Friday, May 4, 2012

The Joy Factor

Yesterday morning, as I so often do, I turned to my children for inspiration. We were all sitting around the breakfast table. Child #2 was grumbling about the lack of chocolate chips in his pancake. Child #1 was arguing that my policy of "You get what you get," when it comes to Flinstones vitamins wasn't fair if it meant she had to have Fred two days in a row.

"Let's talk about something else," I suggested. Truth be told, maybe it wasn't inspiration I needed as much as change of subject. "What brings you joy?"

They both stopped talking for a minute. Then they started to enumerate all the things that bring them joy. We're closing in on the end of school year and our lives are overwhelmed with joyful events. There are baseball parties, parades, plays, the fourth grade overnighter, the architecture exhibit, the choir concert, a birthday party, a sleepover, and the foregoing is a condensed version of what was a very long list.

I thought about their list as we walked to school in the pouring rain. By this time of year the rain, which has been falling incessantly since November, feels like the sworn enemy against me and my closet full of sundresses. But for some reason, yesterday it didn't bother me at all. 

In fact, I felt downright joyful. Was it because the kids were focused on the fun events in their near future or was it because I had looked at the weather and seen that it was supposed to be 77 degrees next week.

That's when it hit me. Anticipation is a huge part of joy.

My children are excited about what the next few weeks will bring. I'm looking forward to celebrating those events under sunny skies. The anticipation of all of those things is what makes us smile. Today, might be just an ordinary day. But the knowledge that tomorrow has the potential to be filled with friends, excitment, breaks in our routine, blue, blue skies and laughter is enough to carry us through and fill us with joy.


My favorite spot in the whole world!
I don't think it matters whether we're anticipating something big, like the fourth grade overnighter or a trip to a pristine island with white sand. Or whether it's something small, like sunshine and a sleepover.
 
The important thing, the joy factor, is to make sure every day we have something to look forward to tomorrow, next week, two months from now and in five years.

Which brings me to you. Are you anticipating anything special? What are the thoughts that make you smile and bring you joy no matter what the weather?

43 comments:

Beylit said...

I would agree completely that anticipation is a huge part of joy. That is what always made Christmas morning so great, it was all that build up to what was under the tree.

I myself am anticipating the end of Faire. Not that I want faire to be over quite yet, but I have been effectively working 7 days a week since January. The idea of sleeping in on a Saturday, being able to go to the farmers market in the late morning, and then have friends over for an afternoon barbcue, sounds divine.

Heather M. Gardner said...

So well said.
I do love when son is excited about something.
It makes us all excited.
I'm looking forward to summer.
We've been cold for so long I just want to be warm again.
Heather

Margo Berendsen said...

I most often find my joy in the little things; I don't find it so much in anticipation. I think that's because I'm such a homebody. Though I do certainly anticipate getting home from work and curling up with a good book!

That beach and island does look like it could be in my top ten favorite places!!!

Misha Gericke said...

I never thought about it like that, but now that you wrote it, it makes a lot of sense.

I'm looking forward to some writing time this weekend. :-)

Jenny Morris said...

I realized this is how my mom survives. She lives on the anticipation of the trips she has planned to see her children or family.

Hope you guys have tons of fun with all your plans. And it is raining right now, so hope you are staying dry. ;0)

Charity Bradford said...

Wow, I need a trip to that island. Can I go by myself?

I actually love the summer with my kids, even though the calendar is filling up quickly. Some of the biggies I can't wait to do:

Full week at cub scout camp with my sons--I'll be at the lake with the canoes.

Pioneer Trek with the youth of my trek--I'm a "mom".

Week long Girl's Camp

Hanging out at the pool

Visiting with my brother in the Air Force before he leaves the States again.

TL Cooper said...

Thank you for this post! Yes, it is amazing how anticipating something wonderful feels one with joy while thinking about dreaded things dissipates joy. I often, in my private gratitude journal, simply state that I am grateful for "possibilities" with no more explanation than that. It always makes me joyful and hopeful to feel that particular gratitude!

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I'm looking forward to having all my kids home during the summer. :) Then I can think of fun things we can all do together.

Johanna Garth said...

