I REFUSE TO GIVE UP JOY.
I am on a determined, deliberate Journey of Joy. I am going to embrace it, chase it, race with it.
I absolutely refuse to give up my joy.
We all know what JOY is, right?
JOY has lived in us from the moment we were born.
JOY giggled up from our bellies the first time someone played Peek A Boo with us.
JOY tingled across our shoulders and up into our smiles when we saw a funny stuffed animal or played outside.
JOY washed over us when we saw a face we loved or were snuggled on a cold night.
JOY is ours.
It feels great. It feels deep down healthy. It is freeing.
Why would we give up joy?
No amount of bills or politics,
plans or worries,
grouchy people or rain
is worth giving up our joy for.
As a matter of fact, I think we need to actively REFUSE TO GIVE UP JOY. That is my plan starting today.
DAY ONE of my Journey of Joy.
This was the perfect day for me to deliberately nurture JOY because gloom wanted in. It was pounding at my door from the first.
I awoke with the icky stomach/brain flu for the third day. My body felt sluggish and my hair looked scary when I walked past the mirror. EEK!
Fog draped the landscape all day in a dripping gray mist.
Yes, the sun did break through the clouds finally. . . at 4:30 p.m.
Did I mention that the sun set today in Oregon at 4:57? Twenty seven minutes of partial blue sky was a cruel teaser! GRRR
I love my doggies but today Munchkin was sleepy and Buddy was too quiet, which often predicts trouble. In this case it was a paper towel roll left in Buddy’s reach. Munchkin, the elder, did nothing to stop him.
Politics? That is another GRRR. “Fire and Fury” flashed across the news over and over and over. And OVER.
On a more emotional side, grief lingered on the edges on my soul all day. This time of year is filled with anniversaries of sorrow.
One of my sons, Robin, died on Dec 31st in 2011. I experienced his loss today like an echo in a steep canyon.
Then there is tomorrow, which is my first husband Bruce’s birthday. I pondered today that he will never get older because he died of a brain tumor in 2005. I grow older and he will always be 58. Sigh.
I felt concerned about my husband Ray as well today. He has the flu bug and I care about his health and well being. I know too well what it is like to outlive a loved one and I want many more years with Ray.
It was turning out to be the ‘perfect’ day for gloomy thoughts and stunted joy but I resisted. I was determined to walk in joy.
The question was “How?”
I thought about calling a friend. Nope. Talking would take way too much energy.
I thought about art projects and dancing to music. I like art and delight in being messy and colorful. Dancing too is fun, but both seemed to involve more energy than I had.
I did watch some informative, non-political shows on DVR. I like learning, but my brain was ho-hum today. Even my brain cells felt sluggish.
Then at 4:48 PM, nine minutes before the sun set, I stopped thinking and started looking.
I looked fully and completely at the moment around me. When I did, the drifting fog and the glimmers of sunlight seemed different. They were playing with the winter trees, not obscuring them.
The trees no longer were skeletal reminders of the barren winter. They were glimpses of nature’s elegant artistry.
The paper towel roll unraveled on the floor seemed actually kind of funny and Buddy’s soulful look afterward was endearing.
I smiled, just a bit.
I felt the joy creep around my mouth and up to my eyes.
My ears moved and tingled as I smiled wider.
I began to breathe more deeply and my shoulders relaxed.
I could feel a chuckle in my chest and I began to shake my head at my self-made thoughts of gloom.
I breathed in . . . I appreciate this moment.
I breathed out . . . I feel joy.
I cherished the feeling of joy. I needed it today!
Do you want to join me in protecting and nurturing JOY? I would delight in having you dance, leap and run with me on a Journey of Joy.