her out there. But I needn’t have worried. After some time, she settled in her new home like a tiny monarch that rules her kingdom.

When she started biting me, I was furious. Not with her, but because I realized that was probably the reason someone tossed her so carelessly outside to die. I wouldn’t get rid of her for such a reason. Every time she had bitten my finger, I lightly tapped her nose and said loudly: “No.” I don’t have the slightest idea if a mouse can learn to understand ”No”, but it was worth a try. I bought her plenty of wooden toys to gnaw at. And really, after some time passed, she stopped biting me almost completely. She takes a small nibble when she is bored or adventurous, but she doesn’t hurt me. Her bites are gentle, exploratory, like she is asking “And what do we have here?”

My cute companion

Often, I marvel at the small life in the palm of my hand. She is willful, cheeky, clever. I have never realized that a small mouse can have such a big personality. She has beautiful little paws that feel like a gentle caress on my skin, the softest fur, the cutest little whiskers, and tiny ears.

She is nocturnal, but I take her out of her terrarium in the mornings and evenings, to spend time with her, to be in contact with this fascinating little being. When I wake up in the night, I hear the comforting squeaking of the running wheel. Lately, she started coming out also during the day. I think she wants the company.

She sometimes lets me scratch her chin. She comes out of her house when I talk to her. She observes me through the clear plastic walls of the terrarium when I come close. I believe she knows my voice, that she recognizes me. When a friend visited, he exclaimed in surprise “She can see me!” 

The love of a mouse

She became my true friend. When I came home from my post-breakup trip to Dresden, where I cried myself through every evening, she put her tiny paws on me and suddenly my heartache lessened. I’m so glad I have the company of another living being in my home.

I have always wanted a dog, and I still do. I have thought before that a rodent didn’t have that much affection and intelligence to offer. But I have never realized how much love and company can be found in the presence of a tiny mouse. I’m so glad I met her that day.


A tiny green plant poking out of a cracked pavement
My small joys

Change One Moment, Change Your Life

I discovered that I change my whole outlook on life, moment by moment.

I started listening to the audiobook Atomic habits, recommended by a friend. And it seems like a game-changer to me! I needed this book at this particular moment in my life.

The premise of the book is that we build our life out of thousands of tiny habits every day, and the nature of the habits determines the quality of our future life because they accumulate over time with an interest.

I realized that for a long time, I continuously created little moments of feeling terrible and anxious, and now I want to consciously start creating moments where I feel good in the here and now. Moments that accumulate into a happy life in the here and now

I realized that there was a narrative running in my head all the time about how painful, horrible, and difficult my life was. Even when I have no reason to feel it at the moment, I hold on to that narrative, I see everything in its light.

I can’t put it away completely yet, but I can put it away for that single moment when nothing terrible is happening to me and, on the contrary, there might be a reason to be happy. I can even create joy for myself and rejoice at the moment.

I wouldn’t have been able to do something like that before, I guess it takes time to come to this mindset. I hope that I will gradually be able to put the whole story about how life is so terrible to live completely aside.

I hope one day not far away I will have a completely different story. And creating it starts right now.

An image of a person covering their face by a smiley face drawn on a red sheet of paper
My small joys

What Is Toxic Positivity And Why You Won’t Find It Here

I’m trying to spread positivity, but not the toxic kind.

Imagine the proverbial glass of water. 🥛 You can look at it and see it as half empty, or half full. But no matter how you look at it, you won’t magically change it into a full glass. It’s impossible.

✔️ Healthy positivity is trying to make the best of bad situations while recognizing that it’s hard, and enjoying the good ones. It is drinking the half-glass of water and enjoying it.

❌ Toxic positivity is convincing yourself that the glass is always completely full. But no matter how full you imagine it, you still won’t be able to drink more than a half-glass of water.

If you are making plans that depend on the full glass, you will go thirsty at some point. And you will be wondering why.

My small joys

From My Diary Of Joy – Week 42

This is a selection of my small joys that I wrote down in my journal this week. Enjoy the reading! I hope it will inspire you, at least a little bit.


I was able to pet my white mousey Daisy – and she held still! Which she almost never does. She is always in motion.

I also petted a white poodle that was waiting in front of the post office. He had super-fluffy fur! Poodles are my absolute favorite, I had one and definitely plan to have a poodle again in the future. 🐩

Walking through a shower of golden falling leaves.

Rereading the Scholomance series by Naomi Novik. It’s pretty dark, but so, so good!

Finally scanning the positive affirmations coloring pages I have created 🙂

A massage (bliss.)

Several sunny days. I’m solar-powered so my mood went up a lot.

A small piranha of a stafbul puppy – she has bitten me quite ferociously, like puppies do, but she was so cute that I just couldn’t mind! And her human was wery friendly, we had a nice talk.

Starting an audiobook Atomic Habits – and a giant realization how to create a happy life I had while listening. (I will write about it later.)

Annnnd a not-so-small joy: I got a part-time job writing for a real paper magazine! And I can select most of my own topics. They had multiple candidates and picked me based on the quality of my writing! I’m so proud and grateful.


What are your latest joys? Share them in the comments! 🙂

A black and white drawing of an astronaut smiling happily with closed eyes, with his scafander connected to a book by cable.
My small joys

Book joys

I have just finished an “infinite book” and it has been one hell of a ride!

