How do we feel good when life doesn’t feel very good? One way that I use is to notice what I call little joys.
Some of my little joy might be cooking dinner yet again (how do moms/dads do it for years on end?) and then noticing that I can whip together a good dinner in about 20 minutes. Cleaning up the dishes and loading the dishwasher every night and hitting that start button and being grateful for the dishwasher – and not thinking about having to empty it the next morning is a joy. Doing another load of laundry and loving that I don’t have to go to a laundromat – a joy. My first washer and dryer were a big joy!
Wearing clothes that I like is a little joy. Finding comfortable shoes that fit my wide, long feet is definitely a little joy! Working on my computer, writing, and eating food that feels good are little joys. Getting in bed and luxuriating in sleep is a little joy. Kissing and cuddling my Little Bear kitty is an especially joyous joy. Watching entertaining TV is a little joy. Being home with my family and getting out by myself – all little joys.
Puttering in the morning when the house is quiet and everyone else is asleep (except Little Bear of course, my built in kitty alarm clock) is a definite joy. Even emptying that dishwasher is a joy. Talking to a long time friend on the phone – even though I am not crazy about the phone – is a joy. As I go through my day, all the little routine things have a possibility of joy – if I allow it.
We might think of these things as normal everyday things. They are, but there is also a seed of joy to be had in all of it.
It may be hard to feel joy every day. We may have to look for it. The lush greenery right now can be a little joy. A reliable car can be a big joy! Getting the weeds cut down, the house power washed, sitting under the shade of the canopy of maples in the backyard , just having a place to live and running water and indoor plumbing! . . . all little/big joys. And we can notice and feel a little joy, and feel sad or low or grief, or anxiety or disappointment, all at the same time.
It’s not one or the other. But sometimes, the hard stuff seems to show up more often and we have to reach a little for the joy. It may seem just beyond reach, and we may just be out of practice.