Joy. This word may mean different things to you than your neighbour. The dictionary defines it as “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” But in today’s climate, joyful feelings can often be overshadowed by feelings of uncertainty, disappointment, and fear. I have been on a bit of a roller-coaster myself. Somedays, I feel confident as a parent, present and hopeful and other days I am barely holding it together.
For me, I think a lot of my negative feelings come from expectations. I am expecting the day to run smoothly, for me to be productive as a freelancer and business owner and most importantly, do all the mom things just as I am supposed to. This often isn’t the case. But are our expectations realistic? Probably not. These are new waters, deep and mysterious, It’s not fair to demand expectations when we really don’t know what to expect in the first place.
In my daily routine, I have made a connection. A connection between the word “Joy” and the word “Yes”. When Dani Vinnie asks me to participate in an activity with them, outside of school work I am guilty of saying “not now” or “perhaps later.” Truthfully, later turns to never because a task takes precedence, like doing dishes, laundry, or cleaning. Tasks that definitely do not bring me happiness. I have realized however, during this pandemic that just by saying “Yes” and participating, it’s like an instant boost of joy! I wouldn’t think I would enjoy a Just Dance battle or making origami frogs with Vinnie on the floor but it places me in the present moment and makes me feel so good. An additional benefit It makes Dani and Vinnie feel happiness too, and they get to see their mom a little sillier than normal.
Today, expect nothing. Enjoy whatever it is you enjoy. Let the guilt go and say “Yes” to see if it perhaps brings you a little bit of everyday joy, too.