Joy

So we’re trying out the Konmari method for decluttering our house, and the very essence of this is deciding which of your possessions spark joy in you. So I have been spending a lot of time in these last few days thinking about what really brings joy to my life.

When I was nineteen I had to move back home after dropping out of my uni course at the last moment. All my friends were heading off to university, or on exciting gap year adventures overseas. Instead I was back living at home, no friends around, doing full time voluntary work and feeling pretty rubbish about life. At the same time my Mum was going through a pretty tough time. We ended up growing very close in that year, as adult friends rather than mother and child. We decided to make a really active move towards making the most of the little things in life that bring you joy, and realising you feel happy in the moment, rather than in retrospect. I had a horrible habit of getting myself so excited about positive things in my life that I would then start to worry about ‘what if it goes wrong?’ ‘What if it doesn’t live up to my expectations?’ ‘What if I mess it up?’ To the point where I couldn’t let myself enjoy anything in the moment.

I see it in my daughter now. Last night we made her favourite meal- she had been looking forward to it all week, and had decided she was going to help her Daddy cook it. She was so excited. She desperately wanted to get all the ingredients in straight away, she refused to accept that it needed to be done step by step. When it wasn’t ready in two minutes flat we headed for full on tantrum mode. It got to the point where me and Daddy were both shouting at her and we all had a horrible dinner. Don’t even get me started on the horrors of Christmas Day last year! So I think that wonderful lesson of enjoying the moment is one I will work on with her.

I am so much better at it these days, though I definitely think that there are times when I struggle within it in the maelstrom of motherhood. I am a star at appreciating the small things though. And those joy sparking moments do come upon me all the time, and at the strangest moments.

The cup of real coffee in my favourite cup. Chopping onions. Making gravy. Looking at my bookcase. Seeing the primroses bursting out in flower on the wall. Dancing to my favourite music in the shower. Seeing the sunshine. Walking on the beach. Pulling weeds from the soil. Baking a cake for friends. And now writing my blog!

So it’s all about the joy of the small things for me these days. There are no grand adventures, exotic holidays, great romances nowadays. There is lots of mundanity, and hard slog, but it brings me so much joy. When it’s not driving me crazy. I’m finding it a little harder to find the Konmari spark of joy in my possessions, but I’m working on that too. I hope that you find the small things that spark joy in you today, like the sunbeam through the clouds.

 

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