Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Joie de Vivre

I resolved a while back not to make new year's resolutions. It's one resolution I've been able to keep.

This year I've chosen a theme instead. This is "The Year of Finding My Joy."

For the past year or so, for whatever reasons, I've been finding myself being less and less happy. I'm less interested in doing things I used to enjoy. I no longer find satisfaction in doing things that used to make me feel so content. Somewhere along the way, Joy has left and been replaced with Melancholy and Ambivalence.

Several years ago I spent about eight months going to a Buddhist therapist. It was one of the best things I ever did in my life. Every month, sometimes every week, I experienced epiphany after epiphany. I reached mental clarity for the first time in my life. Those months helped me have the strength to file for divorce to end a marriage that was toxic and dangerous. I learned so much about myself during those months of therapy and was able to alter my own behaviors and achieve a level of contentment and inner joy I'd never felt before. Those lessons stayed with me for a long time.

In the past year or so, a great many things have changed in my life. I've experienced several events which are considered "most stressful life events" according to mental health professionals. I don't know how much those things have and are affecting me, but I think maybe more than I've been willing to admit. I've also found myself having difficulty coping and remembering those lessons I learned in therapy that helped me through such a dark time in my life.

So, I need to find my Joy again. I'm driving myself crazy and I'm sure my husband wouldn't mind having his wife back.

Yesterday I met a friend for lunch. She has a new baby and she's kind enough to let me man-handle the child to my heart's content. As I sat talking to my friend, I held her tiny daughter and gently rocked her in one arm, holding her up close to me. Within a minute or two, little Gabby was asleep and completely at peace. So was I. I had arrived at lunch upset because I was late...again, and for a totally stupid self-imposed reason. Even though I adore my friend, because of the way I've been feeling lately, I wasn't completely excited about spending time with someone in the mood I was in. Anyway, as I sat there with Gabby in my arms, I was happy. My mood lightened and in that moment, I caught a glimpse of Joy.

Do I want to have a baby? Ummmm..NO. What I want is to be able to hold on to that ability to experience happiness and contentment even when the world seems to be in more chaos than I've ever known in my lifetime. When I looked at Gabby, I recognized Joy. I want to be able to recognize it in more aspects of my daily life, and when I do see it there, have the ability to hold it in my hand, turn it over and really see it.

Right now, the list of things I'm disappointed in and that I'm sad about comes more quickly to my head than the things I'm grateful for and happy about. This sucks.

So, here's to The Year of Finding My Joy. May I choose to find it everywhere.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Your 2008 would leave anyone feeling less than joyful. It started out challenging and went non-stop, really. No need to recap, you know it all, you lived it all...I'm glad to hear you're determined to be happy.
Onward and upward.