Standing in front of sixty business people last week, a familiar friend surfaced.
She visited again as I sailed down the hill in my neighborhood on my bike, just feet behind my 7 year-old.
Even more surprisingly, she showed up yesterday afternoon in downtown Edmond while I stood with a camera in front of two girls doing leaps and jumps I won’t even pretend I can pronounce.
The friend? Joy. Not a flesh-and-blood girlfriend, but the emotion that seems to sneak up on me when I least expect it. Why? Because I haven’t put her on the to-do list – which I’ve renamed my True Do list this year.
Last year was my hermit year. I worked like crazy, made good money, and was productive as hell. But. Make that, “BUT!!!” I was a wee bit stressed out, even after I started a regular practice of yoga and meditation (which helps immensely.)
But JOY? Not so much. We had some good times, some good trips, some fun family memories, but I didn’t feel joy. Was it me? Was I so stressed I didn’t let her in or was she so buried under my to-do list I didn’t let her catch a breath? Maybe. But no more.
My True Do list means I’m doing more for fun, for me, for replenishing and recharging. At first I was afraid it would be selfish, but then I realized it included other people! I’m saying yes to getting out there, like speaking to the LOYAL leadership class last week in Oklahoma City. I had a blast speaking about branding and got some great feedback. I thought, “I need to get out more often!” And when my little guy who won’t be little for long asks me to go ride bikes, I say, “yes.” No matter what I’m doing, I take a break and go for a quick ride, which is something I’ve loved to do since I was his age.
In writing DANCE MOM SURVIVAL GUIDE I get to work with one of my best girlfriends and we get to include our dancing daughters, which brings us all closer. That photo shoot was fun because I let it be. The girls were loving it and I got caught up in their energy. I felt young and light and almost like I could jump in the air like them! (But, um, no.)
I think the key to making joy a #truedo is saying yes to the fun, diminishing stress where we can and staying in the present moment where there is only the now, not a what’s-next. If you’re a list-maker like I am, why not keep a list of things that bring us joy? From the little things like putting my favorite creamer in my coffee (mocha) to how much fun I have Saturday mornings in hip-hop to the bliss I feel while gazing up at the moon and stars from my hot tub. What would me on your list?
How can you incorporate more joy in your life? Let me know if it sneaks up on you, too.