Friday, April 5, 2013

Joyride A to Z: Enjoy

I really enjoy my life.

I'm not saying it is perfect, 'cause babycakes, it is faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar from.

I'm as broken, messed up, worried, freaked out, addicted, sad, and sorry as the next person. I've got my problems just as you do.

And...
....I really enjoy my life.

When I was just starting out my adult-hood I had a fabulous mentor-mother named Jackie. Jackie sucked each day dry of joy. She lived big. She loved big. She taught me not to regret, worry, to let go and that life is good.

Her daughter happens to be my dear friend, Clover.
Clover gives me the gift of wisdom and friendship and constantly shows the way. She continues to teach me just as her darling mom did all those years ago.

Jackie gave me a book called Living A Beautiful Life by Alexandra Stoddard. In it she writes, "The only life worth living is the one we take responsibility for choosing."

The frame of mind with which we engage our daily living is a choice. We can engage living with fear, anger, or drudgery, or we can choose to engage it in a spirit of peace, fulfillment and true enjoyment.

Of course, living is just hard sometimes, and we may need the help of a doctor or a health professional to guide us through. But ultimately, when we are ready, the choice to return to wholeness is ours alone. This deliberate choice happens on the most individual and personal level and usually (but not always) during a stressful emotional challenge.

It's easy to feel good when things are going well. Enjoying life feels like the windows of our soul are welcoming in a bright and brilliant Spring. Conversely, it often feels impossible to suck the marrow of joy when the world is crashing down around us.

Two years ago I lost my dad. Six months ago, Mountain Man lost his job. Some other hard stuff happened in between, and then six weeks ago we moved to an unknown land where I still don't know a soul. Some days, joy seems like an elusive stranger.

And yet...underneath the waves of sorrow or sadness, is joy. I'm able to connect to it by enjoying the prosaic moments that make up daily living. The fragrance of the blooming maple trees, the ever changing Portland sky, sunlight (when it comes), rain (which I don't have to shovel!) lemons, the laughter of a friend over the phone last night, texts from a fellow blogger and real life friend just shootin' the breeze--This is where joy resides.

For me, learning to enjoy living each day fully gives me a foundation of joy--a reserve, if you will--so when the challenges come, (and they always do) I am able to be gentle with myself when my emotions are blown about by the winds of change. I can center myself in the joy found in these seemingly small things so I can continue to survive and eventually thrive.

So yes, life is hard.
AND life is good.

Enjoy it.


Enjoying my daily life brings me joy. What brings you joy?

"What you think and do now builds. Value this moment. Be patient. Smile often. Love the process of living each moment fully. What we do today, right now, will have an accumulated effect on all our tomorrows." ~Alexandra Stoddard





29 comments:

  1. You know the problem, though? Your life is far from perfect, but you stay joyful because you choose to look at the joy in everything. But, others envy you, because all they can see is the joy.
    But better to be envied for this, than pitied.

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  2. Well you may not know a soul where you live, but you can count me as a friend. I hope 2013 brings you boundless prosperity and opportunity.

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    1. Thank you, Michael. You are so very kind. :)

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  3. So glad to have found your blog through the Challenge...Joy is a choice, we must embrace the life we are given...we can be bitter or we can be better in response to what life throws our way! Blessings! Following you now for sure! Portland is a wonderful place, full of things to see, and places to go...explore and enJOY!


    Shannon at I Survived and Now I Run

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    1. Welcome and thank you for stopping by!

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  4. Having a batch of bread come out of the oven. That brings me joy.

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  5. Oh, I love this line so much - "The only life worth living is the one we take responsibility for choosing." I hope you/your friend/Jackie won't mind if I copy it out and put in on my bulletin board.... :)

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    1. Take away! It's from Alexandra Stoddard--her books are fantastic!

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  6. Holding my kids and gr-kids, and my hubby brings me tangible joy. Feeling God within and around me brings me boundless joy.

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  7. Lovely reflections today. We can find joy if we seek in, almost any day. Because even when the sorrows happen, we can feel joy in the arms that surround us.
    Peace & joy to you.

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  8. Also, I am finding great joy in eating my sister Joy's brownies right now. Wish I could ship one through the screen!

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  9. Life's really good if we could just stop comparing it with others...:)
    And the perfect life...I don't really have a clue about it but somehow I feel...if everything's going to be perfect...we will sure miss the fun part!!

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  10. Do you think this is a habit that can be formed? Do you think you are naturally a person who sees the positive in most situations? I ask because I struggle so much with this. I have "doom and gloom" thinking. When something goes "bad" I tend to spiral down into "That's it. It's over. Everything that was good is now ruined." kind of thinking. So is it about catching yourself in those moments and making a conscious effort to shift your thinking?

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    1. Mary, I do think it's habit that can be formed. I come from a parent who worried over EVERYTHING. I feel like that's my "natural" disposition. Choosing joy has become a habit over time and practice. I certainly didn't begin my life or even my adulthood that way, I learned how to do it. Go for it!!

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  11. This is beautiful...you are beautiful, and I wish you had moved to my town!

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    1. Awwww, Andrea!! YOU are beautiful!!! xoxo

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  12. I've always lived my life with the motto "Happiness is a choice you make". Excluding genuine mental health issues, you can totally choose whether to be happy or not happy. I remember saying that to a sad sack friend once and she got upset because she thought I was telling her to quit her hated job and move out from her detested flatmate, but I wasn't. Even if you don't like the situation you're in, you can still choose happiness.

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    1. ♪♫♪ I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.♪♫

      Psalms 47:1 Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

      Great post!

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  13. Fabulous post, start to finish. You speak truth, friend. Thanks for always doing THAT. xo

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  14. This is such a lovely post, and shows that you don't need a perfect life (what is one of those anyway?) to be happy - something we need to realise a little more!
    - Holly xx
    http://moonkissed-moonkissed.blogspot.co.uk

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  15. We miss so much but not seeing and drinking in the joy of each moment. Lovely post!

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  16. Its not always easy to be happy and remember the good things. One thing that I always try to remind myself, is that if there was no bad in the world, how would we recognize the good in it? Things get hard and it really sucks, but things will always get better in the end.

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