Let’s just say that the past week has been a rollercoaster to say the very least, on the emotional front. I attended a funeral on Thursday and Friday, I missed a funeral on Friday and Saturday that I should have attended, I watched a very moving and inspirational interview from a cancer survivor on Saturday, and I completed my chapter for my next compilation series titled, Journey to Joy on Sunday.
Talk about one extreme to the next! Funerals followed by Journey to Joy? How do you make that happen? Finishing that chapter was tough – really tough. I was writing about my journey to joy in the middle of pain and heartache and loss. Two families that I have grown to love, lost loved ones within one day of each other and here I am trying to separate myself from it all so I can tell the world how I find joy. Yikes!!!
Then along came Robin Roberts – The Good Morning America host that the country has grown to love. I really think the only reason I was able to finish writing my chapter about joy was that interview about her journey through cancer and her return to the Good Morning America team. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see it yet, please please please watch it as soon as you can! Here was a woman who was fighting the fight of HER life telling US that, “Being an optimist is like a muscle that gets stronger with use.” And if you had the opportunity to see her at the Academy Awards just the other night, you KNOW that that woman is the definition of pure strength! Her biceps alone tell that tale!
I have such respect and admiration for those who continue to exude strength and a positive attitude despite being dealt a bad hand in the game of life. They are the ones that keep the rest of us grounded and I am so thankful for their strength and resolve.
I did end up finishing my chapter and sent it off to the editor and I’m hoping she doesn’t change it around too much! Here is a little excerpt:
My joy is in the simple imperfections of my every day.
I don’t need my house to be spotless, Christmas isn’t ruined if I don’t get everything on the kid’s lists, I am ok with serving cereal for dinner because I didn’t have time to get to the grocery store. I’m ok with the extra 5lbs that I can’t seem to lose because My Joy comes from not letting these things ruin my day, my week, my month, my year, my life.
I find joy in the fact that I don’t have a complete set of matching dinnerware. Sure, it would be nice to have, and it would look fancy and probably impress some guests, but my joy comes from knowing that the dinnerware doesn’t matter – the people around the table do. We’ll still have the same conversations, the same fun and the same memories if you’re eating off one of my white plates or one of my beige plates.
I like the fact that I don’t let the little things consume me. I see so many people who want things to be perfect all of the time. The stress and pressure they put on themselves though, creates a world focused too much on the “things”, not the “meanings”. Their pursuit of perfection, or the final outcome so often blinds them to the memories and meaningful moments that happen during progression. I am thankful every single day that I have the ability to appreciate the process rather than insist on a perfect outcome. That kind of peace comes from knowing that life happens, plans change, traffic sucks, grocery lines are long, dinner rolls burn rather quickly and if you’re not ok with that, you’re going to be awfully disappointed for most of your life.
Thankfully this week is turning out to be relatively calm – although it IS only Wednesday, right? Either way, I am going to keep my perspective and keep on finding the joy within the stress. I’m going to “Exercise my Optimistic Muscles” – thanks to Robin Roberts!