Moments of Joy

“If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it.” ~ Mary Oliver

I find myself in a wonderful mood this morning, something that I know I need to grab onto with all of my strength. They don’t come often. I mean, I’m not usually in a BAD mood, but I have a steady mood. I don’t experience many highs and lows.

When I have a day like today, when I’m smiling for seemingly no reason, I always try to figure out why. What could I do to replicate this more frequently? The answer is usually that I slept well, that I had a good but not too hard workout, that I have a busy but not impossible day ahead of me… the usual things, in other words.

What gives me pause, though, is that external events also seem to influence my mood. I’m sure that mine, today, is bolstered by the Electoral College voting (finally) yesterday. I had been holding my breath until that day, and now that it is past, with minimal disruption, I feel as though I can exhale a little.

Which begs the question… does my good mood, does my joy, depend on external factors? Shouldn’t it all come from within?

Kind of to my surprise, my answer was, why shouldn’t external events influence my mood? I live in the world, I pay attention to what’s going on (for the most part), I am invested in it. Isn’t that part of what it means to be a person on this earth, in this society? I think the important thing is that I not let my mood, my day, my approach to life be completely derailed by external factors over which I have no control. Yes, they’re important, but they’re not everything.

So today – I’ll take my good mood to my (many, many meetings). I’ll work to maintain it throughout the day. And I’ll enjoy being surprised by the joy I feel bubbling up in me on this random mid-December day at the end of this pandemic year.

One thought on “Moments of Joy

  1. Oh, as much as we think joy/happiness comes from within, I totally believe that outside factors influence our mood ALL THE TIME, after all, the world we live in has a direct impact on our circumstances.

    If outside factors bring me joy, I embrace it. If outside factors bring me sorrow, I try to mitigate as best as I can.

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