Tinaolife joy

Last year I realized I don’t really get joy or laughter or spontaneous lightness.

Oh crap really?


I was pulling up to my home and looking at the big black gate we have to close so our bad ass family dog doesn’t take off.   He’s not really bad-ass, he just has a deep bark and uses it to let you know that you are walking/cycling/jogging by his family’s home. How dare you – he says.  I’m watching – he says.  I digress… I pull up on to our gravel driveway (best sound ever btw), get out to close the gate and I have this thought:  For a happy person, you don’t laugh much.

What did I just say?

You don’t laugh much.  

Oh.  Right.

I’m the happy mom, the positive lady, the person you can count on to find the open door of possibility and not the locked one.  I’m a Capricorn born on the cusp of Sagittarius. I’m eternally optimistic while grounded in reality. But I’m a happy person who doesn’t laugh much.  Crap.  It’s as if I was born with a barrel of sunshine up my bum, butterfly wings on my heart yet an anchor on my soul.  I choose joy, or rather I want to.  No shit, really I want to.

It’s not that I’m a happy person masking my deep sadness.  

I’m not playing pretend so you all like me either.   

I don’t smile because it’s easier even when I’d rather not.  

I’m just that way.  I always have been.

It wasn’t until I had my third child and recognized myself in his sheer delight in waking up every morning that I let myself off the hook for being a genuinely happy person. However, JOY is another subject entirely.

Here is how I know that I don’t embody joy:

  1.  spontaneous deep laughter escapes me.
  2. I’m polite by default.  Like I’m always just a little bit in check.  It’s hard to erupt into anything when you’re governed by politeness.
  3. I wake up with multiple Oh no…. what if…. thoughts. Heavy.
  4. My auto-pilot says ‘what am I preparing for today’ instead of ‘I can’t wait for life to unfold!’
  5. I think a lot.

Now none of these things are bad right?  I know a lot of people who could afford to think a little bit more, choose kindness first, step back out of the spotlight so as to give it to someone else first.  You know these people too.  Having an auto-pilot who is pre-disposed to consider before acting is a very good thing in a world with lots of other people in it.

For me, today, for 2016, I’m choosing to recognize the hole that I fall into again and again and again.   That’s all.  My dear friend Paula Shaw from The Max (a self-actualization and expression workshop) calls it the trap of ‘the no choice choice’.   The choice I have made is to not have the choice to live Joyously.

I have developed a skill of manufactured joy but authentic happiness.  Oh gawd.  I can even make happiness complicated.  See why joy escapes me?

This is my year of joy and I don’t even really know what that means.  I suspect we’ll find out together.  My first ‘to do’ around this topic is to ‘do nothing’.  When I wake up with a long list to do, I’m going to choose a minimum of one hour of ‘not doing’ instead just to see what happens.  What do you think?

Choose Joy.  mmmm…. I’m in.

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