Always look for the JOY

Remember August 21, 2017? 

It was just a few weeks ago when  we were excited about the total solar eclipse within a band across the United States.

Remember the joy surrounding this rare event? Not only were scientists overjoyed, but businesses and schools announced closings and provided  special glasses for safe viewing. People gathered in large stadiums for eclipse parties to view this spectacular rare occurrence.  All eyes were on the sky and there was no mistaking, this was a joyous occasion.

Since then, there have been several major disasters and the joy has been obscured. We are in the middle of hurricane season and it has been a very active season. Such destruction like we’ve never seen. Along with hurricanes, have been earthquakes, fires and tornados. All uncontrollable happenings that have us scratching our heads to wonder, what’s next. 


We are just a week away from fall and it already has been a time when looking for the joy has been an almost impossible task. 

Finding joy doesn’t minimize the sadness and the devastation that is left behind after tragic situations.. 

We feel guilty for even thinking of continuing to find enjoyment in our lives when others are suffering.

Tragedy can tear us down or build  us up. We can dwell on it and keep living it day after day. But that activity keeps us from moving forward.

Through and after a tragedy, we can grow, learn, be compassionate, love and be loved. 

The joy is in finding the love and kindness that can always be found during the devastation.

Life’s challenges are not suppose to paralyze us. Joy is a healer and pushes us forward.


There are simple ways to bring back the joy that has seeped out through personal and/or other tragedies.

Enjoy your children or grandchildren. Children have periods of sadness and then just as quickly they can laugh and move on. Adults…..listen up.

It’s hard to be sad around a giggling child. 

A change of scenery is a way of putting the joy back in life. I don’t know about you, but a trip to the mountains does it for me. Just a few hours of breathing the air and gazing on the magnificence  makes me smile.


And always there is joy in helping someone else.  As we’ve heard countless times, its more blessed to give than receive.

Whatever you give, you will receive more in return. May sound like a cliché, but is so true.

Learn and study something new.

A few years ago, after a personal tragedy, I enrolled in a line dance class. Now that’s something  that requires focus  and concentration.

I didn’t want to be the one in the line that stood out because of all the mistakes my feet might be making. Line dancing became one of the ways  to help me find the joy in moving forward. 


I can’t leave this out. I find joy in decorating and redecorating. If you look at how many times I do this, you would think I am the most joyful person on earth. 

Find that activity that allows you to open up and find a renewed passion for life.

 When sadness comes, allow your tears to flow. And then your smile to shine.

When you have a choice…………always choose JOY.




The little joys


My life has been pretty incredible so far and I am grateful for the blessings that I wake up to each morning. No, I’m not filthy rich and living the life of luxury. There have been times when all I could find in the house to eat were a few  saltine crackers and peanut butter until the next payday.

And keeping it real, not everyday is fun and games. Some days I just want to go back to sleep until the crisis is over and those crappy feelings are gone.

There are some givens at the top of my list of Joys: God, Jesus, freedom and the USA. Those are the biggies. And there’s good health, money, a place to live, clothes and food on the list.

But I have a list of things that are specific to me. These things make me smile and they could make you ask…..Really?…..that’s on your joy list?

I don’t have my head in the sand. I realize there are grave problems in the world. And the good old USA is seriously divided on most issues of importance. With that being said, my list may seem to be frivolous. But it’s the little things that bring a little joy and sunshine that get you through the doom and gloom of the news.

I will keep it to a short list. Not in any particular order, here we go.

A new book to read….. They’re all good, a brand new, or a used book, hardcover or paperback (although lately I am enjoying the large print.) Fiction is my choice.

Love stories with a happy ending make the big, bad world go away for me. Ahhhh love. It’s always the answer. And sometimes a little mystery thrown makes it more interesting.

Examining the spoils of a shopping day.After a day of shopping, coming home and taking the items our of their bags. As I touch and examine my finds, it’s almost like shopping for them all over again. I do this as soon as I get home and after inspection, put them away.

A delivered package. Fed Ex, UPS or USP, doesn’t matter how it arrives, it’s Santa coming to my house. It doesn’t even matter what is in the package or the size. When the doorbell rings and I see it’s a package, my heart does a little dance.

I know….strange

An iced cold can of Diet Dr. Pepper… after it has been iced down in a cooler. Pulling that tab starts an indescribable feeling of glee . A bottled soda just doesn’t do it.

And ………this

An unexpected M & M


When I think my M&M bag is empty and I find one more that I haven’t eaten. The unexpected one is always the best.

And that’s a peek inside my survival bag. What’s in yours?