“Catch the joy as it flies.” – Emily Wadsworth, one of my favorite life quotes
This December has rushed up and disguised itself as a warmer month — maybe September or October? Daisies and roses still bud and bloom beside the foundation of my house, and I picked my last round of tomatoes from the garden at Thanksgiving.
It seems like we should be freezing by this time of year. The years I lived in Prague, 2009 – 2013, were snow-filled and frigid, and the past two in southwest Ohio have been the same. So this year when it came time to hang Christmas lights outside, a few of my neighbors stood out in shorts on a weekend in mid-November and strung their lights. It’s a different year entirely. Is it like this where you live?
Some say they need snow and a frosty chill to feel like it’s Christmas. I agree on some counts, but on others, I think Christmas is defined by what we choose to find. As Abe Lincoln said:
“People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
I run those words through my mind often — they are true, I think. I would like to be one to not only choose happiness, but to work to keep a good life balance. We need a healthy measure of things which bring us energy versus the things which drain us of our energy. Choosing happiness is easier when our life is filled with good things.
Catching the Joy as It Flies
One thing I find myself reaching for this time of year, snow or no snow, is joy. There is something exciting about the early darkness, the warmth of a candle or sitting beside the fire, the pure anticipation of change.
As the Christmas season approaches, the other thing I grapple with is simplicity. I long for the simpler, kinder, warmer — not the rushing, the frenzy, and the quest for more stuff. I have a feeling I’m not the only one.
What can we do?
Many of you know I have 3 great sons. They are a hoot, always keep life hopping, and can be counted on to ensure there is always plenty of food. They’re teenagers, after all. And they all play basketball, which means it’s school basketball season.
This is where I spend a lot of my time — which I LOVE and wouldn’t have it any other way. Courtside, beaming, proud, sitting in my trusty stadium seat, taking it all in.
That basketball, watching my kids doing what they love, that is where some joy flies.
Other sources of joy? I don’t know how it works for you, but for me, when I stop and take a look at everything around me, the important things emerge. It’s not the busy things, the rushing around and buying presents or hurrying to squeeze another thing into the calendar, but the stopping and listening that brings peace.
Sometimes the simplest things can restore our joy and sense of well-being. One warmer-than-normal evening last week, I took our dog for a walk — it was a beautiful night filled with Christmas lights, talking with neighbors, finding balance in a world which doesn’t stop turning.
Sometimes, we need the simple things to remember what’s most important.
I hope this season you’re able to catch some joy as it flies.