Beylit, great analogy to christmas!

Heather, ME TOO!

Margo, I can't wait to read that list :)

Misha, hope you enjoy you're writing time.

Thanks Jenny, warm and dry :)

Charity, those are all such great things to look forward to.

Rachel, summer is one of my favorite times with the kids too.

Botanist said...

What a delightful list! I'm going to have to ask my children that question.

Things to anticipate...finally becoming a Canadian citizen later this month after nearly two years of agonizing waiting.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Oh yes, anticipation is such a BIG part of any joy! Johanna, just reading your post made me happy, it really did. From the Flintstones vitamins to sunshine hopefulness amidst spring showers, I suddenly feel lighter.
And that is why I love The World According to Garth.

Johanna Garth said...

Botanist, that is something really cool to anticipate! Go Canada!!

Thanks Cathy, you're comment gave me a big smile :)

TL, I love the idea of a private gratitude journal!

Anonymous said...

buy valium diazepam diazepam dosage for sedation - diazepam grapefruit juice

Anonymous said...

discount ambien buy generic ambien no prescription - side effects 0f ambien

Anonymous said...

xanax for sale without prescription xanax generic greenstone - buy xanax online us

Anonymous said...

generic zolpidem cost of zolpidem at walgreens - buy zolpidem 10mg tablets

Anonymous said...

diazepam without prescription safe buy diazepam - illegal buy diazepam online usa

Anonymous said...

valium online average street price valium - where can i buy valium online uk

Anonymous said...

ativan online ativan side effects in pregnancy - ativan side effects breastfeeding

Anonymous said...

buy zolpidem online ambien side effects heart palpitations - zolpidem tartrate long term use

Anonymous said...

diazepam online diazepam sedation dose - diazepam recommended dosage

Anonymous said...

online xanax is it safe to buy xanax online - xanax 2mg generic

Anonymous said...

xanax online xanax 0.25mg side effects - xanax 9 mg

Anonymous said...

buy diazepam diazepam dosage vertigo - online pharmacy no prescription diazepam

Anonymous said...

order xanax xanax dosage generic - xanax xr doses

Anonymous said...

lorazepam no prescription ativan addiction signs symptoms - ativan 0.25 mg

Anonymous said...

cheapest ativan 1mg lorazepam diazepam equivalent - buy ativan canada online

Anonymous said...

cheap zolpidem ambien side effects depressed mood - ambien walrus car keys

Anonymous said...

valium sale canadian pharmacy no prescription valium - valium drug screen

Anonymous said...

ambien drug ambien cr 25 mg dosage - ambience mall gurgaon gold class

Anonymous said...

ambien sleep buy ambien online no rx - ambien dosage blue pill

Anonymous said...

buy ambien online overnight ambien generic coupon - use ambien insomnia

Anonymous said...

soma price buy soma online florida - illegal order soma online

Anonymous said...

valium 10mg generic valium wikipedia - valium half life drug

Anonymous said...

buy ambien ambien cr and generic - ambien side effects anger

Anonymous said...

carisoprodol no prescription carisoprodol pills - carisoprodol overdose limit

Anonymous said...

ambien pills withdrawal symptoms of ambien cr - ambien side effects crying

Anonymous said...

soma online buy soma online no prescription cheap - carisoprodol 350 mg side effects

Anonymous said...

Blogger: Losing Sanity - Post a Comment meridia diet pills - buy sibutramine http://www.meridiaordernow.com/#buy-sibutramine

Anonymous said...

Blogger: Losing Sanity - Post a Comment generic ativan - buy ativan online without prescription http://www.ativanonlineoffer.com/#buy-ativan-online-without-prescription

Anonymous said...

Blogger: Losing Sanity - Post a Comment prednisone no prescription - prednisone online http://www.ourdailybreadmarket.net/#prednisone-online

Anonymous said...

Blogger: Losing Sanity - Post a Comment cheap ventolin - generic ventolin http://www.ventolinforsaleonline.com/#generic-ventolin

Anonymous said...

Blogger: Losing Sanity - Post a Comment meridia no prescription - buy sibutramine without prescription http://www.meridiaordernow.com/#buy-sibutramine-without-prescription