Today, I am thankful for joy.
I just finished reading an article that tries to explain what makes people happy. The authors cite these factors as sources of happiness: gratitude, hope, zest and the ability to love and be loved. (What, no chocolate???)
The list is interesting to me especially since gratitude is on the list. I'm not sure that being grateful makes me a happier person. Being grateful makes me feel more complete, more human, more introspective but not happier.
Actually, I don't think of my life in terms of "happiness" since happiness is a fleeting state. I was happy a minute ago and now I'm not. And, I don't know why I was happy, I just was.
Instead, I like to think about joy. The dictionary says this: Joy: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.
That's it. Joy - that underlying sense of serenity, satisfaction and delight that my heart and soul embrace each day without guilt or second thoughts. Here's a list of some of the things that make me joyful:
1. Knowing God and Mother Nature and Jesus
2. Seeing the the stars emerge at twilight and the sun rise at dawn
3. Walking through freshly fallen snow on a brisk winter morning (I love the squeaky, crunching sound)
4. Spying a herd of deer roaming the foothills or a rabbit running down the trail
5. Writing a new poem, looking at family photos, reading a really good book, sharing my latest culinary creation with S, tending my gardens, knitting a one-of-kind creation out of unique handspun yarn, and joining S and T for a spin around the park or a leisurely hike in the mountains.
6. Singing aloud (very much off key - thank goodness only God is listening)
7. Discussing my dreams (big, wild and wonderful) with anyone who will listen (usually, T)
8. Planning our ideal vacation to Europe where we'll spend the summer in France (for me) and Italy (for S)
9. Working out really hard on the heavy bag and lifting weights
10. Reading aloud one of my poems at a poetry reading (God gave me the words so now I give them away)
11. Writing each entry of this blog (I hope I not only entertain but enlighten)
For this blessing, I am grateful.