It's there if we're willing to find it.
Riding the subway to my group coaching class this week, I looked up at the two women talking across from me and had a sudden glimpse into the magnitude of the experience of the human race. A sense of their random (to me) conversation, their comfort with their own images and relationships, and the innumerable experiences that led them to that car that very moment. Times that by 6.5 billion for the number of lives being lived in the world right now, and I feel a bit of awe. Call me odd, but this sense of the immensity of human life confronts me every once in awhile. It doesn't leave me feeling insignificant, but rather empowered that every life is unique, important, precious, relevant, and fragile. I end up reflecting on what I'm doing with mine.
Which leads me to the title above ... everyday joy. I have a friend who signs every e-mail with "Joy!", and it never fails to make me smile. It's always there for the finding. Always. Some of us, however, myself included, tend to resist the natural flow of things, and try to reach an elusive goal before allowing joy to come in, or forgetting that it's found along the way. Or perhaps resisting it because we'd rather hang on to whatever else we're feeling that's more important? On my vacation last week, which included some "what am I doing with my life?" reflecting, I was reminded that I take things too seriously too much of the time. This thought precipitated one of the best parts of the trip, which was spent wedged in the backseat of a too-small rental car between two car-seats, playing a game of "Who Can Be Sillier?" with my sons. Shrieking nonsense, tickling, and laughing turned our claustrophobia and boredom into endless giggles.
If your Joy! moments are few and far between, then something's missing somewhere. Maybe your attitudes are stale and sour, your relationships stagnant, your faith shaken, your perspective warped, or you're too stressed to see what's right in front of you. There can be joy found in anything. It may take time to find, but it IS there. Getting a glimpse into another life, perhaps more challenging in many ways than our own, can make the daily grind less of a grind and more of a river. After watching this video of a mom with no arms raising her son, I find little room to complain about how hard it is to take care of my kids! Choose to find something to be thankful for, let go of expectations, renew your faith, live in the moment, stop the blame game, help someone else, or ask for perspective. You're the only one living your life, enjoy it! There's absolutely no excuse not to, and you and everyone around you will benefit.