I know a little bit about joy. Even though I am far from having attained perfect joy, I have learned a few things about it. I know that joy comes from clear vision, sensible expectations and an honest appraisal of what is real and true and now.
Sitting around, waiting for more money, more stuff, more status..........that's not the road to contentment. Oh, sure. More money and more stuff and more status would be nice. But I can't sit here waiting for some golden day. So I look around me, and I search for the joy to be found in little daily moments.
My grandma was the first person in my life to point out the way to achieve happiness. She lived through hardships that would crush a lesser woman, and kept her head high and her heart light. When grandma was pushed into an arranged marriage, she opened her heart to him and found an abiding love that would last the whole of her life.
When economic depression, war, poverty and famine forced Grandma and Grandpa to emigrate to a new country, Grandma found a country to love and new hope. She went to the doctor one day. She felt under the weather and attributed her ennui to "the change of life". The doctor, smiling, informed her that her life was indeed about to change. She was pregnant. He youngest child was an adult, and now she was pregnant again. Tell me God doesn't have a sense of humor.
I'm not sure how I would feel about it if God played that particular joke on me (I am now just a few years younger than she was then). Grandma, ever graceful and resilient, found renewed youth in her unexpected blessing.
Grandma didn't exactly teach me to be joyful. She did teach me, through her inspiring example, that there is joy waiting for us every day. We only have to choose to see it. Dark days come and our attention is forced onto the difficult tasks. But joy stands by, waiting patiently for us to notice it.
I had a good day. It was not a perfect day, but it was good. I did not get as much done at work as I would have liked. But I have a job. My husband is far away right now. But he is well, and he called so that I got to hear his voice. Two friends came over this evening and we had a snacking dinner and watched an old movie. My sweet baby boy, nearly 18 years old is always a pleasure to spend time with. My darling eldest, 22 next week, is healthy and safe on American soil. That might not seem like much to ask..........unless you're an Army mom, too, and then you'd understand.
It's almost time to plant our little garden. For me, that will mean fresh kitchen herbs, ripe tomatoes and green chilis. That is always something to be thankful for. My health is good, my tummy is full, I've a roof over my head and a warm bed waiting for me. How could I be anything BUT happy?