The Funny Thing About Joy


The Funny Thing About Joy

Landing in a new city’s airport and that feeling of exploration and adventure.  The way my boyfriend holds my hand.  Colorado sunrises.  Minnesota sunsets.  Dinner nights with my girlfriends.  Finding stillness in a yoga posture.  Italian espresso.  Learning a new skill.  Pen-to-paper journaling.  Drinking chocolate.  New yoga clothes.  Julie and Julia. Learning about wines from my dad.  Morning snuggles.  Road trip playlists.  Blogger meet-ups.  Happy hours.  The pop of a champagne cork.  Date night.  Great conversation.  Mashed sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar.  The way my mom calls my sister and I both “tootsiegirl” and signs her emails and blog comments “tootsiemom.”  Fresh air.  Mountains.  Beaches.  Autumn in Minnesota.  Macaroni and cheese.  Kisses.

These are the things that bring me joy, and what pure and simple fun really feels like for me.  Curly Girl Designs (my favorite cards and stationary and paper products ever) has this quote on the front of one of their cards, and I LOVE it:

Funny thing about joy is that you only really find it when you’re having too much fun to go looking for it.

Core values

It’s easy to list out all of the things we love, all of the things that make us feel that pure, simple joy.  For me, my joy centers around a few core values and priorities.  Five in particular: love, travel, yoga, learning, and writing.  It seems that my most important choices and direction in life centers around one of these priorities, and when these are back-burnered everything gets out of balance.  I know where I find my joy, but how do I stay connected to it?

Making time for fun

The important thing, I believe, is not only knowing where your joy comes from, but committing to staying connected to it.  For me, this means making time for fun.

Pure, simple fun is a priority, a must, and a crucial part of staying balanced. My idea of fun varies from large gatherings to one-on-one time, from being out and about to quiet evenings in.  Fun, to me, is Potluck Sunday – a once-a-week gathering of new and old friends.  It’s getting the program at a baseball game and keeping the scorecard (thanks, mom and dad for teaching me how to do that when I was younger!).  Fun is creating something from scratch, be it a scarf (I just learned to crochet, and that’s all I can make right now) or a piece of writing I’m proud of.  Fun is hiking in Colorado, boating on the lakes in Minnesota, and driving open highways with the windows down.

Fun is catching up with family on backyard porch swings, and it’s spending time with friends over morning coffee or afternoon happy hour (or vice versa, let’s not judge).  It’s sharing in the creation of a meal, and the sheer volume of conversation over a shared table of food.  Fun is Sunday drives into the mountains, ridiculous conversations with my girlfriends, and getting through a stack of new magazines.  It’s starting new friendships, and reconnecting with old ones.

My deepest joy comes out of my relationships, and this includes the connection to myself and the commitment to pursuing joy through the path of fun.  It’s in the little moments that are actually really big moments because those little pieces make up the whole picture of how we define everything about our lives and our love, our joy, and our FUN.

Where does your joy come from, and what do you do for fun to stay connected to it?

{Photo credit: mine}

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