Finding joy when life is stressful seems impossible. Yet these are the times joy is most needed.
How I Found My Joy
Inspiration for joy came to me in many different ways. All these ideas have one thing in common – taking action.
- Connection with positive friends
- Looking for beauty in nature
- Noticing synchronicity in everyday occasions
- Asking for help
Connection with Positive Friends
Although I’m a caregiver to my husband and elderly mother, I also choose to surround myself with positive friends. This is the primary way I find joy when life is stressful.
One example is a nearby cousin, Tom, whom I’d only seen at sad occasions during the last year. His brother and parents passed just before and during the pandemic.
Tom called me to ask a favor of helping him deliver his car to a mechanic shop located between our respective homes. He enjoys eating out and offered to take me to lunch in gratitude. Our conversations centered around sharing past adventures and our mutual interest in the family genealogy. We made a pact to discover the location of our great-grandfather’s home in the late 1800’s. We spent a Saturday afternoon at the local county historical library, pouring over platte maps.
Looking for Beauty in Nature
During 2020’s restrictions, I discovered nature in my yard. It was wonderful to visit the many plants, some that I had installed specifically to attract butterflies and birds. In contrast, the declining health of my husband and mother pulled me farther out into the world of nature.
Although I walk every Saturday morning with a gardening friend in the gardens of Bok Tower, this week I twice answered the call of a wilder place. Last Sunday I went to a local state park and took my dog, Sugar. The pain in my arthritic knees reminded me that I have walking poles hidden under my husband’s hunting camo in the garage.
When I decided to head to Bok Tower’s wilder side, Pine Ridge Preserve, I dug out the poles, cleaned off the cobwebs and brought them with me. As I used the poles to steady my stance and distribute the force away from my knees, I thought, “Why have I ignored these tools hanging in the garage four years!”
There have been so many instances of synchronicity, it’s hard to know which to share. Mostly, I’ve been drawn to reach out to like-minded people through my online groups.
One such person is Miggy Rodriguez, of Infinite FlowInfinite Flow. I’ve known her over a year, liked her Facebook comments both on our private groups and in our personal pages. Finally, I reached out and we had long telephone conversation. She asked me where I lived in Florida. Although she lives in North Carolina, her father lives right here, in the same small town I live in. And her sister literally lives off the same street as me. That’s extreme synchronicity.
You might wonder why that brings me joy. It’s rather simple really. For me, synchronicity is proof of a higher power guiding and helping me.. helping you.
Asking For Help
This has shown up in myriad ways. Not only have I asked friends for help navigating the complex medical world of my husband’s cancer, I’ve learned how to ask for help in small ways too.
Now is the time of oak leaf drop in Florida. I asked my landscaping person to help me by blowing the leaves on our circular drive into piles. When I checked on his regular lawn care tasks, I found him raking the leaves into piles. We worked together to get them into a garbage can.
When you ask for help, joy is doubled. Both people benefit in this giving and receiving exchange.
This coming week, consider finding joy when life is stressful. It’s a combination of a choice in your thoughts and taking positive action.