Find a Little Joy

Remember these days, when finding joy was as simple as twirling in the living room with your friends? Where a game of tag was a carefree escape and Kool-Aid was all you needed to instantly uplift a day? But in a world where horrendous acts are splayed across the daily news reel, bills pile up along with the struggle to pay them, the kids need attention and the work needs doing, it can be easy to get caught up in the gamut of To Dos. And that list is usually pretty joyless.

Case and point: I’m finding my masters degree to be a little more than daunting. Although I’m doing what I love, I’m also feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work and the amount of writing I have to do this year. I have to write over 100 pages for critique and also have to write my thesis this year, which is an entire novel. Oh my. Daunting. What’s funny is that writing used to be my escape from the things that stressed me, much like I turn to yoga today. But somehow, when it’s work, I’ve been absolutely stumped for words. I have no ideas. I can’t form sentences. I’m useless in the writing department. I have writer’s block. Bad.

Yesterday, with puppy Pot Roast nestled in his bed, I sat on the floor and lit a few candles. Yes, it was the middle of the day but if I was a kid, I wouldn’t have thought twice about stopping to have a snack or twirl in the backyard, no matter the hour. I pulled the curtains across the windows, closed my eyes and meditated and before I knew it, over an hour had passed. I didn’t try to come up with any ideas and I didn’t force my mind to be its usual creative self. I gave permission to myself to relax, to let go, to give in to the calmness. To come back to the joy that writing and yoga have previously given to me.

I didn’t wake up with any excellent story ideas. I didn’t magically change in that moment. But I got up from the floor and Pot Roast was asleep on his back, curled up like a snail with a bone in his mouth and I laughed. I laughed until I almost cried, even though it wasn’t particularly funny. Okay, maybe I looked a little crazy but oh man, did it ever feel good. I found the joy in my writing, in owning a puppy, in doing a degree in something I’m passionate about, in being able to be home, and in such a sunny and beautiful day. Corny? Maybe? True? Yes.

Late last night, after my meditation afternoon, I came up with the perfect story idea. Then another. Then another. I jotted them down on some paper, woke up this morning and wrote fifteen pages in one sitting. Not because I had to. Not because anyone had demanded it of me and not because there was a looming deadline. But just because once, I had loved to write because it meant the world to me.

Yesterday, I blended my two loves; yoga and writing. There is so much joy to be found in the most simple of daily things. It’s all just a matter of finding that joy, holding on to it, and of course, twirling.


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