The Importance of Joy

Do you get those days, where everything seems to fall in to place? Red lights turn green. Your porridge doesn’t bubble over in the microwave. You remember to take out dinner from the freezer before you head out for the day. It’s my firm belief that how you start the day impacts on how it pans out. When things are good, you need to take the time to recognise the joyful moments – however small they are. Joy breeds joy. I just need to learn to appreciate it.

Take today. It had been a restless night. Little Mr Night Terrors had grumbled a few times – enough to wake me but not enough to rouse my from my bed. When he woke at 4:45am, I defied the Gro Clock – which still had two stars to go – and snuggled him in to our bed. In went the silicone ear plugs and before I knew it, it was 7:05 and the husband was off to work. I’d slept through his double snooze (a principle utterly abhorrent to me) and through his not so delicate exit from the bed (he doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of tiptoeing).

I can’t tell you what that extra hour in bed did for my mindset (the Wrigglet usually wakes at 6am). To wake up on my own terms, according to my body clock. A feeling of contentment flooded my being… until I realised I needed to wake the tired toddler next to me or face a challenge when trying to get him to nap before seeing our friends in the afternoon. How nice was it to gently wake him though, rather than be on the receiving end of the guttural ‘mummmmmy hug’ with which I am normally summoned from my slumber!

The rest of the morning held its usual set of problems: running out of weetabix when that’s all he wants; wanting to go for a buggy run when he wants Paw Patrol; wrestling my mascara off him before the sofa becomes a lovely shade of Bobbi Brown Espresso; wanting all the snacks when I am driving at 60mph along an A-Road… standard. However – I was determined to hang on to that sense of well-being I started the day with. I began to mentally catalogue the things that bring me joy and made it my mission to look for them when we were out and about. To reinforce the happiness, I thought I’d share them with you:

Things that bring me joy:

  • Early morning snuggles on the sofa when it’s just me and him – the rise and fall of his little chest
  • Hot coffee with whole milk (opting for that over skimmed with the pretence that I had to heat it for his weetabix)
  • Dry, crisp winter mornings where you can see your every breath
  • The filthy little laugh he gives when tickled under the armpits
  • When he asks for something, I clarify what he wants and he says ‘Oooookay’ with a sigh, as if I’m making him do something against his will
  • A clean kitchen – it’s a rare occurrence
  • Toast and jam – the reason I can’t have jam in the house; I would be 70% water 25% jam and lurpak and then some bones and stuff
  • Whizzing around Smyths Toystore, past all his favourite buddies (Thomas, Rubble, Bing) and picking up his click and collect Christmas present without so much of a sniff of a tantrum
  • When the nice man helps you to the car with your toy kitchen and 160 piece food set, so you don’t have precariously balance it on the buggy, inevitably dropping it at the first bump in the pavement
  • Remembering your book to read as you pull up in the adventure playground car park early so he can snooze and you can read (and eat the tuna melt, chocolate tiffin and dirty Christmas coffee you had the foresight to buy from Costa when at the toy shop)
  • When he snoozes according to plan – love it when a plan comes together
Sunshine. Tiffin. Snoozing. The joy triangle

Just as the challenges will no doubt keep coming this afternoon, so will the moments of pleasure. I just need to invest more of my energy in revelling in the latter.

What has brought you joy today. What are those little everyday things that have made you smile and made your day? Joy brings joy. Share the love!

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