Ordinary Joy

If you don’t find joy in the ordinary, then why bother? There are rarely enough “big” events full of official joy – weddings, birthdays, Christmas – to sustain a person through the whole year. Instead, look for small bits of joy in daily life, in the ordinary, to fuel your days and weeks.

I find joy in all kinds of little mundane things, from lying in bed, watching the sun rise over the river to falling asleep at night with a purring cat next to me. There’s joy in opening the daily paper, hearing the rustling of the newsprint, and seeing the resulting ink smudges on my fingers. There’s joy in finishing the crossword puzzle or in hearing my dad serenade my mom, crooning Motown songs to her on long family car trips.

I find joy in crossing things off my to-do list, but also in putting new projects on the list, excited to get started and see ideas come to fruition. I was nearly overwhelmed with joy when I found my favorite tea at a shop in Geneva a couple weeks ago, after searching for it for four or five years.

There’s joy in finishing a race, or even in just pushing through a tough workout, knowing that I accomplished more than sitting on the couch. Joy in discovering connections among my friends, in realizing how small the world is. Joy in getting emails from long-lost friends or notifications of blog comments. Joy in walking in fresh air after a long day trapped in the office. Joy in Christmas lights, in quiet evenings at home, reading or writing and enjoying the peace. Joy in turning the key to my home, knowing I’ve created a comfortable nest for myself.

There’s joy in so many mundane moments that it’s nearly impossible to catalog them all or pick a “most joyful.” It’s the combination of them that gets me up in the morning, knowing that there will be moments of joy and bliss in the day ahead, and it’s my job to enable them when possible and enjoy them no matter what.

Where do you find joy in your daily life?

This post is part of #Reverb10, a month-long project to reflect on the year nearly gone. Read all my #Reverb10 posts, or learn more. This prompt asked, “Ordinary Joy: Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?”

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