For a while and a variety of reasons, I have been a little down. I could not get out of my head. I was trapped obsessing on all the bad in each day. I was so intensely concentrating on what was wrong, I forgot to find joy in my days.
As a way to break this cycle, I decided to add some mindfulness in my days. I started keeping a daily notebook where I wrote down a piece of joy from that day. The notebook is small, and does not leave my bedside table. I could not risk my notebook being anywhere but beside me, since it would be so easy to just not do it. I often looked for excuses to not write in it. Finding the joy in some days became so hard, that I invented reasons not to do it. I needed to make this process as easy as possible. Therefore, the notebook is forever placed on my bedside table with a pen. I even told Joe about my plan to find joy in each day to help keep me accountable.
My plan went well enough at first. I found joy in every day and I wrote it down. I then found that I was feeling a bit better, and I fell out of the habit of writing my daily piece of joy. If my days were filled with joy, why did I need to write down one small piece of it? After some time I felt myself ruminating on the negative again. The notebook was again needed, but now it had sat neglected and forgotten for weeks or even months. I made excuses to not write in it. I should wait to start at the beginning of the next week, maybe the next month, or I just need a new notebook. Surely I can’t keep writing in the same book with all that time missing. Can I ? Finally, I picked up the notebook and did something I had never done before...I read it.
I read several months worth of joy and I smiled. Why had I waited so long to read this? What was I avoiding? And so I started again, and this time I reminded myself to be kinder to me. There will be days when I forget to write. There will most definitely be days when I will struggle to find that joy. On those days when I need it most, I need to ask for help. On those difficult days, I need to ask Joe where the joy was in the day. He can usually find it so easily. Alternatively, there will be plenty of days when there is more than one moment of joy.
I need and want to remember to look back on on the good. On those days when I don’t want to write, or struggle to find the joy; I need to remember that right next to me is a book filled with joy. I need to remember that somewhere in that day, there was a small piece of joy. I just need to find it.