December 27 – Ordinary Joy Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?
There have been a lot of moments throughout my lifetime where I feel as though my memory records them down to the smallest aspects; that it turn is why I say that I have a photographic memory, not to mention I can recall things very easily. But I know something brings me joy when I almost literally have “happy tears” welling in my eyes. From being able to hug a close friend after not seeing them for the past two and a half years to just sitting on my swing-set by the lake, giving thanks for what I’ve been blessed with in my life.
There have also been many in 2010, but there are two in particular that stick out to me. The first was when we were in Colorado this past July (read about that trip here). It was our last day and we had just finished driving fourteen thousand and something feet down Pike’s Peak. Spotting a resevoir on our way out, my parents thought it would be a good idea to stop and rest a bit before we began our seventeen hour drive home. While my Dad and brother did some fishing, us girls decided to do a little sight-seeing on our own.
We came upon a small lake/cove area not too far from the boys; although I had pondered this question time and again throughout the last four days, especially a clear one such as that. I looked around in awe, wondering “how in the heck could something like this just pop out of nowhere? How does anyone look at something like this and question whether or not God actually exists?
It was an incredibly beautiful moment; one that sent chills up and down my body. I realized right then and there that there is so much to see and experience beyond the beaches of Florida or Mexico. So much to experience, taste, hear, etc. And that one shouldn’t allow their own fears or inhibitions to keep them from doing so.
It also dawned on me that there are a lot of things about life that are just too powerful to comprehend. We as humans ask for “proof” of certain things: proof of God, true love, and other various miracles. Yet, everyone sees such things in different ways, and full on proof would probably be so powerful to where we’d die in the process. And that’s how I’ve come to the idea of belief, and why the concept of belief exists; there are some things that we’ll never be able to “see” per say…they are better off as things that we feel.
The second moment took place only just recently, a day or so after I had come home for break: my mom, sister and I were baking cookies in the kitchen. Well, I spent more time trying to sneak raw cookie dough out of the bowl than anything else. My sister and I put flour all over our faces and began taking candid pictures of whatever we were doing: baking, my two dogs, hanging my school ornament that I had just bought on our Christmas tree. It’s true that we had done stuff like this before, but this time it made me grateful to be home.
I sat down on the couch while we waited for the spritz cookies to bake in the oven. A Disney Christmas CD was playing softly in the background, the dogs had fallen asleep on the floor and the newly-decorated tree (the one that my family had waited for me to come home in order to decorate it) shined brightly by the stair case. Again, it was quite the sight to behold. I found it difficult to keep the tears at bay, because I had a feeling that neither my mother nor my sister would understand what I was feeling; that with each day, there is something meant to be savored. And the only way that one can do that is to just slow down, maybe even stop whatever they’re doing, and take it in.
I used to complain (pretty frequently) about how I wasn’t in sports like my siblings, and how it was unfair that they were getting awards and achievements and I wasn’t. But now a days I find myself giving thanks; while I may not have near as many trophies to display or wins to brag about, I have an incredibly outlook on life; an outlook that I probably gained from not constantly being on the go all the time. When one is “busy mode” I believe they overlook or forget about the little things; there’s always something that needs to be done, deadlines to be met, etc. And that is true for most people, but does that mean you have to do it right away?
My brother will be going into the air force this coming June; and after he leaves, I’ll only get to see him a couple of times out of the year. We used to fight like hell, but I’ve learned to pick and choose my battles knowing that he’ll only be around in these next five and a half months.
When you have a screaming baby in your arms, close your eyes. You’re probably tired and aching for more than an hour of sleep…but that baby won’t be a baby forever.
When you get stuck with your family and would rather be with your friends…just go with it. I’ve done that, and those times have turned out to be some of the best memories that I have.
When it’s raining outside, don’t hide under the covers and sleep the day away. Go splash in the puddles.
With every moment that you have…stop and take a picture. Out of everything, there will be something that you’ll continue to remember.