Find Joy in Simple Things
What makes you joyful? A clear blue sky and sunny morning brighten my outlook for the day. A rich, dark cup of coffee is a simple pleasure. Add a cookie or a piece of pie now and then and I feel happy, that life is good.
After getting my hair done today, a joyful time of pampering, I am going to shop for fabric to sew a new round tablecloth. I look forward to seeing different designs, feeling different textures, and imagining how each will look in my living room. I have been putting off this adventure, because it will take time. There is a lot to be done, things I want to accomplish. Well, I have decided that many of my self-imposed To-Dos can wait!
Simple things, like relaxing in the tub instead of standing in the shower, are ways of loving yourself. So is setting the table with cloth napkins rather than paper, Taking the slightly longer scenic route home, because you know you’ll be rewarded by breath-taking fall leaves on the trees and scattered across the road.
Truly enjoying life’s simple pleasures may require a little more time, but I don’t think that’s the main obstacle. We know how to find time to do what we really want. Finding joy in simple pleasures is a matter of focus and intention. It also requires the perspective of a thankfulness. Joy is emotion. Emotions are fed by thoughts. Thankfulness is an attitude of the mind that fills your heart with joy. So, when you focus on finding joy, you will see it. Being intentional about enjoying simple pleasures means you plan for it; you make it a priority.
When you have created an attitude that is receptive to joy through focus and intention, God will often surprise you with an expected gift, an opportunity to enjoy a simple pleasure you did not anticipate. I snapped this pic of a playful kitten while walking in my folks’ South Texas neighborhood. The walk alone, on a sunny fall day requiring just a hoody for warmth, was a simple joy to me. And then all of the sudden this cute ball of fur runs out into the street to greet me. “Let’s play,” was her message. It was cool enough that I grabbed my mother’s garden gloves. It was a magic moment, and I am so glad I was receptive to the gift.
I hear myself say more and more, “Life is too short. I am going to (or not going to) …” Let 2014 be a joyful year. Plan for it. Focus on it. Look for it simple things every day.