Finding the Joy

Life is tiring right now. It’s good, but tiring. That quote that says, “The days are long, but the years are short”, when referencing child rearing, feels especially true right now. It seems so odd that we have these lives where we can do and experience so many incredible things– yet we devote most of every day (and week) to our jobs. And “real life” outside of work is lived in about 24 waking hours during the weekend. At least, this is our reality at the moment.

I find myself missing the slowness that the early days of the pandemic brought. Those early months when there was nowhere to go, nothing to do. Work, and life outside work, transitioned to molasses drip speed. I remember one rainy weekday where I felt stir crazy at home, so I got in my car and drove down an unfamiliar street until I hit farmland. I turned down a dirt road that didn’t look like it belonged to anyone in particular. I put the car in park just in time for the sky to break open and rain to pour down across the fields, and my windshield.

I miss feeling like I have time to kill.

I miss being bored.

I miss waking up on a weekend and feeling like the world is at my fingertips, instead of drained to my core from an exhausting week.

I miss spending an hour at the gym and taking the long way home.

I’m struggling to find joy in my weeks right now. The joy at home is very much present– life with Baker and Isaac brings me deep, satiating, all consuming joy. But the other stuff– it’s meh.

As a practice tonight, I decided to think through some of the things I found joyful today. It’s easier to continue finding the joy when I’m paying attention to the smallest joyful moments, even if it’s after the fact.

Today I found joy in…

Waking up at 6 AM, not hitting snooze, and following through with my goal to journal, pack lunches, and get ready for work in solitude before everyone else wakes up

Listening to You Make Me Smile by Aloe Blacc on the way to work (also happens to be our first dance song from our wedding, haven’t heard it in years)

Getting a lunch break at work for the first time in…months? I sat in the sun and sighed in relief that the last 2 months of tight deadlines and utter chaos are coming to an end.

Folding my laundry

Doing a nighttime meditation with Baker. These little rituals are bringing both of us so much calm and comfort at the end of a long day. Teaching this small human how to do breathing exercises, practice mindfulness, do body scans– it feels so rewarding and fun. Last week at bedtime, Baker said she was scared to go to sleep and Isaac was comforting her. On her own she said, “And if I get scared tonight, I can just think of all the things that make me happy!” I felt so damn proud of that little 3-year old girl.

Getting done the tasks I put on my personal to do list today

Isaac picking up my favorite balsamic vinegar on his way home from work

This podcast episode– loving these life hacks on Glennon Doyle’s show

My husband. Even though we are like ships passing in the night during the work week, I feel so much gratitude, love, and admiration for him. The way he comes home from work and immediately starts cooking, cleaning, fixing things that are broken, and playing with Baker. He is the best teammate– truly a MVP in my world.

A staff member texting me to tell me how much she loves her work and how fulfilled she feels when her clients are improving in their skills/home lives. Her excitement felt contagious.

Encouraging a different staff member going through a hard time

OK, this helped. Looking forward to tomorrow where I’ll try to find small moments of joy sprinkled throughout.

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