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Reclaiming My Joy

There was a day last week where I sensed joy emanated from every cell in my body. Traffic did not frustrate me. Not the red lights or the yellows. Or the car ahead of me leaving 200 yards between itself and the next. As I hunkered down to take a right turn from the library into a lengthy line up, someone waved me in.  It was my left hand that raised, but I felt my whole spirit wave back.

At Fred Meyer, my shopping cart parted the seas like Moses. I followed after it in my own parade, smiling at this person and that. And I didn’t know why. I just knew that from down deep something was welling over.

I think it was joy.

I cannot say for sure where it came from. Only that in the days since, I have watched that same joy diffuse like a forgotten birthday balloon. A little less each day. Until nothing.

I’ve watched myself–as if I had no part–become despondent. Beleaguered. Apathetic. I’ve smiled mechanically. Kept to myself. Avoided  out-of-the-way “hellos” or confrontation. Fiddled online . Read this book and that. And, consequently, found peace in nothing.

And I get it. Things don’t bring peace.

Or joy.

Neither does worry. Or a busy mind.

 

But gratitude . It might.

Bring joy closer, that is.

 

And so this day–right now–I am thankful for the accordioned gym mat propped up with two small chairs, the one blocking the entire doorway of the room I was trying to leave, the one I staggered over when I didn’t notice the chairs on the other side because it means I’ve still got reflexes…sort of.

I am thankful for crumbs on the table, crumbs that haven’t settled into the table crack yet or been swiped to the floor because it means we’ve been blessed with another meal. Another. Meal.

I am thankful for the dinkiest frozen puddle in my in-laws driveway, the one that wore my son out for ten minutes and neither knocked out his teeth nor broke any bones.

I’m thankful for baseball caps, which hide a number of things.

I’m thankful for library books, for inspiration from food magazines and for more than one pair of black sweats.

I’m thankful for voluntary kid kisses. And for the ‘monster truck my son drew in blue marker on white paper, the one that looks akin to a Pac-man ghost with tiny wheels. Its unmonstertruckness makes me smile.

I’m thankful for our last few squares of TP because we’ll learn how to ration. Or we’ll become resourceful.

I’m thankful for sunshine. For dark chocolate. For homemade pumpkin pie, of which I had four pieces.

I’m thankful that–be it ever so slightly– the air in my lungs is dispelling despondency. I’m exhaling apathy. I’m…I’m slowly reclaiming my joy.

I can feel it.

My joy.

Yes.

MY Joy!

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