I think my March has evolved into a month of focusing on the simple pleasures in life that make living it a joyful and enriching experience.
I’ve run the gamut this month from trying to find joy in the middle of high-profile worldwide corporate strategy sessions to holding my grandmother’s hand as she passed peacefully away. And, more recently, deciding to pack it all in and load my family into the car to tour the country for months on end.
In between, there was a birthday celebration, a wedding, a new project kick-off, new business development ideas, old business strings to tie up, and dinner parties with friends–old and new. Not to mention my irrational fear over nuclear fallout, and the more realistic possibility that my house may float away if the rains don’t stop.
I defy anyone to tell me I am not living a full life. But this is what makes my life full of joy …
Snuggling my daughter for a few stolen seconds early in the morning while she is still warm from her covers, and soft in her pajamas, as I nestle my face in her long blonde hair and sniff her sweetness. Or listening to my kids repeat to each other a children’s story I wrote for them when they were still babes (which I’ve yet to publish), because they think it is sooooo funny, and they’ve managed to memorize it already. Even without illustrations. Or watching my son master his LEGO creations by following the instructions and pridefully arranging the pieces into the whole.
And, I wholeheartedly believe that joining my husband on the golf course for four uninterrupted hours of exercise in Mother Nature will bring me equal parts joy and love. But it’s a conditional love, you see. I will love it if it is warm and sunny. I will not attempt it if it is raining sideways with a frost delay. I’m sure that my husband knows I am with him in spirit. Joyfully.
What I’ve discovered this month, is that there are always going to be pressures in this life. Clients demanding more hours than you can provide. Social events cluttering up your calendar until you have no time left for sleep. Family members begging for more attention than your energy can spare. Financial burdens threatening your budget. Household chores that never end.
It is easy to get overwhelmed. It is hard to maintain your balance. And sometimes the only way to find your balance is to say “no” to the tasks, events, and people who drain you of your joy.
That has always seemed like a selfish statement to me … to say “no” to someone or some thing that needs my help. But then, I realized that if I am constantly torn between all of the stressful, thankless activities and requirements that do not bring me joy, I cease to be the Nice Momma that my children need me to be. Or the loving wife that my husband married. Or the productive consultant that my clients hired. Or the peaceful girl that I deserve to be.