J is for Joy

J is for joy. J is also for the two most important males in my life. My husband Jesse (five years and counting) and my son James, who is four. Joy is a sometimes elusive, but moments of pure joy can creep in every day. No matter how awful the day might be; kid messes, no sleep, work disasters, writing block, whatever, there is always the ability to get back to joy. If I can just remember why I put up with all the stuff that gets in the way. My reasons include my two J's, my Little L (my two year old daughter), my extended family, those I love and those that return that love even when I do not release it. That is often the hardest part, feeling and recognizing that that love is being returned in some of the more daunting moments of life. Joy can be huge and loud, or simple and quiet. Joy does not need to be found in a party or group, it can be found in a simple moment, word or interaction.

Joy can sometimes be easy to find, I think it all depends on the outlook of the moment. Simply joys should be easy to find, but often get ignored or lost in the routine or stress of the day. My simple joys? When the kids play nicely together long enough for me to string together a few sentences, thin mints fresh out of the freezer, my car starting and running smoothly, a spontaneous hug or I love you from an otherwise stoic individual, being able to walk out the door with out a coat, a beautiful sky, a peaceful evening cuddling with my husband and kitties on the couch after the kids go to sleep, singing along with the music in the car with the windows down and no fear. Sometimes these moments catch you unaware, and those often feel the best. Sometimes I need to go looking for them, set aside the time. Sometimes the joy is there, all around me, but I just do not let it in (or out). Instead of letting go and embracing the moment I can get caught up on what the next crisis might be, what is coming down the line, forgetting to savor the moment that just might be joyous if I would let it.

What are your favorite moments to take joy in? Do you have to remind yourself to let the joy in sometimes like I do?
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