One of my high school creative writing teachers once told us her father told her “Joy is not something you can constantly keep up. The best you can hope for daily is contentment”. That was harsh. I was devastated. I mulled it over so much, because it was there forever. It was said to me nearly twenty years ago, before blogs, websites, and internet, and here I am blogging about it. It’s one of those things I just can not unthink. For me, it was akin to her making us slow down in our car to check out an accident and we not only cause a gapper delay, but we see someone lying injured on the ground being worked on by paramedics. I can ‘t undo that. Geez, that was mean of her!
I say no! Heck, no! I rally against your notion of JOY as a fleeting muse! There are different kinds of JOY and maybe sometimes they work with contentment. Do they have to be mutually exclusive, backs turned from each other? Let’s employee some symbiosis here, friends.
Perhaps, the problem is not that on a day-to-day continuum we can’t have JOY, because it is only occasional, but maybe, just hopefully maybe, we are not appreciating our contentment enough. Can’t contentment inspire our JOY?
Case in point: You may have some daily rituals you engage in. Many are coffee drinkers. I prefer tea, but no matter. Some even swear by it as their caffeine pick-me-up. Some need multiple cups. If you live where it is freezing during the winter months (or if you enjoy a cold drink in warmer climes) isn’t that first sip radiantly warming (or refreshingly cooling)? There is contentment, because you have what you need when you need it. (Need loosely used here to mean want.) And if you appreciate that you live in a place where that need/want can be fulfilled, DAILY, isn’t that JOY? I think so.
With all the questions, I’ve sounded more like a therapist than a blogger tonight. One in the same, I say. Shouldn’t a good blog make you feel better about something? Hence, bringing you contentment, and moreover inspiring JOY? Yep.
Notice what makes your day better. You may have gotten too entrenched in your everyday routine to pay attention. Don’t feel as though you have to get up early to change it or alter the order in which you do things. Simply taking note that those pleasures are a part of your day is enough. Then, tell me, “How does that make you feel?”.
Peace and JOY with you!
AUTHOR BLURB: Elaine Paliatsas-Haughey is one of the lucky ones. She’s got Michael and Zoe and lots of others to love and love her. She is a writer of small important things and a teacher of small important people. She dedicates this post of JOY to Ef and thanks Brett for this opportunity. More joyous blog posts by Elaine can be read at www.littlelit.tumblr.com.