Day 14: #GratitudeWritingChallenge

I’m down to only two days left of this #gratitudewritingchallenge so even though I’m looking forward to finally meeting and moving on from this obligation, I’ve actually found myself rationing my gratitudes today, trying to choose which one I most want to write about. (No one better dare suggest I extend this challenge!)

Then, suddenly this afternoon, a clear winner arose.

I was working intently on a project at my desk but the phone kept ringing in quick succession. By watching the caller ID and the lights on my phone, I could see the receptionist kept answering and hanging up on the same phone number over and over again. It looked like they were getting disconnected. So I put my headset on and waited a whole two seconds for the phone to ring again. This time I beat her to it and answered the call. The line was not very clear, but we were connected; however, the caller had a very lovely but very thick accent so it took me a second to register he was actually asking for me. Now, please understand people struggle with my name all the time. But of all the times it’s been mispronounced, this was a new one! It struck my funny bone and I loved it! When I finally registered what he’d said, my heart started pounding and my hand flew over my mouth as I squeezed my eyes shut and threw my head back IN COMPLETE SILENCE. My lungs nearly collapsed in on themselves as a result of the laughter I was suppressing. The pressure in my cheeks rose to a sting. My jaw and temples tightened as I fought every part of my body that was involuntarily trying to howl with laughter! It took everything in me to avoid being rude to this man by laughing at his earnest attempt to pronounce my name. When I hung up, I thought, “Damn, I am so grateful for JOY!”

I love to laugh! I’m loud and boisterous and often socially inappropriate. But I can’t help it. Joy is part of who I am. My parents should have named me Joy!

What I’ve learned over the years is how easy it is for me to find joy in just about everything. I find joy in music, art, family, friends, nature, cute things, ugly things, almost everything. What I also learned is that this is not a universal experience. I don’t yet understand why that is, but I accept that joyfulness doesn’t come this easy or often or maybe ever for everyone. I never knew this until I had a very deep, insightful conversation with someone. When she shared this with me, I was completely dumfounded – and saddened, honestly. I wanted her and everyone to feel joy like I do. And I was confused because she’s one of the funniest people I know. How could she not feel joy? From that moment on, I have looked at joy differently. I’ve come to know the difference between humor or sarcasm and pure joy. I look at joy as a gift now. I think maybe I don’t hold back much anymore because I now know the true value of this gift and I feel like it needs to be fully used to be fully appreciated.

I am grateful that I can so freely feel and express joy. If you are also a joyous person, I hope you appreciate the gift enough to use the hell out of it and never hold back. Perhaps it’s possible that if we joy-filled people spread it around enough, everyone will be able to receive and feel at least a little of it.

Photo by Edu Carvalho from Pexels

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