I stumbled across a book last night that was gifted to me over a year ago. It was titled "Three Moments of Joy” A Guided Journal for Recording Each Day’s Blessings. Since I am on spring break right now, I have a lot of extra time to read, spring clean, and reflect on these last very busy 7 months.
I opened up the journal to a random page and the first quote that I read was
“Remember this, that very little is needed to make a happy life.” - Marcus Aurelius
The journal entry was dated February 23, 2020-
3 Moments of Joy
1: Going to the Vintage Fair with my family 2: Peeking at my Vegetable Garden
3: Hannah giving me a big hug on my bed
So, of course,I had to think of my 3 Moments of Joy from that day. April 4, 2021
The first three that came to mind were:
Celebrating Easter with my relatives this year
Opportunity to drive to Arizona and visit Scott’s family
Sipping my coffee on the front porch in my old rocking chair
There were many other Joys that came to mind. Like eating the marshmallow Peep candy, going for a walk around the neighborhood and checking on all of the trees that are in full bloom, opportunities of new business ventures, 10 glorious days away from zoom teaching, and the list goes on.
When I compared my moments of Joy from over a year ago to the present day, I realized that I was on the brink of this transformation right before the pandemic came. I was yearning for simplicity, for enjoying small moments rather than grand moments, and feeling the call to follow some of my passions and hidden talents. I just had not been presented the time or even direction to pursue some of these thoughts.
I tend to be very expressive with my words, my actions, and even my tone of voice. I tend to talk too much and explain too much when I gift a present, spend time with others, or even tell a story.
Scott, on the other hand, is a man of much fewer words. He will gift an item and there will be maybe a short note attached to it. However, his few words sometimes have more meaning than my essay, because he was so purposeful with which words he chose.
Hence, he studied poetry in college and I studied literature. Short vs long, meaning in both types of written language. His brief interludes and visits are much more concise, I tend to linger for awhile.
How is this connected to Joy?
Joy is different for everyone. Your three moments of Joy for today could be that you just completed a difficult exam for school, you mastered a new workout, or that you reconciled a difference with a loved one. All different levels of joyous moments.
What I have been thinking lately is that as we enter back into society, return to our new normal, I truly hope that people do not forget the minuscule moments that brought us such joy a year ago.
A year ago, it might sound crazy- I had to scour the basement to find Easter goodies since we were on lock down. However, as I busily prepared for Easter this year, there was just a twinge of sadness on how resourceful I had become last year. We were stripped to the core and we were forced to truly enjoy the little moments. My mom had ordered Easter candy from a small store in Vermont last February. When that package arrived in the mail, we were so giddy to open it. I was thankful that we had supported this family owned store across the country and that I had a little piece of normality to give to my children that very dark time last year.
So, I continued on this little journey and decided to open up to another random page in my book treasure. The quote was “When one door of happiness closes, another opens. But often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” - Helen Keller
Wow, such a powerful statement. Your joy today is probably different than the joy you experienced a year ago. It could be different than what you experienced even a month ago. But, I have realized to not discount what I am feeling daily.
That feeling of great pleasure and happiness- allow yourself to feel it. Let the sunlight in. There is a reason why we have a day and night. We need the night time for slumber, to let our body rest. We also need the day time to allow our body to be energized- to move, to grow, and to put thoughts into actions.
Each one of us have had different encounters with happiness throughout our life. Some have been larger than others, and some have been longer than others. However, that Joy you might have felt ten years ago, is waiting to emerge again. You just have to take a moment to find it.
I am not immune to these words. I fell into a rut for the past month.
In the last few weeks as we entered hybrid learning, the Iler household had been in a bit of rush. Joyous moments were far and few in between. There was so much angst with the unknown that I had forgotten to look for the small joyous moments. Until last week. . .
Our chickens that we hatched last May have officially started laying eggs. My girls went out to the hen house and they discovered 6 eggs! You would have thought that they had just landed on the Moon. It was this unexpected moment that they were gifted on a Wednesday morning before they began their school day. I would think if I would have asked them that day their Moments of Joy- for sure one of them would have been discovering eggs in the chicken coop.
At the end of today, I would predict one of my daughters' moments of joy is seeing their grandma that they have not seen in over a year. I think the hugs are going to be long, the smiles will linger, and the conversations will definitely have very “short interludes.” It was a long time to wait, but the ending was so worth it. Give yourself a gift today- indulge in some moments of Joy.
As for me, I can almost taste my Moment of Joy. I can't wait to enjoy Pennie Iler's amazing cinnamon rolls. I am sure they are as delicious as they were a year ago.