OLG: Old Lady Gardener #21- Seeking Joy

Here we are at the end of another year. A year of turmoil and craziness. (Read the NYT article on The Year we Lost it? https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/17/style/the-year-we-lost-it.html) It is all around us inside and out.

I have worked hard to keep an even keel. I am not an angry person by nature. I become anxious and sad or withdrawn. I move away from anger. I go into my garden. The safe space for me to process and reflect. Plants are great they way they always listen and usually don’t take back. Although I will say the rose bush gets a bit thorny at times and lets me know what she is thinking about my ongoing dialog while weeding.

All that said, I sit this morning in a bit of a fog. The holiday sugar has dropped by energy level and I pushed it over the top this morning with half a glazed donut that tasted wonderful but wow – I have not had that kind of sugar rush in years. The decaf tea is not pulling me out of my stupor either. As I type find myself sliding down on the couch into an easy sleeping position. Can I just slide through to the end of the year? Can I walk away from the undercurrent of disruption felt across our country and world? Boy as a collective we really don’t have good coping mechanisms for all the change we are enduring.

We had a lovely Christmas – great food, family all at home and an aunt and uncle came to join. The Christmas trees in both houses were great and the gift giving was fun and not over the top.

But like our country underneath all this joy and happy energy there were or are struggles. One is struggling with a job that seems great but is not making them happy in anyway. Another is coping with the stress of returning to their high stress job after dealing with a high stress illness. The partners of each are clearly feeling like they are in a billiards game being shot from one place to the next. Depression seems to be running through everyone one of them. Life is hard right now and the social media, politics, poverty issues, health issues and environmental issues are just pulling the rope of anger and frustration even tighter. Yet we managed to have a cheerful couple days of fun, movies, too much food and talking.

So now we talk. We spent time together but not always in conversation. We check in with each other. I know as a parent I can’t solve this for my children. They will need to work through this. I can listen and ask questions and be open to help in anyway they feel they need. Our family group, like the country, will need to keep processing, talking and finding ways to handle change and to make change. These are the growing pains of adult children and for us as the elder adults. We are all in positions of dramatic change. We can’t return. The doors of the past always remain closed. We can only learn from what we have gone through and then make a new path for ourselves and those we love.

Now as I work to pull myself up and keep typing. I think about words that can focus myself and family as we step into 2023. (boy that feels odd to say 2023! How did we get here?) Anyway in looking for one little word or phrase that might be a light for the next year.

I am thinking about the word JOY.

Finding joy personally and within the family and in the world around us. Just wondering if we can find joy in the little moments of each day. Wondering if we can share those little moments with each other?Will that sense of joy, over time, help settle the upset of our current lives? What happens when we continue to find and share small moments of joy? Can we find those little moments of joy in the job we dislike or the overly stressful job? Can we find moments of joy in the people around us that are creating frustration within us right now and most importantly can we find moments of joy for ourselves each day?

Think about it, What would happen if we all looked for joy this year? If we wrote it down, shared it with others and held on to those moments in some small way all year.

I think I might give it a try! How about you?

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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2 Responses to OLG: Old Lady Gardener #21- Seeking Joy

  1. arjeha says:

    JOY…something we all need to look for in these troubling times. Small joys to get us through the next hour…day …week…month. It is there if we only look. It is hard when we want to help our loved ones but don’t know what to do. Being there and offering a word of support is sometimes the best. Wishing you and your family a joy filled 2023.

  2. Debbie Lynn says:

    I love discovering those tiny moments of joy…finding joy where it’s least expected. What a great mantra for 2023! Thanks for the idea. šŸ™‚

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