It’s been raining softly, ever since the light peeked through the gap between the curtains this morning. I heard it last night in bed too. Woke up, felt that rush of sound, wondered briefly what it could be, until my heart beat the word “RAIN, RAIN, RAIN” along with the sound of the falling water and then I smiled, turned over and closed my eyes once again.
There is something of this type of rain that carves a warm circle of gratitude somewhere inside you. Like a ball of soft wool. So I’m sitting with that gratitude now, just sort of feeling its warming light, as it washes over any worries or fears. There’s so much worrying that can be done, after all. So much to worry about in this world, wherever we look. We’re rightly concerned with what’s happening globally to our environment, what’s going on politically everywhere, never mind all the daily worries that go along with surviving financially, raising a family and being the best version of ourselves that we can – but this year I’m determined to focus on living with joy, because unless we do that, then what are we fighting for?
So I’ve been thinking about what brings me joy. Creating is one thing. I tried to slow down the blog writing last year, to make space for other writing projects, but the truth about writing, is that the less you do it, the less you WANT to do it. That is the great irony. It’s a muscle you need to exercise, and no matter what sort of writing you do, you have to keep doing it regularly if you want to feel inspired, and write the things you dream of writing. So I’m approaching blogging with renewed vigour this year (and no pressure), with a fresh focus on sharing my thoughts, because some people have told me that they really miss my blog, and to be honest I don’t need much more encouragement than that:)
Human connection is another thing that brings all of us humans joy. And while I think of myself as more of an island, and am extremely happy in my own company, I’ve begun to realise that the right people do add great joy and value to my life (I mean, obvs!). After all, the ability to connect, learn and grow by interacting with others, is what makes us humans unique from the rest of the animals.
But in our modern ‘nuclear family’ worlds, we’re often isolated and we lack a sense of community, or a shared purpose. Something as simple as becoming a lifeguard recently has shown me that having a shared goal, working together as a team with people from all walks of life, holds immense value and generates a large amount of joy. I was cynical of team sports, or team anything for so long, and I’m not sure why. Being part of something bigger than ourselves gives one perspective, provides a purpose. So I’m going to keep doing it. It’s that simple.
Music. Nature. Movement. Quality time with family. Rest. Laughter. Dancing. New experiences. Fresh perspectives. These are all things I’m chasing this year. I’m going to try and not overcomplicate it. Because while joy and happiness are not our given rights, and not the states we can always be in, there’s nothing wrong with spending our lives seeking them out.
Because this place could be beautiful, as poet Maggie Smith writes below. Don’t you think?