Finding joy

I spent 5 hours this morning perusing the internet at work because I just couldn’t bring myself to crack the Biology book. While wasting 5 perfectly good hours of the day, I found myself browsing all kinds of blogs and sites, window shopping (should we call it monitor shopping since there really is no window??) and blog browsing. I just read a blog that was very inspirational, and I realized that we spend the majority of our time thinking “I want, I want, I want.” Even if it isn’t always material things we are wanting, there is usually a state of being we are wanting (married, moved, eating lunch, getting to bed, home-buying, debt-paying off, less busy, more busy) or a body type (healthier, slimmer, older, younger) or a personality (funnier, kinder, bolder, spiritualer) that we are wanting. I think I do spend a lot of my thoughts thinking about wants…. and that is not necessarily bad because that is just how life works. Wants make us do new and great (or even small and simple, but important) things.

I read two blog posts that got me thinking: one about Thanksgiving, and one about New Years’. SO in my mind is a combination of goal-setting and gratitude. This year when I was thinking about making resolutions, I really wasn’t in the mood. Every year I write a full-blown list of things I want to accomplish, who I want to become, what talents I want to work on. I love lists. But I think I was feeling a little tired on New Years’ Day as we drove back to bleak Provo (see? I’m “wanting” yet again for something in my Provo-hatred). Raimo and I made some resolutions together, but they were all financial goals.

Since then I have been trying to come up with the perfect goal for me in 2010, and I just didn’t know what it was. In choir last week we had a devotional about goals. That day I thought of just one simple thing I that I could do to make this year better, and so I wrote it in my choir folder: Find Joy. Each day I open that folder and it stares back at me, and I think about whether I’m enjoying where I am in life right at that moment.

The seemingly mundane things in my life often bring me a lot of joy if I really think about it. Sometimes when I’m wishing for warmer weather, I remind myself that I really do like cloudy days and how they feel (even if the cold is harsh). When I’m thinking about how I don’t like work, I think to myself that I really do like my job overall and I like the people I meet there and the satisfaction I get from making my own money. If I am not enjoying my schoolwork, I think to myself about how I enjoy what I get to do at school (read, sew, edit, learn, sing, dance) and it really changes for me. I think I’m also taking a little more time to “savor the moments” each day. I enjoy making my house look cute and clean, I enjoy sitting back to watch a movie, I enjoy the little time I get to have my husband’s undivided attention, I try to enjoy how little money we have because it makes us appreciate things more.

Finding joy is going to be my 2010. It is a good year for this–I am finishing school, I am starting a new chapter, I am finishing dance, I am finishing choir, I am gaining some free time, I am going on vacations, I am going to see less of Raimo… some of these things are bittersweet. But I think my frame of mind can make all these experiences very positive. I don’t want to waste my thoughts with “I wants” too often (I’m sure I will indulge and continue wanting fairly often), and I hope I can make the most of life. So there. Three weeks into January I have finally figured out my resolution. It is a feel-good goal, and I like it.

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