“We get so focused on doing what’s
easiest for us, expected from us, and right in front of us
that we fail to do the things that bring joy to us.”
Lately, I’ve been having a lot of conversations about making time for joy.
For years, I regarded joy like an unexpected (albeit beloved) guest. A visitor who would randomly and occasionally pop in, always arriving and departing without any advance notice, while I busied myself checking off the “shoulds” and “have to’s” of whatever imaginary life list I had in front of me.
Quite honestly, I took joy for granted, never carving out nearly enough time for it in my quest to achieve, to be responsible, and to get things done. I naively told myself that if I kept doing what’s easy, expected, and required, joy would eventually come around again.
And then, 2020.
If this year has taught me anything, it’s that joy doesn’t have to be an accidental mood, sneaking up on us and demanding our attention – it can also be an intentional method. Joy can be a conscious practice. Something we choose as often as we possibly can, just as we would love, grace, kindness, peace, hope, and the many other things that God calls on us to embrace and uphold.
And, if ever there was a season to consistently and consciously carve out time for joy, this is it. Most of us are feeling some version of pandemic fatigue and exhaustion. We’ve depleted even our reserve resources. At this point, many of us are just running on the fumes of our fumes, numbly stumbling toward the close of this dumpster fire of a year. Right now, in the name of self-care and sanity, I’m making joy an active daily practice. It doesn’t have to be huge or all-consuming — it just has to stay on my radar, so I’m able to routinely pursue it.
I took last week off and, for the first time in years, I didn’t do a single shred of work — JOY.
I spent time with my youngest, who didn’t have school. We played games, took walks, and just talked, without constantly checking my phone for client texts and emails — JOY.
I binge-watched two entire seasons of Cobra Kai on Netflix. It was both awesome and awful, bringing entirely new meaning to “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” A poorly acted, thinly plotted abomination which I absolutely adored and regret not a single minute spent consuming it. Strike first, strike hard, no mercy — JOY, JOY, JOY!
Today’s Soft Never
Today, let’s Soft Never the assumption that, in the busyness of life, we just never have the time needed to pursue joy. It’s not enough to pursue what we’re most comfortable with, best at, and demanded of us, assuming that joy will find us eventually.
Rather, we can give ourselves permission to make joy a conscious and consistent life practice. How are you making time for joy right now in ways you never thought you would? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Have a Soft Never experience you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you. Contact our team today to share the details or learn more about guest blogging opportunities.