I’ve been thinking a lot about the definition of joy and wondering if I am a joyous person overall. What first comes to mind is my childhood and how happy I was waking up Saturday mornings with my brother, Junior, to watch an episode of Muppet Babies – warm cup of hot chocolate in hand. While we devoured the adventures of Miss Piggy and Kermit (despite how much Miss Piggy smothered Kermit), Mami slept.
I imagine she found joy in sleeping in a few extra hours before returning to her role of Super Mom.
Today, as a mother myself, I wonder, was Mami joyous? Did she miss out on something because of being a single mother of three? Sure she did. She has to feel this way even though she would never say it, right? I’m a mom of 1 with lots of help from Boo (his dad and my fiance), yet I think about what I could have done, should have done and won’t be able to do anymore, or at least not for a while, because parenting comes with sacrifice, giving in, leaning in. Or at least I’ve convinced myself of this. That I’m missing out. And that, chicas, kills my joy.
I’m fabulous at that. At killing my joy. Like a fire destroys everything it grazes, my doubt and fear of regret extinguishes my ability to live in the present moment. I’m trying to change that. I’m getting better at not letting fear control me and make me its bitch. Since beginning this journey, I am more present – front and center. Because of this, I am enjoying my life and all that comes along – my son, pool days, family fiestas, lounging on my sofa, binge watching The Handmaid’s Tale, laughing with Boo, girls’ night – so much more. I want to experience everything right in the moment. That’s true joy and I refuse to kill it this time. Here’s how:
No matter how life ebbs and flows (it always does) if I remember to hold onto the present moment I will remain joyous.
If I feel gratitude for the triumphs when I feel like I am failing, I will remain joyous.
If I stop being so hard on myself, I will remain joyous.
If I accept myself as I am, I will remain joyous.
If I remember that difficulties and challenges aren’t permanent, I will remain joyous.
In the end, joy is my goal. Because happiness is fleeting as it is based on external factors. Joy is innate. It doesn’t waver. It doesn’t matter what I am going through, how I feel about work or my relationship or my financial situation, I won’t kill my joy. Instead, I am going to breathe, stay present and remember the days where my only concern was what Miss Piggy did this time to get the attention of Kermit the Frog.