Chasing Joy

There is a difference (apparently) between joy and happiness. I’m sure it’s some nuanced definition thing and one is eternal and one is superficial. I’m pretty sure that I am chasing the wrong one all the time. But can I tell you a secret?

I don’t care.

I am so worn out by trying to figure out if I am chasing the right thing or the wrong thing or the Christian thing. It’s SO MUCH WORK.

And hey, just to juke you a little bit, Jesus said his burden was light. Not this twisted, over-analytical, bang-your-head-against-a-wall thing I keep doing.

I just want to be happy. I want to feel happy. I want to laugh and sing and dance and be silly. I want to have so much of it that when life punches me in the nose with ‘reality’ that I can fight back without losing the self-esteem battle. Again.

So I hunt joy. I hunt fun. I hunt laughter. I hunt funny people because they make me smile. Ok, so that’s a little creepy sounding but whatever, man. It’s the truth.

It’s simply too tempting and frankly, EASY, to wallow in self-pity.

For example, I am frequently around a group of women (because we all have kids) who I think are joy suckers. Like Dementors in Harry Potter, they walk around sucking all the joy out of the air with their hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and teenage selfies. And every single time, I feel bad about myself after being with them. WHAT??

I used to sit around and try to figure out what I could do to fit in. How could I change myself? Would the right hair or jewelry make the statement I need to gain their acceptance? Would the right words, enough grace, or even ignoring them protect me from feeling pain from them? The answer was surprisingly simple.

Nope.

Since the third grade, I have tried to manipulate people into liking me by becoming what I think they like. I have no idea why I have kept his up for the last thirty-something years. Even as I write this I see how it’s utterly ludicrous. There must have been some kind of positive reinforcement somewhere that kept me in this insane quest for acceptance. Or I’m just thick as all get out. Either way, I’m so over it.

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

So I’m hunting joy. Joyful people, YouTube videos, books to read, Pinterest boards to follow….You name it. If it makes me laugh, I’m in.

So to bring you all some joy, here are a few favorite things.

The new ad campaign by Cigna.

This new book by Melanie Dale

These tee shirts I saw on The Profit.

I am loving following my kids on SnapChat and Twitter because teenagers are hilarious. I also am loving America’s Got Talent and practically die every Tuesday in anticipation. The finale is next week, people!

I’m looking for a tribe of joy hunters. Are you in? You just need to be sick of striving to do this. What things bring you oodles of joy and laughter and happiness right now?