There are a lot of things that bring me happiness. Lattes bring me happiness. A good book brings me happiness. HBO brings me happiness on a weekly basis. (Hello, Eric Northman!) There are also a lot of things that leave me feeling fulfilled. When someone connects with something I’ve written, I feel fulfilled. When I can help someone who is less fortunate then myself, I feel fulfilled. When I can share something that has made my life easier with someone else, I feel fulfilled.
But as I say no in November (which is getting harder and harder), I'm trying to prioritize between things that make me happy and things that bring me joy.
There are only a few things that bring me real and lasting joy.
Bliss. Delight. Felicity.
That feeling that starts deep down into the pit of your stomach and then blooms and spreads until you feel like every cell in your body is smiling.
I feel joy when Amos smiles and giggle with glee as I toss him into the air.
I feel joy when Griffin runs to greet me in the morning with his tousled head of hair - still warm from the covers. “Good morning, mommy!”
I feel joy when I look around the table on Sunday evenings and see my family smiling back at me over a delicious meal.
I feel joy when my husband pulls me close at night and throws a heavy arm over my body.
I feel joy when the warm sun shines on my face and I realize the people I love are safe, happy, and healthy and so am I.
Joy is not permanent. It can be fleeting and evasive. But when it is here - when you feel it wash over you - it is so, so sweet.
And it is absolutely worth saying no for.
~ Sarah Stewart Holland