Joy is waking up later than normal in a cold room, with a still sleepy husband. It’s the quiet time while the dog is still sleeping on the corner of the bed and you get to wrap yourself around hubby until he hugs you back and doesn’t let go until you fall back asleep, warm with your shared body heat.
Joy can be found in the quiet of solitude when you wake up feeling rested and ready to take on the day. It’s in the dog’s easy flip onto his back and excited kisses before he folds in half, laying on his head with his butt in the air begging for scratches. It leads you downstairs where you can turn on music that you know all the words to, and seeps into the smell of tea and freshly cut citrus fruit.
Joy smells like fresh rain on a sunny morning, just cold enough to be comfortable in shorts and a hoodie with bare toes testing the ground. It’s found in the contentment of a book that wisps you away into a new land where you become the heroine. It’s in the seconds where you hold your breath and forget that you have rapidly cooling tea because you live in the fictional suspense and in the grief of the books ending.
Joy i shaving enough spoons to be productive, and still have energy to do something just for you. It’s surviving outings that take you into the middle of strangers and meds that work well enough that you don’t look like the mess you actually are. It’s jumping into the mud pit and holding a strangers hand while you tackle an obstacle that you’re afraid of.
Joy is standing in a crowd of strangers, family by your side, protesting injustice. It’s in the relief of having your voice heard when you stand your ground and scream your heart out. Joy is knowing that there are people in your city who will stand up to terrorists, even when it results in their own personal tragedy. It’s in the realization that you live in a sanctuary city. It’s in the growing mental health and trauma practices becoming mainstream.
Joy is watching a student finally have that “ah-ha!” moment; still not knowing the alphabet, but guessing letters instead of numbers. IT’s getting home and being able to say “that was a rough day, but I’m getting off the struggle bus, and going to happy hour to talk to people who really understand”. It’s realizing that you have, and continue to make a difference.