Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Searching for Pockets of Joy

Sometimes amidst the storms of life, there are small pockets of calmness, small moments of happiness. Most of the time, I am so overwhelmed by the circumstances of my life, and the stressful situations I find myself within to even notice. When I recently found a few such moments, for once, I had the presence mind set to stop, and appreciate them.

This weekend there was a literal storm, a deluge of snow, rain, and then sleet too. Extreme weather conditions of any kind make me nervous. I live in home without a basement, and drive a small (beautiful) car. When the television states 'seek cover' it translates to 'flee the house'. Snow & rain mean I have to drive like a myopic grandmother wearing reading glasses. And did I mention that I tend to get depressed every fall, and that it's directly connected to how much daylight there is?

This weekend, we had a terrible storm on Saturday. I knew it was coming; I watch the weather on tv & check a weather website, just to be prepared. Ok, so maybe I over prepare.... I made certain I had all my errands done beforehand, and that my cupboards were full. I was out & about, picking up ingredients for homemade cocoa mix & checking out library books. As I was driving home, marveling at the mostly clear skies, the thought struck me... instead of worrying about the coming snowfall, I should be appreciating the patch of sunshine pouring through the sunroof on my wee black car. So, I turned up the Christmas music, and sang along with Bing, and enjoyed the sunshine.

Safely back home again, I unloaded groceries & books, placing the books beside my favorite easy chair. Checking my ever-present to-do list, I began making cookies, an old family recipe with an unpronounceable name...thus I have always called them 'green jelly-filled cookies'. I was again listening to the Christmas music on B96, when my current favorite song, "All I Want for Christmas" by Mariah Carey came on. Ah, ha...the conscious click went on. This is another one of those pockets of joy! So, with the scent of baking cookies surrounding me, and Mariah belting out the song, I started dancing in the kitchen. I be-bopped my way through the music, with only the kittens, watching me with stunned expression on their furry faces.

The next day, after shoveling out from that terrible storm (thank you Cat, for shoveling!), I headed out to attend small group. This is a group of people from my church, that meets every other week. I walked in, on time, didn't even get lost this time...and enjoying that small moment of joy. I placed my pretty plate of homemade cookies in the kitchen, then headed to the living room, to see what my choices of seats were. Sofa, filled... easy chairs....filled... *sigh* expecting only the hard backed chairs to remain, I took a last perusal... and noticed the rocking chair, empty, sitting beside a bright & pretty lamp. I love rocking chairs! I would have chosen to sit there had every seat been open. Gladly I took residence, rocking away happily for the next hour, knowing I rested firmly in a deep pocket of joy.

So, now I have experienced another paradigm shift, a complete change in thinking. Instead of focusing on the bad things in life, that loom overwhelmingly, I am now searching out, noticing, and enjoying the small moments as they happen. Having dinner with my friend's 3 & 4 year old sons. A perfect cup of tea. A moment of perfect harmony with a friend. Try to always consciously enjoy the small pockets of joy in life.