Hey, remember me?
It’s been awhile since I’ve written this column. Last August actually.
I suppose there’s several reasons for that. But it most likely hinges on the fact that my husband was hospitalized at the end of August. And sometimes a long road awaits patients following a hospital stay.
Such has been the case with us.
Since then, I haven’t felt much like writing. And when I do, everything seems a bit disingenuous. I wrote a post on my personal blog about the hospital experience last fall but felt it missed the mark.
During this time period, I’ve also been struggling with feeling much joy. Which is the point of this column after all.
December was pretty rough. I was experiencing feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, guilt, grief. One of the most joyous times of the year and I just wasn’t feeling it.
I enjoyed spending time with family at Christmas and New Year’s. Many great memories made. And lots of laughing.
But it seemed short-lived. I tried a lot of things to get out the funk I was in but the January blues seemed to be getting the best of me.
I started searching for ways to find joy and came across a speech given by Richard G. Scott, “Finding Joy in Life.”
Speaking of the difficulties we face on our journeys, he said: “A pebble held close to the eye appears to be a gigantic obstacle. Cast on the ground, it is seen in perspective.”
I was holding my pebble right up next to my eye. I was focused on myself and my problems and couldn’t see much of anything else.
He continued: “I know of a woman who was joyously happy. Each morning she would ask her Father in Heaven to lead her to someone she could help. That sincere prayer was answered time and again. The burdens of many were eased and their lives brightened.”
So what could I do to help others given my circumstances?
While in the shower one morning – where I get my best ideas – The Little Joy Project came to me.
Using social media for good, I’ve taken nature photos from my travels and added the word “joy” in tiny letters to each one. I scroll through my friends list until a name jumps out at me. Then on their wall, I post the picture along with “just stopping by your wall to leave you a *little* joy.”
It’s small and silly and pretty inconsequential.
But it’s also a spark. A tiny spark of joy (and I’m not talking about Marie Kondo, although I do love her tidying up principles).
All of those little sparks begin to add up to more and more joy. Until one day that pebble seems pretty far away. It’s still there but it’s not quite as overwhelming.
And the response to my little project has been fun, too.
“This is probably one of the best posts on my wall ever! Thanks!”
“Thank you kindly. I needed that today.”
“Best thing ever!”
“Thanks, I needed some joy today!”
I’m not easing anyone’s burdens like the woman who was joyously happy. But I do believe I’m adding a little sunshine.
And with the winter we’ve had, we could all use a little more of that.