"You have to sniff out joy.
Keep your nose to the joy trail."
The other day someone asked me how I still find joy after the trauma. I think that's a wonderful question - and one that would be answered differently by just about every person you asked.
There have certainly been times in my life when I've felt like I would never make it out of the darkness. I still have days when I just want to sulk and cry because of the things I've been through - and that's okay! I have MANY valid reasons to mourn the loss of what was taken from me so many years ago. But if I'm honest with myself I also have many valid reasons to celebrate my life. So one way I find joy is by choosing to focus on the things in my life that are worth celebrating. For example:
Taking a hot bath and getting lost in a good book are two things that make me so happy I could squeal. Combining those two things - reading a book while taking a hot bath - is enough to make me feel like I've hit the jackpot. Being able to lock the door and shut out the world is sometimes PRICELESS!
My nine-year-old son still thinks I'm cool. So cool, in fact, that he has been begging me to start a channel on YouTube dedicated to my (in his opinion) gut-bustingly hilarious parodies of popular songs. Truly, these parodies are full of almost nothing but jokes about flatulence and rhymes about how crazy I am (his favorite is "Electric Toots" based on the 80's hit "Electric Youth" by Debbie Gibson), but he thinks my ability to break into song at any given moment is just one of the many things that make me awesome.
I can wrestle this less-than-spectacular body into one of those infamous muumuu-looking "mom" bathing suits and my six-year-old will seriously stop dead in his tracks to tell me how pretty I look - and he means it with every fiber of his little being! AND he will still hold my hand while we climb the stairs to the top of the water slide at the local pool as he giggles like a maniac because his mom is the only mom there who's brave enough to get soaked. (Please note: If I -EVER- get too uppity or concerned about my "image" to go down a water slide, someone PLEASE just put me out of my misery!)
My husband takes me by the arm and walks me around our property to show off his handiwork almost every time he mows the lawn. Surveying our little kingdom arm-in-arm with my handsome Prince Charming always brings a smile to my face. There are extra smiles (and sometimes a little blushing) when he bows, refers to me as "Lady Megan" and kisses the back of my hand. Very silly, but sweet and fun and a nice little throwback to all that childhood playtime I spent daydreaming about becoming a princess.
Those are just a few things that come to mind when I think of how I find joy. What brings you joy? How do you find your way out of the dark days? Leave a comment. Your coping techniques and/or ideas just might help someone else make it through another day.
Until next time, may you be blessed - and inspired to pass it on!