This is weird. Three posts in three days? Things must be getting better!
I was just cleaning the massive mess in the cubbies below our tv and found this little "joy" journal that came from who knows where. I flipped through it to see if there were any blank pages left as to know whether to toss it or keep it and discovered the author's bio at the back of the book. Author, Wendy Santiano mother of small children, remembered feeling "overwhelmed and . . . really lost in life . . . [and] numb. . . ." when she realized that she did actually remember what it was like to experience joy. Well that sounds familiar on so many levels.
I flipped to the front of the little booklet, read it and came up with my joys:
1. Service: Service has been such a part of my life for well, pretty much all of it, I guess I can say it does bring me joy. I love coordinating with people and organizing and being there to help.
2. Learning: I love to learn or discover new knowledge, which actually leads to writing.
3. Dates: I love spending time with my husband! Watching shows or going on walks and talking. Planning things together.
4. Kids: I love it when the kids are kind and make good choices. I love it when they are happy and at peace. I love it when they reach their goals. I'm trying to figure out how to react when they are mean or have sad failures. I didn't think stuff like that would affect me like it does.
5. Build: I love to build. It could be "building" dinner, ok, we usually say cooking. It could be "building" a costume; we usually call that sewing. It could be working in the yard or fixing something in the home. President Uchtdorf called this creating.
6. Adventure: Well, I used to have a sense of adventure before I got all mom-serious and bogged down. I kind of gave up on adventure, too, when the kids complained about stuff like hiking or were too small to bike and things like that.
7. Exercise: I can't believe I'm writing this, but one of the biggest joys I had was once after running. I pushed it and felt so good! I really have a love-hate relationship with exercise because it's hard, and I really don't find it fun at all. But, it makes me feel so strong when I work hard at it, and I like that! I want to do it, but it's been so hard the last 16 years to really do it, with kids.
This all reminds me of all the health classes I took in college where we talked about the different elements of health: social, emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual, etc. The list varied by class. In one class we were challenged to do something from each category every day to remain balanced and healthy. As a mother, I realize I totally stink at that. I guess in college, I did, too, because I thought our assignment was to one each day, not each one once a day. I can pull off one a day, but all of them?
Every year our school has a "Sharpen the Saw" weekend based off of Covey's 7 Habits of Happy Kids. My cute first grader brought home a little book about what sharpen the saw means. Basically it's take care of body, mind, heart, and soul to stay balanced. I'm ok at making sure everyone else stays balanced, but pretty much stink at making sure I take care of myself.
So, there ya go. I'm feeling awfully vulnerable blogging again. It's been quite a while. I'll try to focus on my joys and see if my outlook improves because Santiano said, "Joy matters because you matter." And I know I do, it's just sometimes it hasn't felt like it.