Have you seen my joy? It’s just a little spark, no bigger than your pinkie but it throws enough light to live by and quickly converts to giggles. I can’t find it. I lose a lot of things, my phone, my keys, my wallet, you name it, I’ve lost it. But not in a 20 something way like it was a great party and I can’t find my stuff to get home but more like in a 30 something way like I’m grumbling about it in my yoga pants wandering around my kitchen holding the very thing I can’t find. I digress. Joy.
We went on a staycation to Vancouver for a couple of days because I’ve been working hard. I needed a time out to gaze adoringly at my mister over a plate containing more than a reasonable number of calories to be consumed in one sitting and wake up in a bed I don’t need to make. If you knew me very well you would laugh because I never make the bed that’s totally a Paul job because he is the homemaker I lack the patience and skills to be. At any rate, we made an escape. One of the highlights of the trip was my first ever Canucks game.
We scored wicked seats on the cheap from the Ticketmaster reseller site and ended up in the sixth row, just behind the Predator’s bench. We were mostly surrounded by Canucks fans, with the exception of a row of very enthusiastic Preds fans. One fellow in particular was SUPER LOUD. There was some really funny back and forth between he and his friends and a cluster of Canucks fans ahead of us. When the Canucks scored, they presented him with a Canucks foam finger in a fine example of very polite Canadian trolling and he accepted it as intended and wore it for the game. After the game, we all shook hands and it felt very collegial.
Listening to him yell the whole game like that I felt a bit awkward because I’m an introvert and I could see some folks rolling their eyes or quietly mocking. I cringed inwards in vicarious embarrassment at times. At first I didn’t know what to make of it, I’m not a live sports person normally though I would LOVE to be. What struck me in the end was his PASSION. When was the last time I felt that passionately about anything? How many people EVER get that passionate about anything? How much of our lives do we spend on autopilot without ever being a FAN? I had passion envy.
I also watched my mister throughout the game and I really saw him in a different light. I know he watches hockey on his laptop sometimes and he is in some Canucks related Facebook groups but I have never seen him so happy. Seeing my 42 year old fellow watching his favourite team up close was like looking at a kid on Christmas morning. I have never seen him that excited about anything in our time together. Like ANYTHING. I started to feel a bit jealous.
I wasn’t jealous that he looked more excited about hockey than he does at me (though seriously what is up with that, I AM A DELIGHT.) I was jealous that he was that excited about something. He asked me what my joy was. I honestly couldn’t answer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not unhappy with my life. My new life is awesome and I’m #blessed. I love my boyfriend, my family and my condo (other than the elephant sanctuary upstairs) and I love love love what I do to pay the bills. What is on my plate is plentiful and delicious but I see joy like the gravy that goes with it that someone forgot to bring me. I feel kind of awkward asking for it, like I have enough to be happy so why sound ungrateful but I know that extra topping would just MAKE the plate.
I used to love pole dance that hard, but my new condo isn’t pole friendly either and my joints are hyper-mobile and sore. I used to love high impact aerobics that hard, feeling my heart pumping but, again, *ouch*. I used to love cross country running that hard but I hit puberty and don’t wanna get knocked out by the omGs. I love SUP yoga like that but I love it most in the summer when it’s warm out which leaves me twiddling my thumbs in the winter. I’m also not sure how that’s going to be on my joints but I hope I can figure that out before summer. I love my new business that hard but I feel a bit judge-y about having work be my joy. I’ve already crashed and burned having my identity too tied to my work. I love my spa time for sure but I never get “my boyfriend watching the Canucks score” over a pedicure.
Paul says I look most alive near water. I light up at the beach, in the lake, or walking along the ocean. But not on the ferry, that makes me barf. When the kids graduate we plan to move to the Okanagan and live on the lake but for now I have to figure out how to find that headspace again to “tide” me over.
Obviously being a mom is one of my joys, but eventually we will be empty nesters and I don’t want to be doing this all over again when we are old and staring at each other over sensible cereals at the breakfast table in a house that’s too quiet. Maybe I will end up doing that anyways and that’s just how finding joy goes, a constant refinement and a process that takes place in different phases of your life and you just have to suck it up and search again.
Going through the checklist in my head I felt like a little kid who just realized she lost her blankie and her mommy in the supermarket.
WHERE IS MY JOY? WHERE DID IT GO?
So this year I’m on a mission to find it. OPERATION FIND JOY. Try allllll the things. See what lights me up! I’m a bit nervous about it but excited to see what actually turns my crank. Wish me luck!
What’s your joy?