Funny old fashioned word isn't it? Joy? Makes me think of Christmas cards on Victorian mantle pieces. But it also makes me think of a very poignant quote from one of my favorite movies - American Beauty.
Lester: Christ, Carolyn. When did you become so... joyless?
Carolyn: Joyless? I am not joyless. There happens to be a lot about me that you don't know, Mr. Smarty man. There's plenty of joy in my life.
A pivotal scene in the movie, I love it for its contrasts. This is a movie full of very clever scenes and raw human emotions - AND - it doesn't have a sickly, sweet happy ending like most American movies - Joy!
What made me think of all this? I was laying in bed this morning, it was 7am, I was awake but as it was Sunday, I was trying to make myself stay there. My little old dog, Minty, was also awake and wanting to play. We have this game where she jumps all over me, biting me (she has no teeth so technically she gums me) as I pretend to scream and say 'no'. The more I do this and try and pull the sheet over me, the more playful she gets. Its very funny seeing a 14 year old, blind, toothless little dog play like this. She certainly is full of Joy! In human years she is 69!
It got me thinking about if my life has become 'joyless' - am I just in a holding pattern until I can retire and escape? Is realising yourself as 'joyless' the tipping point for a midlife crisis? In the movie it is. I sometimes remind myself of the end part of this scene, the part where she cares more about the Italian silk sofa than the rekindling of their passion - what matters more in the end?
This, to me, is how you lose joy and therefore how you can re-discover it. Let go of the material things and embrace spontenaity. Be a little reckless and wild sometimes - spill beer on the couch!!
Just something to ponder.