3 min read
What is joy?
For me, it is the spark that makes me smile. The feeling in my chest of excitement mixed with peace and satisfaction. The small delights of everyday life: hearing birds, noticing beauty, stopping to take a deep breath.
Why is joy so important to me?
I am a naturally optimistic person. Most of the time, I expect positive outcomes. I don’t worry too much. My best and most annoying trait is that I can always find a silver lining.
However, despite this I also go through periods where I experience intense anxiety. When I battle feeling low and melancholic for days on end. Sometimes, I struggle to find meaning in it all.
In 2009, after experiencing some very intense depression I started therapy. We spent a lot of time figuring out what I was feeling in the first place. But also, we worked on strategies to prevent falling into such a deep, dark hole again.
And the key was joy. To make room for it. I learned to pay attention – to myself and the world around me. I figured out which things and moments spark joy. And then to pursue them. Again and again. Every day.
Celebrating + sharing joy.
This blog is pretty much a celebration of all the things that bring me joy. Knitting, sewing, nature, friendship. And it is a diary of how and where I find joy. Sometimes in the midst of grief, sometimes in the midst of chaos. Alway in the ups and downs of motherhood and marriage, in faith and in doubt, during times of work and times of rest.
And my goal and hope is to share some of this joy with you. That you read about how I look for and find joy and that that inspires you to go on your own joy explorations.
Obstacles to pursuing joy
For me, there are two major obstacles in pursuing joy.
First, is a lack of attention. Sometimes I am so busy, I just go through my day, without looking up. I miss the beauty, the fun, the wonder. I can just forget about joy and all the places it hides.
The second obstacle in pursuing joy is not making it a priority. It feels frivolous, unimportant. There is so much else to do! I haven’t earned time to just be.
Overcoming the obstacles
The first obstacle is overcome relatively easy. Just allow yourself moments throughout the day to be present. Take a deep breath. Look around. Put your phone away. Open a window. Etc.
The second one is harder. You have to choose that you deserve to feel joy.
The Bible commands us to love God, our neighbour and ourselves. Loving yourself includes choosing things that are good for you. Allowing yourself to leave some chores uncompleted so that you have time to do something you love. To play, to laugh, to just sit and be.
This is your invitation
So, this is your invitation to go looking for joy. Become curious about yourself, about what delights you.
Life is so short. It can be terrible and relentless and exhausting at times. But it is also beautiful and full of wonder. And there is so much joy to be found.
This is Day 90 of my 100 Day Project. You can learn more about my 100 day project by reading this post. If you want to do your own 100 day Project, I would recommend checking out the 100 Day Project website.