Every Day is Saturday

Finding Joy in the Here and Now

Finding My Joy

on December 17, 2013

choir & orchestra

Today is the day I normally write my blog post, but I’m having trouble coming up with something to write about.  I usually tell myself to write what’s on my mind, but what’s on my mind is depressing, and I’m pretty sure nobody wants to hear about my problems.  Hell, I don’t want to hear about my problems!  And not only am I worried about the actual problem, but I’ve also been berating myself because I can’t just snap out of it.  It’s Christmas after all; if I can’t find ways to cheer myself up at Christmas, then I’m in serious trouble, right?  I’ve watched Christmas specials on TV, listened to Christmas music, attended a Christmas party, and baked Christmas cookies.  Each of these activities has been enjoyable in its own way, but none of them have felt like more than mildly amusing diversions.  As soon as they’re over I’m back where I started, obsessing about a situation that I cannot change in the short term, and being mad that I can’t seem to stop worrying.

In the past I’ve had some success in letting things go; I know that worrying doesn’t help anything and only ruins the present.  And I am a firm believer in the idea that the present is all we really have; the past is over, the future isn’t guaranteed, so we must live NOW.  I want to be happy NOW, regardless of any situation in which I find myself.  But for the life of me I can’t figure out how.

This is not my first rodeo; I know all of the truths that are supposed to make me feel better.  Stuff like 1) this is temporary, things will get better, 2) I have so many amazing blessings in my life, way more than I have difficulties, 3) it’s really not as bad as I think it is, and 4) lots and lots of people in the world would love to have my problems, so comparatively speaking, it’s just not a big deal.  And yes, every single one of these things is true, but they are ringing hollow to me right now.

And on top of all of it, I feel a tremendous amount of pressure to get over myself and get on with the business of enjoying the holiday.  I have finally realized how much stress I’ve been putting on myself to not be stressed.  I don’t want to be a downer, so I’m worried that my worrying is leaking out of me onto my friends and family.  So now I’m mostly hiding my feelings, and since all of us come equipped with a filter that interprets peoples’ behavior in the way we want and expect them to behave, it’s an easy thing to put a smile on my face and fool everyone.  Not that I’m not interested in sympathy and support, of course I am – I’m not a martyr or a masochist.  It’s just that I’d rather not talk about what’s bothering me.  It bores me to tears.

I am also dealing with the loss of a pet; one of my kitties left the house one morning and he’s been gone ever since.  I’ve looked and knocked on doors and posted notices, but no one has seen him, and it’s been over a month now.  I miss him terribly, and the grief feels like a heavy blanket wrapped all around me and over my head, smothering any possibility of joy.

And yet I still have hope.  I hope that I will be able to find my joy somewhere.   I hope that I will be able to quiet my fears and revel in the time spent with friends and family.  I hope that next year will be one of excitement and exploration, and that all my struggles will finally be justified.  I hope that I can find the passion to give all of myself to creating the life I want.

That’s going to have to be enough for now.  So please forgive me if I’m not all that jolly.  I want to be, and maybe I will be again soon.  In the meantime, just let me do what I have to do and know that even though I may not be making a joyful noise, I’m determined to hum along.

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Thanks for reading my blog!  If you want to know more about me and my journey, check out my book “Everyday is Saturday” on Kindle.  The book is part diary, part memoir, about the first year after I was laid off from my dream job.  I think it has something to say to anyone who is struggling with change.

photo credit: pennstatenews via photopin cc

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