J is for Joy. Joy is solitude and quiet. This morning I hear my own typing, the humming of the air conditioner, and the occasional tapping of Rocky’s paws, as he walks over, nudging me to pet him. Both my children are at summer camp today, and my hubbie is at work. Ah, a chance to breathe and to think without being interrupted. I am not a person who likes to be alone much, but now that I am a mom, it is a joy and a necessity. Give me several hours, and I feel rejuvenated and ready to be with my family again, because joy is also spending time with my family and friends. Joy is “Daisy”, my oldest daughter, coming up behind me and wrapping me in a warm embrace. She is a teenager, and I appreciate that we are still close. Joy is my youngest daughter, “Rosie”, almost seven, reaching over to hold my hand, when we are walking or just sitting next to each other. Sometimes, she gives my hand a little kiss. Joy is a hug, kiss and a smile from my husband, just because.
Joy is also travel with friends. Joy was traveling to Italy with my girlfriends, before I was married. We saw exquisite frescos, hiked through beautiful countryside, and ate lots of gelato and fabulous 6 or 7 course meals. We felt like we were in a wonderful movie; it was surreal.
Joy was my 3-week honeymoon in Spain. As newlyweds, in Barcelona, we meandered through Gaud Park Guell, covered with colorful mosaics. We strolled through museums, cathedrals, palaces, beaches, and gardens. One of my favorite places, Generalife Gardens, is full of beautiful fountains, flowers, and vibrant mosaics. I read the first two Harry Potter books and took lots of pictures, and my husband took even more pictures.
Joy was visiting my brother and my sister-in-law in Hawaii. We enjoyed the expansive beaches and clear, cool, water. We saw big waves and the elusive sea turtles. We learned to hula and hiked to lovely waterfalls. We wish Hawaii, and my brother and his family, were closer.
Joy is also, planning to travel. We have been planning a trip to California for my cousin’s wedding in San Diego. We enjoyed picking out a beach condo, finding festive dresses and shoes for the wedding, and dreaming about Disneyland. We will have a joyful time seeing family we haven’t seen in years and seeing the sites in San Diego.
Getting back to: joy is solitude, quiet, and hugs and kisses from my kids and spouse. Traveling is lovely, but I can’t travel the world every day. Therefore, I want to live in the moment and really experience the joy that is right in front of me. It is easy for me to rush through the day, trying to cram as much as possible in, to knock off more items on my to do list. This is not conducive to joy. When I slow down and stop worrying so much about time, I experience more joy in my everyday routine. Then, joy is walking the dog with my husband, having time to talk and hold hands. Joy is snuggling Rosie after her bath. Wrapped in her hoody towel that looks like a fox, I hold her on my lap, our faces snuggled together. Joy is laughing with Daisy as we watch our favorite TV show at the end of the day. Joy is writing.