Why do happiness, silliness and joy seem so elusive? I know when I’m there and I know when I’m not, but HOW I got there or WHY I can’t get there escapes me. I love moving through a day and suddenly realizing that I feel like I can do anything, like the ground has some spring to it and wouldn’t hit back if I lost my balance and that I have a big old goofy grin on my mug. Those are the days that, once I am safely snuggled into bed for the night, I think out loud “I should have bought a lottery ticket!”. Those can’t-lose days are uncommon and thus treasured.
There are silly days – days I can’t keep a straight face or hear anything that doesn’t make me raise my eyebrows and then commence to giggling (sadly, even if I am alone). It’s like constantly being in church and trying not to laugh when something tickles me (which is impossible and usually leads to embarrassing gasping sounds, trying not to shake the entire pew with convulsions of mirth and abrupt departures during less that perfect times to make an exit). Silly makes me happy and I try to be and do more silly in my life. Hanging around with kids exercises my silly muscles – kids “get” silly and seem inordinately pleased and motivated by a big person’s attention to and appreciation of their efforts. If you don’t have kids to hang out with, your own or someone else’s, consider picking up any kids books by Dav Pilkey (especially his Dragon books) or Roald Dahl – finely crafted silliness.
Joy sneaks up on my heart – in obvious ways like hearing of the birth of a new baby, especially when it increases the number of my blood relations – and in more subtle ways like sitting quietly with one dear to me just being in the same space together or talking companionably and without rush over a meal we both helped to create. Joy is opening my front door and seeing a friend of many years who lives far away standing on the doorstep – on Thanksgiving! It’s the unexpected in the best possible ways.
Recognizing and being thankful for the good times keeps the tough times in perspective and reminds me that after the rain there is usually sunshine and sometimes even a rainbow!