Things in my house are changing. Right now I’m a married single mom as my husband is states away looking for a job and doing his part to make our family life better. So, tonight was the typical scramble to get dinner on the table and just as I was thinking, “OK, everything is winding down,” my daughter and I realized that she needs to bake 2 dozen cookies for one charity and a dozen cupcakes for another (with orange frosting and a black jelly bean on top — SERIOUSLY?!). Not enough of a dilemma to turn things upside down except I had no, flour, sugar or butter and the chocolate chips were looking dicey. Deep breath . . .time to regroup. I breezed through the grocery store picking up things I need for the next several days and baking supplies, sans orange frosting and jelly beans. The bonus, I thought to myself, is that Starbucks is just across the parking lot and I’ve been craving a pumpkin spice latte.
After loading the car with groceries I headed the 25 yards across the parking lot; giving myself a pep talk about how I’d run AND walk with the dogs today, I had cleaned house, worked – I earned this right? And, if I got only a tall with soy milk I could really justify this indulgence. The coffee shop was quiet with only a few college students busy with their iDevices so I quickly ordered my tall, decaf, pumpkin spice latte with soy and stood by the counter patiently waiting. I was thinking about how this would easily be my moment of JOY today when all of a sudden it was as if I had been transported to another time and place. A female vocalist was singing Irving Berlin’s “Cheek to Cheek” with that dreamy 1940’s lilt and I remembered a time when hanging out at the local Starbucks was about catching up with friends, taking time for me and enjoying the moment. Lately it’s been a treat that I indulge in only rarely flying from one busy moment to the next. But for a few moments I felt like it was 5 years ago when I was full of hope and laughter and life felt promising.
I can’t really adequately explain the feeling that overcame me, but I suddenly had perspective. I used to take time for me — it was a regular part of my routine. Life changed, the market crashed, my husband lost his job and somewhere in that chaos I stopped enjoying life. Lately I’ve been on a mission to find JOY again. So I savor moments with my kids, delight in a piece of great dark chocolate and allow myself to feel glimpses of JOY, but then I return to the chaos and feelings of lack. I know thoughts create, but the truth is, we create the best with feelings and if the predominant thing I’ve feeling is chaos, stress and discomfort it’s easy to forget the feeling of JOY. In this moment I honestly don’t know how to feel JOYous when life is quite frankly not right now, but I am grateful for that feeling I had in the coffee shop tonight. I remembered . . .and from there I can remember some more. So, here’s to feeling JOY, not just finding JOY in a moment.