Choosing Joy

This summer, my husband and I attended our godson’s outdoor wedding. We were thrilled to be included on the limited guest list. We’d forgotten the delight that comes from seeing someone you love be happy. His joy was our joy. Even little things—buying a new dress, getting my hair done, overnighting in a hotel—were forgotten joys, things we might once have taken for granted or, in our early years, even sighed over as an unbudgeted expense.

Joy caught me by surprise.

And that made me a bit sad.

To think I had forgotten the feeling of joy. Or perhaps I had simply forgotten to notice? What if I focused on the joy, not the sadness?

 So I started paying attention.

  • That first sip of a warm beverage in the morning.
  • The crisp, refreshing air during my morning walk that makes my nose drip.
  • The softness of the tissue in my pocket for catching said drip.
  • Grandkids that call in a panic when they’ve missed the bus or forgotten their house key.
  • A dog that barks at every ring of the doorbell. (Alright, I don’t enjoy her barking, but you’ve got to laugh when she struts around, so proud of fulfilling what she thinks is her doggie purpose.)

As I paid attention, I noticed my day is filled with thousands of small moments of joy.

Sure, sometimes there’s a lot of crap in a day, but if I made the effort to notice even the tiniest moment of joy—or remembered a past one—I could return to that feeling, find it in my body and draw on it. I believe joy is the center our being; it’s the default to which we yearn to return.

All you need to do is catch yourself being joyful and your cells remember. Even the briefest moment lights us from within. It expands and radiates outward, often as a smile. Joy is contagious.

So, catch yourself being joyful. Remember that feeling, and return to it as often as you wish.

Choose joy.