What can we do when “survival” surfaces as our ultimate goal? When bewilderment and sadness cast a dark shadow over joy?

The day-to-day concerns and fears that we have for our world affects our ability to experience joy. Plus, we have such high expectations for joy.

For many years, I held onto a false belief that joy was difficult to find or that joy was fleeting especially when life gets really “hard”.

Recently, for my own mental health and well-being, I meditated on my expectations for joy.

I asked myself……

Must Joy Be Jubilant?

In any dictionary, you will find “joy” associated with powerful synonyms: bliss, elation, cheer, ecstasy, rapturous. Huge expectations for a little word that give us the impression that joy is a pursuit of something rather grand.

As I unravelled my interpretation of these words, I came to the conclusion that my concept of “joy” is a myth that no longer served me. I had been blindly chasing something I believed was missing in my life.

I realized that when I am chasing something that I think is missing, I am inclined to miss and acknowledge other fulfilling experiences. What about you?

My Wiser Self – My Trusting Self

My wiser Self who trusts that I will choose to do what is in my own best interest, has come up with a list of the little (but powerful) moments that really do add to sustainable joy – for me. I now acknowledge that joy need not be jubilant or rapturous.

Little Moments That Feel Joyful

As I mentally listed moments that lifted my spirits recently and continue to give me joy, I realized that little moments, when accumulated, gave me reason to be joy-full.

Here are a few that I would like to share:

  • Weekly 10K walks with my adult son. I have learned so much about what he is thinking  and his evolving beliefs about this time in our lives. As a wise friend pointed out, this is like the time I had his undivided attention (and he had mine) in the car when he was little. That brought back some lovely memories of joy.
  • Visits with my father-in-law at the beach. We share memories; especially, honouring memories of friends and family we have lost recently. Sharing our memories – good and bad – keeps us humble and appreciative of our precious lives at this time. We have some very funny memories as well – we laugh.
  • Yoga practice. My yoga teacher provides as much personal attention to her students in a virtual setting as she did in her studio pre-pandemic. I attend three classes a week ending Friday night with Restorative Practice when I build my “nest of comfort”.
  • Watching my partner build his “nest of comfort”. His sound/listening room is phenomenal. As he adapts new technology and combines his fine-woodworking skills, he up-levels his listening experience which brings joy to both of us. I enjoy the music floating up through the house to my home office/studio. I enjoy sharing “creative input”, my two cents, when he is working on a design challenge.
  • My “non-negotiable” time. I reserve one day a week for caring for my home (my sanctuary) and preparing myself for the upcoming week. While ironing, (yes, ironing is meditative), I watch a favourite TV series or a “girly” movie. I have fiercely protected this best practice for self-care with boundaries for over a decade.
  • Zoom Pizza Night or Zoom Sunday Brunch. During “lockdown”, I began meeting with special friends on Zoom. We continue our dates as we remain careful and self-responsible with social activities. We engage in a good mix of debate and share work stories, what we are reading, what music we are enjoying, and other life musings.

Now, your turn. I invite you to list the little moments that give you reason to be joy-full. Be intentional about adding and acknowledging little moments of joy to each week.

“Take care of yourself. Do What’s BEST for You. Don’t jeopardize what you have built for yourself.”  Stanley Wicketts, father of Patricia A. Muir

Written by Patricia A. Muir, Maestro Quality Inc., THRIVE

Patricia’s signature program “THRIVE After 60” validates women’s choices and amplifies their voices as they remain professional active after 60 and beyond. Visit her website at https://www.patriciamuir.com/


Patricia A. Muir shares the little moments that give her reason to be joy-full. Now, your turn.