It’s kind of the thing to do when you have been dumped…read self-help books, look inside, peer into the corners, and make yourself a better person. I’ve made my rounds through Dan Gilbert, Brené Brown, Susan Jeffers, and Dr. Phil. Through it all, I’ve wondered about joy.
Are we worthy of joy?
We’re so afraid that the feeling of joy won’t last or maybe we put too much pressure in the concept of joy or perhaps deep inside we feel a bit undeserving. Could it be that we feel ashamed if the universe rewards us with a little bit of overwhelming happiness?
After all, who are we to deserve joy? There are so many people who are better, nicer, luckier…
I think joy comes to us in small, ordinary moments. And if we don’t pay attention, we may miss it. Our current day Mad Men sell us on the idea of the extraordinary. If we’re not pursuing the spectacular, what are we?
According to Brené Brown, joy can feel like a setup. When we have joy, we are always wondering what we did to deserve it and how soon it will eventually be taken away from us.
There is a wren outside of my window singing his heart out. His song is beautiful and cheery. If I move too fast through life I will miss it. Yet it is one of my simple joys every spring to hear the wren’s song. It means he’s come back North and decided to hang out in one of my birdhouses again for the summer. To hear his song brings me great joy. My wren happiness leads me to my goal for achieving joy – Live small and enjoy the ordinary, being grateful for what I have around me.
I tried something new this week. Don’t laugh. I made my own laundry detergent. Ok, I’m laughing. It proves that you can find a DIY project for anything on Pinterest! I decided to give it a try as part of my “Say Yes to Life” mantra. Surprise, surprise, the detergent actually turned out great. I used it to wash Son #1’s work clothes and the smell of endless nights of cooking and dishwashing disappeared as if by magic.
That leads me to my next question. What’s next? Make my own paint? Pave my own driveway? Build a windmill? How far off the grid will I get myself? It doesn’t matter because I’ll find the joy in all those little things.
As I stood there in the kitchen, stirring the pot for 20 minutes, I enjoyed my time as a mad scientist. It made me happy to make something, to experiment, to take a risk, even if it’s only with laundry detergent.
In two weeks I’m heading off to spend a week with Husband #2. It will be the longest we’ve been together since July of last year. This trip is different. Husband #2 has planned it out himself, which is a deviation from our normal routine. He’s worried about the places we’ll go and the things we’ll see as he’s nervous about meeting my expectations for happiness. I quietly reassured him that I’ll already be happy just having the opportunity to hold his hand. That is the truth. I miss just having him close by. My joy will be in spending time with him.
After our trip together we’re opening the door to discussions about our relationship. This brings me hope since we’re at the point of being able to talk about our feelings and struggles and expectations. Talking about our issues will produce it’s own type of joy, one of moving forward towards a resolution.
And Husband #2 gave me a little extra joy yesterday. During our bi-weekly phone call, he told me that he missed me. It was a nice thing to hear.