Zorian Kazinsky isn’t the chosen one with enormous power. This role has already been taken. He gets into a time loop that wasn’t designed for his sake by absolute accident, his reserves of innate magical energy to draw from are sub-par, and he solves problems mostly through training and intelligence. But he also has a trick up his sleeve, though he doesn’t know it yet…

If you want a long, really long, yet all the while entertaining fantasy with interesting character development and psychology, funny moments, an elaborate world and magic system, and a logical plot, this is for you. Not once did I feel like putting it down, or that it was too much of the same. As the heroes’ abilities increase, so does the complexity of the obstacles they have to overcome. And they engage their brains in the process.

Mother of Learning by Domagoj Kurmaic is simply amazing and I have spent many pleasant evenings reading it. I like my books LONG so that I can return to the characters I know like they are old friends.

You can read it for free on the Royalroad, or buy it for Kindle from Amazon.

A silhouette of a person sitting cros legger with hands spread, filled with stars
My small joys

Small Joys For The Body

I was just listening to a Czech song titled “What does my body want”. The singer was listing simple things like immersing yourself in water, walking barefoot in the grass and touching it, running at the top of a hill, and shouting… And I realized a lot of simple pleasures like this are connected with summer.

It’s important to be mindful of this and create a similar experience even in winter.

Enjoying a bath from time to time. Standing on a massage mat. Moving your body. I’ll try not to forget about the small joys for my body in the cold season of the year.

Life & thoughts, My small joys

My New Friend

I rescued a white mouse. Someone left her in the wild, probably not realizing she will not survive.

So I went for my daily walk and suddenly I see a white mouse sitting on the edge of the road, calmly eating. I stared at her for a while and she clearly wasn’t afraid of me. I realized I can’t leave her there, so I caught her, carried her home in my bag, and put her in a pot, along with some paper tissues, oatmeal, and water. I was improvising with what I had at hand.

I named her Daisy. (In my language, Czech, that’s “Kopretina”.)

Later I went shopping for a terrarium and all things a mouse might need. She has been living with me for several weeks and she seems to be acclimating well. I tried to get her used to my hand by putting treats in my palm and offering them to her – she started taking them very quickly.

That’s when I discovered she bites. Not aggressively, not out of fear, but exploratively, just nipping, like she is thinking “What do I have here? I better taste it!” That can be the reason someone threw her out. She always starts by biting the nail on my thumb and continues to my fingers.

I had learned to move the tip of my thumb to prevent further biting. I have started to offer her my hand as a bridge to climb of that cage, and she runs up and down the length of my arm, on the top of her terrarium, and back. She doesn’t seem to be afraid of my hand anymore. I’m very happy that she recognizes it as safe. 🙂

I have never had a mouse before, so have to learn how to care for her properly. But even though she lives mostly at night and I see her only in the evenings, I’m glad to have another living being with me in the apartment.

I had her in a pot before I bought her a proper terarium. Girl gotta learn how to improvise 😀

A black and white letters saying "Create Small Joys" filled with black doodles in the form of a coloring page
My small joys

Be Happier Every Day – Create Small Joys In Your Life

I did it.

I have decided to share something that helped me heal with the world, something that I believe will help other people to heal as well, do something creative I love, and hopefully try to make a living of it.

I had mental health problems all of my life, ever since I can remember. I still do. Anxiety, depression, seasonal depression, social phobia… And I’m neurodivergent as well. I have been in therapy for more than 15 years, and I hope I have learned something in that time.

I learned that using positive language and positive affirmations helped to ease my self-consciousness and anxiety, especially when I extended them to my inner child.

I learned that sitting down every evening and listing the positive things that happened that day, the things that made me happy, however small, helped change my attitude towards my life for the better. This was the idea from which this blog, Create Small Joys, was born.

Tangentially related to this, when I was nervous or bored, I was always doodling. And when I was among people, I was nervous a lot. Every blank surface (including the back of my hands) was inevitably quickly covered by small ornaments.

“You should do something with that,” commented one of my friends, looking at a page in my notebook.

Now I finally found a way to do that “something”.

I combined adult coloring pages created by my unique drawing style with positive affirmations and the Journal of Joy and Success into a membership. Each month, a package of positive coloring pages will land in your inbox, creating an activity that will help you to work on your positive thinking, and ease your self-consciousness and anxieties.

You will also have access to a community of like-minded people and connect with them in a Facebook group designed for sharing your small joys, exchanging helpful resources, and answering positive thinking prompts.

I’m working now on a year’s worth of coloring pages so I will be always able to deliver on my promises. Once I have that, the membership will go live.

Do you want to heal while doing something fun? Sign up for my waitlist.

A green circle filled with watercolor leaves in dark green and gold, all pointing towards a vibrant red flower
My small joys

Painted joys

A friend from high school, with whom I hadn’t seen for ten years and only exchanged letters, went to a watercolor painting course with me! I have wanted to try this method for a long time. We went to Mankai Paper and had a great time. And I took home not only a delicately painted tulip and a flower mandala, but also a cake to go. 🙂

A man in old uniform driving a historic tram
My small joys

Historic joys

I took a ride on a vintage tram! I came across it right in front of our house and it was a nice surprise. Usually, these beauties with wooden interiors are only found in the center of Prague and you have to buy a ticket for them separately, you can’t ride on a tram pass. This one, however, was inaugurating a new section of the line, and I was able to ride back and forth as many times as I wanted, enjoying the way the driver turned the antique crank.