Friday, September 18, 2009

Where's the Joy?

Today is the start of a new book for the Next Chapter Book Club, an online book club hosted by the brilliant Jamie Ridler. The book selection for this go-round is The Joy Diet by Martha Beck.

As I was writing my morning pages this morning, this question kept knocking around in the back of my mind. To get it to quiet down, I am going to ask you: What has happened to us as a society that we instruction manuals on how to be happy? How did we manage to get so lost and disconnected?



I'd like to think that I'm a pretty happy, positive person. After all, I've devoured The Art of Happiness. Yet here I am, knowing that I need to read this book. It isn't that I don't know what to do to protect my mental health; it's that I seem to put myself on the back burner. Don't we do that too often? Especially as women and wives and mothers and caretakers. Every one else comes first. All our other obligations come first. Take five minutes for myself - are you crazy? I don't even get to go to the bathroom by myself!

Maybe it isn't that we need an instruction manual; maybe it's just that we need a reminder to cherish ourselves. Maybe we just need to remind ourselves that we deserve to treat ourselves to a diet of pure joy. Whatever it is, I am looking forward to this journey.

Perhaps it is divine providence that the assignment this week is NOTHING. The next five days of my life are going to be absolutely insane. I have a crazy amount of work due, I'm going out of town for a training, and the list could go on and on. The idea of doing nothing for 15 minutes a day sounds wonderful, but stresses me out a little too. I'm going to accept this synchronicity as the Universe telling me to slow the hell down. I'm looking forward to sharing this journey with you.

10 comments:

  1. You make a good point -- how did we get to the place where we need instruction manuals on how to be happy...life is just so hectic anymore it seems. And the idea of doing nothing for 15 minutes stressing you out -- I think that's where a lot of us are...we don't know how to do "nothing" -- we feel it's wrong to just "do nothing". This will be an exciting and interesting 10 week journey. Looking forward to spending it with you.

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  2. I wrote about this issue a few days ago. Maybe you like to read it:
    http://wovenletters.blogspot.com/2009/09/what-i-dont-understand.html
    Maybe I'm happy, because I always take my time for "nothing". let's see how it works to calm my mind...
    Glad we all can share this. It will be great to get feedback while trying new things!

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  3. I too am looking forward to this journey...maybe together we can all make a positive change to nurture ourselves as well as we nurture evreyone else!

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  4. Hi ,looking forward to us finding joy together:)

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  5. oh mama! my little one follows me into the bathroom too! no matter what. & sometimes that room is the only place I expected to find some time alone... So I'm welcoming the nudge to self-care. It's a worthy challenge - & this book group has granted us good company.

    so glad to meet you! :)

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  6. Just stopped by to say Hi! I look forward to our new adventure into Joy. Have a great week.

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  7. looking forward to journeying through "The Joy Diet" with you and our fellow dieters

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  8. I like the phrase,"cherish ourselves". Cherish is a great word. :)

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  9. Happy to share this journey with you. Love the Cherish ourselves ... just like Grace said abobe!

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  10. Looking forward to this JOYful journey with you!

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