Joyfully Onward …

So, I don’t know if I told you or not, but I’m moving. Again. One thing is for sure, I’ve got this packing thing down pat. I may not do it as quickly as I have in the past (packing, people, packing!), it’s getting there, and the big move should forge ahead on schedule. Luckily, as it turns out, my fall on Friday was ultimately more embarrassing than damaging, so there was something to be joyful about this weekend after all. By Sunday morning, I was back to my self. And, my wrists and hands are now a pretty shade of purple-y blue, so there’s that. Free body art!

My weekend joys (I’ll list more than three since I’ve got two days to account for):

  1. Pancakes!
  2. A kick-ass play list sent to me by my daughter which directly influenced Joy #3
  3. Dancing while surrounded by dogs and boxes
  4. Moscato D’Asti wine
  5. Coming face-to-face yet again with the fact that my son is an amazing human being
  6. Hearing the smile-y lilt return to my mother’s voice after being absent for so long

What brought you joy over the weekend?


Got Joy?

So. After a heavy fall in a parking lot and three hours at the emergency clinic, my three joys are thus – and this time, they’re in order of importance:

  1. I’m glad no-one saw me fall.
  2. I’m glad nothing is broken – only sprained or bruised.
  3. I’m glad I didn’t rip my work pants.

my wrists

That’s it. I’ve got nothing else for today. Hit me with your three moments, people… I need some joy right about now and I would absolutely love to hear yours.

Ode to Joy

So, I guess we’ll just plan on me being late with every “three moments of joy” entry, and then when I’m on time, it will be an unexpected moment… of joy.  See what I did there? Yeah, okay. Onward, then.

Yesterday was a much better day than Tuesday, that’s for sure. Still… it’s interesting to discover that moments of joy are often elusive creatures to pin down. As I mentioned before, I’m trying to stay away from moments of gratitude – of which, there are many – to focus purely on sparks of joy. What sparks joy?  It’s a thought-provoking question.  Joy can be something as simple as a baby’s laugh, which, as we all know, can light up a room. Or it can be that first barefooted step onto a white sandy beach, knowing that work remains two weeks off in the future.

Well, I didn’t visit any white, sandy beaches yesterday … but I did see and hear a baby laugh, and I’ll tell you, it was infectious. My other moments of joy were brief – and perhaps small, but looking back, they were the glue that made the day not just bearable, but oh-so-pleasant.

Moment of Joy #1:
An unknown-to-me baby’s infectious laugh which broke through a moment of not quite sadness to engulf the world in delight.

Moment of Joy #2:
Coffee.  Need I say more?  Coffee, coffee, coffee. First thing in the morning, too. I rarely have time to make a cup of coffee for myself before I go to work, and this one was there, just waiting for me, so yeah, it was a joyful way to start the day.

Moment of Joy #3:
My dog. It occurred to me yesterday, that perhaps I’ve taken advantage of it all these years, but my dog loves me. His wiggly butt and his “mommy’s home!” dance at the door when I come home after work just brightens my day… no matter what kind of day I’ve had. Oh sure, he gets treats all day long and I tell him what a good boy he is (cause let’s face it, he is), but I vow to better appreciate this unconditional love going forward. Dogs, like people, aren’t here forever, and we need to soak up their affection for as long as we have them with us.

So, spill… what were YOUR three moments of joy?

Joy to the World

So, true to form, I’m late with my first “three moments of joy” submission.  Quite frankly, yesterday was an extremely difficult day. It’s almost as if the gods that be saw my desire to be more joyful and said, “Oh yeah!? Well, have WE got a day for you, my pretty!” Strangely enough, the gods that be sound just like the Wicked Witch of the West.

Now, if it’s moments of gratitude we’re talking about, I’ve got that down … there were lots of moments of gratitude yesterday. From a very sweet and compassionate store clerk who spent just about forever helping an older gentleman get his $1.00 refund to a dear friend who tries his best to make me smile. But moments of joy?  Those were tough to identify. After some heavy consideration, I found that my moments of joy were also true to form… involving animals and books.

Moment of Joy #1:
While on my way through my neighborhood yesterday evening, I saw a guy … big, burly kind of guy, walking a little pug dog. The dog was young, likely still just a puppy – it had that puppy gait typical of very young pugs that is more hop than walk. It looked as though it had discovered something fascinating in the grass and was attempting to scare it into submission – by bouncing at it mind you—which only served to increase its cuteness by tenfold. I was reminded of Jack Frost in Santa Clause 3 … “What are you going to do, adorablize me? Sweet me into submission? Cute me to death?”  Joy is cute baby pugs.

Moment of Joy#2:
I went to the library. Yep. It was that simple. It wasn’t a long visit, I just had to return some books but in doing so took about five minutes to look at the shelves close to the book return. That’s all I needed.  Joy is being surrounded by books.

Moment of Joy #3:
After I was finally finished with errands and at home, in my own space, before I could even change out of my work clothes, I laid down on the couch with the intent to just sulk recoup after a trying day. While lying there, curled up on my side, the ne’er-do-well decided that I would make a good perching point, so she climbed up on my hip, somehow making herself fit as only cats can do, and laid there… purring.  Joy is a warm little ball of fluff.

Where did you find joy yesterday?

Finding Calm in the Chaos

I’ve always wondered about admired the ones who keep a cool head in the face of stressful, sad, and irritating situations. Some people just seem so damn happy all the time. And while I envy them their joyful outlook on life, they’re also annoying as hell. I mean, just how do they find such unbridled joy – let alone, so much of it – when the world around us is so often full of noise and negativity?

I will admit that I still don’t know the answer to that. It’s not alcohol. I know that much. All that gets you is naked on a table at the neighborhood TGI Fridays, dancing to piped in muzak, and no-one wins in that scenario.  As much as I’ve enjoyed my spontaneous tabletop diversions, I’ve decided to explore the idea of joy in a much more productive manner.  And I’m taking all of you along for the ride.

What prompted this experiment in happiness, you ask?  Well, walking through a bookstore recently (of course, right? a bookstore!), I saw a book called Three Moments of Joy.

The cover drew me to the book if I’m being honest. It just looked happy. Contrary to my oft-displayed demeanor, I like happy. Three Moments of Joy is a guided activity journal, and while there’s not much to the book itself, the purpose behind it is amazingly profound.  It’s intended to help us focus on finding three things that bring us a sense of joy every single day. More than that, it’s meant to change our entire outlook on life and the world around us. That’s a tall order for a book with an illustrated bird on the cover, I know. However, this book’s motto… why yes, the book has a motto… sums it up pretty well: “What you focus on, expands.”  Following this logic, it’s not such a tall order after all. Even on the worst days, we can find three small moments of joy, thereby lessening the grief or the stress or the chaos. We may have to dig deep to find those three small moments, but… what you focus on, expands.

One thing I liked about this book is that rather than have all the answers, it sends you off to find your own. This book seemed to say, “Hey, we understand life is busy and chaotic. Life can be a struggle. Life can suck. Why not try to find three things that make you happy each day? This story is yours and you’ll decide on your own path.”

“Stop and smell the roses”, has always seemed cheesy to me. I just don’t have time to do that! But maybe that’s the problem.

As I said, I’m taking you along for this enlightenment ride. I’ll post my “three moments of joy” every evening. Although, knowing me, I’ll likely end up piggybacking a few together BUT I will be giving it my best effort. Maybe you’ll share your three moments of joy with me in the comments so we can truly take this journey together.  I mean, hell, if I can do it, as curmudgeonly as I am, anyone can. Besides, who couldn’t use a little more joy in their life?  What you focus on, expands.