Anne B. Walsh - Do you believe in magic?
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Anne's Randomness

Seeking joy

It may be childish of me, but I am enjoying the fact that my job just required me to hang up on somebody. Politely, of course, since rudeness is not cool, but still, I got to cut him off, tell him nothing, and hang up the phone. All the thrills of wickedness with none of the unpleasant side effects, like loss of hair (and nose), or random cackling!
 
From the time we are young, we are taught to look most closely at what we do wrong, with scoldings from our parents and red-ink cross-outs from our teachers. The modern reaction to this is to coddle and cosset children, yes, and adults too, by never telling them that they do anything wrong at all. Neither extreme is a good solution.
 
What I wish existed more, and what I've tried to show in my writing to this point, is a world where wrongs are recognized, but where joy is celebrated. Where real achievement, even in the most everyday of things, is the cause of great rejoicing, and where discipline, although unpleasant, is meant to teach more than to punish.
 
After all, look at the word. "Discipline". It comes from the same root as "disciple". A follower, a student. To be a disciplined person is to have learned how to keep your life in order, and no, that doesn't mean you have to put everything in neat little boxes and nail down the lids. It just means you aren't zooming every which way all the time.
 
All of human life is a balancing act, leaning first too far to one side, then too far to the other. C.S. Lewis, in The Screwtape Letters, described the Law of Undulation, having his older and wiser devil instruct his apprentice in the ways of humans by likening us to waves. We rise and fall. Good times, and bad times. It's our nature.
 
So how can we keep our balance better? Perhaps by keeping in mind that we all have the capability to be both good and bad, and that no matter how hard we try, we can never be perfect. By keeping a few little joys nearby to help recover from bad times, and a few reminders of trouble when we grow giddy and thoughtless in good times.
 
Here where I am right now, I have a pillow my mother cross-stitched for me, with a pattern of flowers in differing purples. I also have my pretty, silly red hat, and the posters featuring my book covers hanging on my walls, and a mug of hot, sweet tea. What little joys do you keep always nearby, to help lift you up when times are tough?
 
...wow, that did get philosophical. I'd apologize, but everybody needs a shot of thoughtfulness once in a while. Especially when it's on the topic of things that make us happy. Let me know what yours are, O readers, and some of them might just appear in future Anne writing. Thanks, as always, and more thoughts on Thursday!

2 Comments to Seeking joy:

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Katie on Tuesday, March 04, 2014 9:05 PM
Beautiful! You have put into words what I find myself thinking so often! If we do our best to learn from our mistakes, but more importantly celebrate our victories and the things that make you happy, you will find yourself a much more positive and happy person. I wish I was able to explain things as eloquently as you, though; you really have said this important message perfectly :).
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haminac on Wednesday, March 05, 2014 4:14 AM
Sweet post. What you describe is one of the things I like so very much about the DV. I really love the principles the pack-parents base their education on. So what's my small joy stuff? A cup of spiced hot chocolate often has magical effects on me; I also try to appreciate small hugs from my boyfriend and tell him they help so he keeps it up. Then I rejoice whenever I find time to sew and just yesterday the possibility of entering a hammock whenever the weather allows it entered the list of small things that help me. I love hammocks. So yeah. Just finding the time to remember that life is good makes me feel good.
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