Monday, April 30, 2012

April Showers Bring May Flowers

If April is about growth, both personal and floral, than May is about flowers. I thought about what this could mean in terms of my blog and decided the perfect kind of flowers to talk about would be the kind that come from growth.

My logic went like this. The reason we seek growth is in order to make our lives better. One of the many reasons we want to make our lives better is so we can experience new and different kinds of flowering joy.

And yet, despite the power and importance of joy we often tend to overlook it.

What is joy?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as the following:

1. the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight b: the expression or exhibition of such emotion : gaiety
 
2. a state of happiness or felicity : bliss
 
3 a source or cause of delight

If words like delight, gaiety, felicity and bliss aren't enough to make you smile then hopefully some of the moments I'm going to talk about this month will do the trick.

My plan is to explore all the ways, both small and big, we experience joy.

It goes, almost, without saying I'll spend a fair amount of time focusing on sources of joy at home.

But I also plan to look at the bigger picture. Do joy and writing go hand-in-hand? What about joy and giving? I can't wait to hear from my readers about this topic. I want to know what brings you joy and whether you actively seek it out or stumble into happiness haphazardly. Are you a joy junkie or do you think looking for joy dulls the sensation?

They're fun questions and I think it's going to be a fun topic. Oh, and one more thing. I know it's still April but I was so excited/joyous about my new theme that I just couldn't bring myself to wait until Wednesday.

23 comments:

naida said...

Interesting post Johanna. As for myself I think joy just stumbles upon me randomly, and I love that. Just recently after I was having a tough week at work, I came home to find my son playing his guitar on my front porch. He was playing a soft melody as I pulled up into our driveway. Mind you, he never plays his guitar outside, he just happened to do so on that day at that time. I was amazed and just watched him play. My stress melted away and joy overcame me. He asked me why I was tearing up, since I hear him play all the time. I told him I'm crying because he makes me so happy and proud. Moments like that put life in perspective.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I find joy in doing nice things for others. And in playing my guitar!

Morgan said...

"Or do you think looking for joy dulls the sensation" <-----what an interesting thought. Never thought of this before. I think sometimes it can... that true joy will sometimes sneak up on you and it can't be forced. Although I do think we choose happiness. So most of the time I do need to actively seek it ;)

Great thoughts!

Matthew MacNish said...

It's a wonderful topic, Johanna! I don't know if I find joy in writing, but I certainly find joy in having written.

TL Cooper said...

I think we have to be open to joy. We can't force it, but we can't just wait for it either. We have to appreciate and nurture it! We have to create lives that invite it to visit, stay, play, and live with us...

Jenny Morris said...

Joy is a really cool topic. I get a TON of joy out of writing. And creating. I luv creating. ;0)

Julie said...

I love this theme idea and can't wait to read your posts for the month. For me, writing brings me joy, and I have noticed that since I started writing seriously, I notice more small things that bring me joy as well.

Wonderful topic, Johanna!

Johanna Garth said...

Naida, that sounds like such a beautiful moment.

Alex, doing things for others brings me joy too.

Morgan, not sure but going to think about that this month.

Matt, I think I find a little joy in both.

Jenny, me too.

Thanks Julie!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Nice. There can be a big difference between simple pleasure and joy. The pleasure can distract us and get in the way of joy.

Talei said...

I'm a happy junkie, I find joy in writing and reading. Quiet moments, fun times with friends and family, bring it! Such a fun theme!

Jemi Fraser said...

Joy is important. We need to cultivate it. I try to teach my students that jobs are about more than money - you need to find your joy.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

"A joy junkie" -- that's an interesting thought. As writers (who practically live off the the feedback of others) do we sometimes forget to enjoy the little joys along the way ... and especially non-writing ones ... while we're looking for that full request, that sold manuscript, that awesome cover image, that wonderful review? Maybe. Sometimes.

Teresa Cypher said...

I like this theme, Johanna! I will be back to soak up some of it. :-) Joy--so many ways to approach each day, but with an eye tuned to find joy...well. You know what they say about people? We find what we look for. :-)

M Pax said...

Great topic. I do find joy in writing. I also find joy in learning to be grateful for many things we take for granted. That made a huge difference.

Copyboy said...

I guess now I'm a joy junkie too. haha

Copyboy said...

I guess now I'm a joy junkie too. haha

jack said...

No tampon talk!

Ella said...

I enjoyed this post! I made art today that was reflective of this type of message~ Great post :D

Tamara Narayan said...

The last moment of joy I remember is taking my girls down a waterslide on an inner tube built for two. The look on their faces was priceless.

In the day-to-day grind, it's easy for me to get overwhelmed with stress and I have to consciously seek a bit of joy in reading, writing, or music for some balance. I'd rather control my emotions than have them control me, but that's easier said than done.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, nice! Flowers make me joyful (especially lilacs, at the mo). As does writing, often--I particularly get job from those flashes of PERFECT--had one Saturday morning... the first half of a pitch for my next book that sets me up--mood and tone. I think the real key to joy is appreciation--learning to look at ANYTHING and appreciate some aspect of it.

Talli Roland said...

I love reading about joy - and I love joy!I find joy in being with the ones I love. I don't always find joy in writing, but the outcome is worth it in the end!

Sylvia van Bruggen said...

To me joy is the highest you can achieve, especially when you can feel it in any situation. I will follow your topic with great interest :D

Mark Koopmans said...

For me, Joy comes when I find a little peace in my heart.