Christmas just passed, the new year just around the corner. I have been spending these long nights and short days ruminating about life, meaning, the effort we put into work and play. I’ve been playing with ideas and thoughts about what’s been working, what hasn’t, and what we have to offer in service to the world.
One of the themes that keeps coming back to me is joy.
Joy is a funny word. It’s bigger than “happy” but also not necessarily as trite. For example, I have felt a deep thread of joy in my spirit even when times are hard, or when I’ve been in the grip of melancholy and darkness (both also are recurring themes in my life).
Joy can be both subtle – the quiet joy of a cup of tea while the rain patters on the roof outside – or transcendent – the blood rush and ecstatic hum of sheer joy felt while galloping on horseback.
Happiness is easier to get than joy (ice cream!), but harder to hold on to. Happiness comes and goes. Many times I’ve been asked, are you happy? – No, I’ve replied, – But I still feel a sense of joy in being alive, even when it’s hard to know why things are the way they are.
Some time ago, maybe mid-summer of this past year, I realized that I was saying “yes” to many things I wasn’t entirely certain I wanted to be saying ‘yes’ to. I recognized that my time on this planet is fleeting and I wanted to make every day count. I decided then to only add new things on my plate that would bring more joy into the universe.
So making art, learning to play new music – YES! Tea, feeding the birds and squirrels, writing stories – YES! Going to the mall, eating out, events that I “should” attend – no. Chasing clients, obsessing over ways to grow my businesses, trying to do things “right” – no.
I made choices with joy in mind. Now in 2019, I’m preparing to bring this framework – a framework of joy – to E&S, and to you as a loyal, valued customer.
Next week, I’ll tell you a little more. Until then, have a safe and joy-filled New Years!
What I am pondering:
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” –Albert Camus