Isn’t it interesting how we can talk such big games, but when it comes to implementing our own advice in our own lives, we suddenly become…all talk?
Well, that’s how I feel sometimes.
The topic of joy came up recently in one of the mom’s group I’m a part of on Facebook (even better, I’m friends IN REAL LIFE with a lot of the women in that group. It’s a wonderful feeling). And I offered this advice: Think about what brings you joy and do/eat/be/drink that.
It got me thinking about the things that bring me joy. And I’m not talking about my husband or my daughter or even my dogs. All those beings bring me joy like I can’t explain. I feel joy being my husband’s wife. I feel joy being my daughter’s mother. I feel joy being my puppies “forever home”.
I’m talking about the part of me that just me. No other responsibilities. No other people to worry about. Just me.
And the list is short. Not because I don’t find joy in lots of things, but because the things I find joy in bring me an almost uncomfortable amount of joy. Uncomfortable in the sense that my heart feels like it’s going to explode, I’m so happy. Even just thinking about these things makes me giddy!
I love to dance and I love to sing.
I was a ballroom dancer for several years, but when I got married, I moved away from my studio, my teachers, my partners and have yet to find a new place to really get my groove on. Then we moved to a tiny town and had a baby and there’s just no way to fit dancing in right now…time and finances are tight when there’s a little one around. But, oh my god, the insane levels of joy I experience when I get to dance! I love to Salsa like a pregnant girl loves to each cake. Swing just makes my old soul smile. Tango is a wickedly sexy dance (that I kind of suck at, but still enjoy). Viennese Waltz holds a special piece of my joy. But Foxtrot? Oh, that’s where my heart soars! The music, the long, twirly dresses, the spinning, everything! I want to do it all, all the time. I’m the girliest of girls, so feeling all “princessy” just makes me go sort of crazy. I miss dancing.
And I miss singing. I used to sing all the time…at church, at home, at bars, in a studio. If there was an opportunity for me to sing, I took it! I’m not the best at it (I can think of several people right now that are lightyears ahead of my talent), but I’m good. And I love it. I’ve sort of been silenced in the last couple years. Some of that silence as been my own choice. Having a baby doesn’t lend itself well to going out for karaoke nights every weekend like I used to. Not living in my home state means that I don’t get random emails anymore asking me to pop over and do some tracks.
I’m also the kind of person that tends to want what she can’t have. So maybe if I could dance and sing all the time, it wouldn’t bring me as much joy? I doubt it. I have some references if you need proof of how much I truly love those things.
But I’m learning to find joy in adjusted situations. I’m learning to tailor my personal joys around my current circumstances. I dance with my daughter around our living room. My husband sometimes twirls me around the kitchen or in the rain. I sing lullabies to my baby to help her sleep.
So these things, these activities, that have been mine for so long, well, they’re still mine, but I’m sharing them with my other joys. And in doing so, I’m hopeful I’m imprinting a small part of my soul on theirs. I’m hopeful that in the years to come, my daughter will have some fleeting memory of a song she knows, but doesn’t quite know where from. Or that my husband, in a million years, will think back and see me young and fresh in a swirly dress, dancing to Sinatra.