What Brings Us Joy
September 7, 2021
What brings you joy? Do you sometimes feel that it’s challenging to find joy in our day-to-day activities? I know I’ve had moments where I get so caught up in what needs to be done, organized, and taken care of, that I forget to ‘stop and smell the roses.
What Brings Us Joy
The Mom Training Podcast with Diana Ballard
Diana: Hey, ladies, welcome to this episode of The Mom Training Podcast. We’re going to talk about things that bring us joy. So, what brings you joy? Do you sometimes feel like it's challenging to find joy in our day-to-day activities?
I know I've had moments where I get so caught up in what needs to be done or organized, or taken care of, that I totally forget to stop and smell the roses. We've all been there before. We've all had those moments where we look around us and be like, “What am I doing? [chuckle] This is a ton of work.” Or “I'm totally stressed out… Not enjoying myself, I need to adjust some things.”
So, finding joy and enjoyment in life can be a struggle when we're involved in our family’s lives, we have the household to run. The million things that we’re doing. It's easy to lose focus on… Pushing for attention… And it can distract us from living our life in the way we really want to.
I believe that our greatest joy comes from intentionally looking for it. And the best way to start intentionally finding joy is to focus on what we're grateful for. What brings us joy?
If you find that you're struggling to find that joy each day, I invite you to stop for a minute and look around you. Pick maybe five things that you're grateful for and try to focus on them for the next couple of days.
So, I'm going to share a little side story of where this came from for me; of even thinking about this. So, back a couple of months ago, my husband was gone to the military. I got super sick, and was way over worked. I know you've heard about that if you'd listened to the podcast before.
I literally was so overwhelmed with stuff to do, and to take care of and things to keep alive, with like a little farm, and my garden, and a fish tank and chickens, and dog, and kids, and business. Oh my gosh, I was ready to lose it. It's just too much, and being I was super pregnant, and just… It was...
Anyway, I got super sick and was like, “I got to start getting rid of stuff.” So, we got rid of our fish tank. I gave away a bunch of my garden plants, and that had sat around waiting to be planted for weeks. I was clearing house.
In the middle of being sick, I was ready to completely get rid of my chickens, rip up everything in my garden. I mean, I was going extreme because I had so many things to take care of and I was stuck in bed for six weeks. And struggling to take care of my own needs, let alone my family’s and then there was all this extra stuff that needed me, and it was just like too much for me.
So, my husband did come home part of the way through being sick, and which unfortunately he also got sick. It was really challenging to take care of my household, and all the extra stuff when I was down.
One day I was talking to my daughter about getting rid of the chickens and pulling out my garden. So, we’re in a massive draught and the heat was way higher than it has been for years. My children had been watering my garden, which meant it might not have gotten exactly watered how it needed to be. And it was really suffering.
I did pull out half of it. There were things that I was like, “I'm not dealing with this.” Like one plant had a bunch of bugs all over the back of it. I’m like, “You're gone. I'm not dealing with that crap. I'm not spraying every leaf.”
There's just things you got to prioritize. I ripped up all my spinach. All my spinach was struggling with some little bug that was laying eggs on it. I was like, “I'm not doing this crap. We’re just pulling this crap out.”
But as I was talking to my daughter about like, “Should we just pull out the rest of the garden? Should we get rid of the chickens?” My daughter said something really profound to me. She said, “Well Mom, if we're going to get rid of anything… I say, the chickens... But I like the garden. There has to be some things in life that bring us joy, Mom.”
And this really stumped me. Because I was like, “You’re so right.” I was literally wanting to be rid of everything that normally brought me joy. Normally, I love the garden. I loved my chickens. Those are things that have brought me joy but with the circumstances, you can't blame me for wanting to get rid of everything that I could.
I was resenting caring for more living things that were having their own problems. The garden was not being normal. We're in a drought. I mean, it was super hot outside. Things were burning up. I would have been out there, multiple times a day watering and babying them. Putting shade cloths, whatever, to try to save some of them.
So, normally, all those things would have brought me to it but during the season. They were work and something to take care of, and worry about, which wasn’t cool. So, there's many seasons in our life where things normally bring us joy, and maybe they don't right now.
Seasons where we might need to put down a hobby, rest, say no and that’s okay. Maybe it would have been okay for me not to plant a garden this year, which I didn't foresee certain events. You never really know... And maybe it was a season that I could have said no to that.
The chickens, well we're already in with them; they were commitment. We did get rid of our fish tank but it’s because there was a massive algae problem, with it being in our kitchen. We have so many big windows in our kitchen and it was creating so much algae. And I had to deep clean it all the time it was like, “See you later.”
And I don't feel bad about it at all. My kids did fine, getting rid of them. There are things that we can get rid of. Activities that we can put aside for a minute. Hobbies we can set down and say, “This is not bringing me joy right now I need to focus on what's most important and what does make me happy.”
So, I wanted to share two things that I personally got from this season, and hopefully you can take away. One, there are some things that might not be in season for us right now. Maybe it brought us joy in the past. Maybe, we're told it’s supposed to bring us joy.
And it’s turned into work. It’s turned into something that we got to do every day, to take care of. Pets are tons and tons of work. I mean, I love having our dog, but man, the chickens have been kind of a pain in the butt. I mean, everything takes work to take care of.
And maybe it's time that you put something down. Let it rest for a minute, so you can enjoy it again in the future, or maybe just need to step back for a minute to take care of yourself, take care of whatever is stressing you out, and then be able to enjoy it again.
Number two is, what joy can we find in our life right now. So, I started focusing on more finding joy in the things that my children did and what stages they were at. Trying to see the cuteness in it and, “Oh my gosh, that’s adorable. And actually, spending time turning my focus to the things that they were doing; who they were becoming. Because at the time of all this happening, I was exhausted.
I was a month away from having baby number four, still healing from the six weeks of sickness and I was done. And so, it took persistent focus for me to try to find joy in the moment and working to enjoy the little people that I've been blessed with.
So, where can you look right now in your life that could bring you joy? And maybe, instead of trying to create huge moments… “Oh, I need to go on a trip… I need to do all these different things… I need to go, go, go and do more and more.” If you slow down and just be able to look around you, can you find joy in the simple things that you already have. It’s not going to take a ton of work for you to go look for and find.
So, I invite you to think about those two things. Is there something in the season, right now, that I need to put down? Maybe that I've been pushing to try to keep up of, “Oh, this has always brought me joy. This hobby has always been so fun. And I pushed myself to do it but it's just not bringing me joy right now I need to put it down.”
And where can I find joy in the simple things that I already have? Because as we look for that joy in what we have already, then in the future, we’ll be able to experience more joy. Because we have to be able to enjoy the moment now, to be able to enjoy moments from the future as well.
So, I hope you can find joy in your life, and feel good about what you're doing, be able to relax, have some peace. And we'll see you next Tuesday on The Mom Training Podcast.