Monday, 9 February 2015

Memo to Self - Life is not one long to-do-list

"We put ourselves at the bottom of our own priority list, we sleepwalk through the possibility of joy"      

~Oprah Winfrey

In my November post "Undernourished?" I wrote that I want to feel more love, joy, secure, prosperous, serene, connected, playful, adventurous, energised, festive, fulfilled, strong, engaged, blessed, nourished, thriving, centred, clear, and empowered. Today I am looking at ways I can gather and incorporate more joy into my life.

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary the definition of joy is; a feeling of great happiness; and the emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune, and the prospect of possessing what one desires. 

So I made a list of the things that make me feel joyful. In part the list reads:

  • Laughing at sitcoms on TV
  • Weekends away
  • Exploring country towns
  • Walking along the beach
  • Swimming in the ocean
  • Playing chinese checkers
  • Baking
  • Listening to music
  • Watching fireworks
  • Listening to rain and watching storms (as long as they are not severe storms)
  • Visiting antique shops, second-hand shops and op shops
  • Going to the movies
  • Making people laugh
  • Organising things - whether it be large events or just re-organising my cupboards, or my day in my bullet journal.
  • Attending workshops

I will review this list from time to time to make sure that I am including them in my life.  What things make you joyful?

Joy also carries the meaning of merrymaking. And it is this definition of joy; that of merrymaking or joyful celebrating I need to focus on. It is an aspect of joy that I tend to ignore or postpone indefinitely. I do believe, however, our life is richer when we include celebrations and traditions in amongst our daily round.

So why do I postpone my celebrating?  I have been too busy taking care of the business of day to day life, and building my small successes. So now I want to make room in my life for joyful celebrating. Do you celebrate your successes and milestones, and life's significant events? Or are you like me and say to yourself, “well that's done what's next on the list?”

Hosting a small Australia Day brunch was the first action I have taken in my plan to include more joyful celebration in my life. So thank you Oprah (see quote above) for reminding me that even though my goals are important, and the many things I need to do to everyday are important; I need to be higher up on my priority list. This I acknowledge, but I need to make the effort to ensure that I do gather and incorporate more joy in my life. 

No, I am not going to sleepwalk through the possibility of joy.


  1. yes, we all need to take time out & enjoy ourselves, we don't do it often enough do we?
    thought provoking post there
    thanx for sharing

    1. You're right Selina. And it is the activities that make us feel joy that restore us and build us up, and I think if we don't take time for joy we can find ourselves running on empty.

  2. Sometimes we can get caught up in getting things done and forget to slow down and enjoy it. We can remember to just slow down and enjoy the moment while we are accomplishing things... inhale the scent of fresh clean laundry, squeeze the soil in our hands and watch it fall, smell the flowers as we prune, watch the bees buzzing from flower to flower. There are many moments to eek out joy if we will just slow down and let them happen. I enjoyed your post today. :)

    1. Thanks Brittany. You know there are times I have to remind myself I am a human being not a human doing. And I think that is where the need to celebrate arises. It doesn't have to be a big noisy celebration. Valentine's day is the twelve month anniversary of my first chemo treatment.That was a huge, scary day for me but it was the start of my healing and something for which I am profoundly grateful. So on Valentine's day I will remember to stop and spend some time contemplating how the experienced changed me, what it has given me and allow the deep gratitude to well up - and just sit with those feelings for awhile. A quiet tribute to all the days I have lived between then and now.

  3. Lovely post, Sherri. I find joy in watching the cockatoos in the macadamia nut tree just outside the window where I am writing and walking in my garden. Walking along the beach and watching the waves is something else I love but that only happens once a year. Then there is the joy of seeing my grandchildren twice a year. Some times we just need to take stock of what brings us joy, don't we?

    1. So true Chel. When I take stock I realise I have a really good life with lots of blessings and my glass is way more than half full! And your comment has reminded me to dig out my gratitude journal and put it beside my bed so I can record my blessings before I go to sleep. I really enjoy watching the birds in the trees too and I really love it when the butcher birds stop by to sing to me! BTW following your post last week On "Bella Magazine - A Quality magazine for young girls" my sister is mad keen on buying it for her daughter, as it is so hard to find a magazine that encourages girls to be who they are, rather than a teen version of a jaded woman of the world.

  4. Hi Sherri, This is so true! I read on Stephanie Dowrick's website "Make no more than three new years resolutions in total: one that affects how you see yourself; one that immediately affects (or relieves) the people around you; one that’s about delighting in life more". I immediately thought- oh my goodness, I forgot to have fun! I too get so busy crossing things off my to do list and being productive, that I need to remind myself to do things just for the pure joy of it. Thanks for the reminder.

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