Joy and the Rollercoaster Ride
Today I was thinking a lot about joy. I used to think of joy as huge; this giant feeling that was the peak of the human experience. Sometimes in my brain, joy was something like life's orgasm; powerful, memorable and something you wanted again. It almost seems as if we are conditioned to believe that joy is a pinnacle event that we plan for, work for and achieve. It’s this “thing” we can obtain. Honestly, you can watch any commercial on tv and create that idea. If we have this, or do this, we will feel happy, right? That’s what we see everywhere.
Ya’ll... I’m here to tell you it’s not.
I was making a list of “things that bring me joy” (yeah, I do that...it honestly is the easiest way to get yourself out of a funk and shift that vibration a bit) and noticed that it was actually seemingly little things that filled the list. Sure, I love big vacations, and weddings and the birth of my child was miraculous. Absolutely. How can you not pause in those giant moments and take it in? The sheer nature of those events create this dramatic instinct to stop and notice. But every damn day, there’s an opportunity to feel this way in so many moments I can't name them; to experience and to be. I'm learning joy comes from tiny things, not just these huge things we think it might exist in.
I want to make a shameless plug for just slowing the hell down and taking an extra ten seconds in the shower to smell your soap or to notice how soft your sheets are. This act of noticing grounds me. It puts my ass in check and makes me realize “oh, I actually have access to joy all the time”. I can quit striving, pushing and trying. Joy is available, even when shit is an absolute mess.
You can find joy, peace, acceptance and love in every fucking moment. My life lately has felt out of control. I have felt, in moments, an extreme range of emotions from rage to bliss all in 30 seconds. Like riding that hella scary roller coaster, when your car gets right to the top of the hill. For a millisecond, you sit there at the top of the hill and it’s completely silent. You stop hearing that "tick, tick" of the track carrying you to the top. You look out over the amusement park and everything looks so small. Then, in the next moment, your car is careening straight towards the ground. Like, wait, what? A tiny moment ago, I was just noticing the quiet and now here I am with my stomach in my throat screaming and clutching the safety bar. Holy shit. This is just kind of how it is, right? No? Just me?
What I’m proposing is we take those top of the hill moments in more frequently. We stop. We listen. We notice. Things can change so quickly, and you can wake up one day and realize you’ve missed the opportunity to just be right where you are happily.
Also...here’s my list of 10 things that bring me joy right now. Everyone loves a list right? In reality, I could do 100 things, but I’m keepin this short for ya’ll. I don’t want you to get bored here. I would adore seeing yours. Reading lists of joy might also be on the below list, now that I think about it. See? This whole damn process is just magical.
Going to sleep in a tent to the sound of the woods. It's the best.
Light through the trees at sunset - This is my favorite "color" actually
Breweries and the people I meet at dive bars - Some of my best memories come from nights with my husband at breweries making friends.
The smell of fresh lavender
Planting things - My hands in the dirt has an ability to make me feel so beautiful.
Belly laughter - I have a big laugh. A loud and memorable one. This loud ass laugh also makes me feel beautiful
Car rides with my daughter when she’s introducing me to new music she likes - she makes a great playlist as long as you're cool with explicit content.
When my husband reaches over and holds my hand unexpectedly - Right now especially
My soap. It’s from Lush, and it’s my favorite smell ever. Here...get after it
Good coffee from a mug I love . I hate travel mugs and paper cups. I adore real, ceramic mugs that I can hold on to. I feel cozier with them.