BY DIANE KERTH
What is she talking about! How can we even think about joy at a time like this in our world? People are getting sick, people are dying, businesses are struggling. It’s scary, it’s sad, so how could we even think about joy? Often, these are the times we NEED to find or create joy.
I had to turn off the TV. I wanted to be informed but it was all getting to me. The news conferences about Covid 19, the reports, the updates. I was feeling sick from the stress of it all, huddled under a blanket and doing nothing but worrying. I needed to snap out of the dark place I was sinking into. I purposely began doing a lot of positive self-talk such as, ”I’m ok. I’m healthy. No fever, I’ve sanitized everything. I’ve prayed. I’ve done all that I can, so relax Diane, breathe and do your best to move forward”.
I knew I needed to switch gears and pivot. Companies that go through disasters know they need to pivot, adjust and adapt to survive and come out the other side. This is what I needed to do for myself. I needed to take ACTION. To do something. So DO what?
Well, since I am working from home every day and sheltering in place what can I do? I stood looking out my kitchen window at an extremely quiet empty neighborhood street. As I stood there, looking, pondering the thought of what can I do? Out of nowhere it dawned on me! These windows are filthy, I need to wash these windows!!! I’m not joking at all this is where my joy began.
I grabbed a roll of paper towels and found glass cleaner then started to take apart my window. I have very old windows which means several are put together to make one kitchen window. There are inside windows on a track, outside windows, and a window that covers a screen. One by one I took each window out of its track and thoroughly cleaned them on each side. I was feeling great and productive. After doing the best I could, I carefully reinstalled each window. When they were all back in place, I stood there and looked out on the same desolate street through the now very clean window, amazing! I was feeling delighted and proud.
Ugh, and then I noticed I missed a couple of spots.
Normally that would be very frustrating to me but not TODAY. 😊 Today I was feeling a simple gleam of joy. Yes, to me it was joy. Not a loud, jump up and down joy but a quiet satisfaction. I accomplished something and made progress. I took action and was back in control of something.
Joy can show up in many different ways. During challenging uncertain times, taking action will help us.
Being productive and making progress will add a sense of control to your life. Finding ways to grab on when life feels out of control, uncertain, and scary may come down to cleaning windows, organizing a closet, or finishing a project that was started. Maybe for you it’s making sure the kitchen sink is empty of dishes before you go to sleep or making your bed in the morning or putting away the CLEAN laundry that has been sitting in baskets for over a week. Do something, take action, take control. Feel the joy that comes because of completing it. Joy can be created in everyday accomplishments!
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