Finding Joy

I recently took the reigns of my Mother’s Day agenda. It was a way to ensure that i got the day i wanted. I also did a similar thing when i took over the plan for the Mother Blessing for my second child. What’s that saying about insanity is when we keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting new results? Well, let’s just say this is a way that i can ensure that i am getting what i want – by being in control of the plans.

Don’t get me wrong, i know i can’t control everything, nor do i want to (hello micromanaging!) but i do want to make sure that a special day that is supposedly about honouring me, is in fact done in a way that i FEEL honoured.

So besides the usual breakfast in bed (that i did ask for), time to myself, and not making dinner, one other thing i asked for is to watch my favourite movie of all time with my family. As an 80s baby, i saw Goonies as a kid, and about 40 times since. The last time i saw it was almost 9 years ago, during the birth of first-born: It was in the early stages of labour, as a tool to relax and get my mind off what was present.

Fast forward to Mother’s Day 2018 and we all sat down and watched it together. Now, i do have problems with some of the offensive story lines and portrayals for sure, and looking at it through an adult lens is definitely less fun. But, watching it with my almost 9 year old was priceless. Now i get that credit card commercial – it truly was something that i could not replicate or pay for. We howled with laughter, we sang the Cyndi Lauper song, and we now say to each other two of best lines ever – “it’s our time down here” and “Holy Mary mother of God”. I had to explain that one. One line i hope they can learn soon is “Goonies never say die.”

So i found some joy that day.

I found it again when i had to ride my daughter’s bike home. She had been having a especially hard moment with her father, something to do with wanting a different kind of ice cream at the grocery store, you know, the everyday plight of parents everywhere. I think she was hangry but they were stuck. I went to rescue him and my son, and stayed with my daughter while she got her Window of Tolerance back to a good place. It didn’t take her long as i was a new neutral energy. But that meant taking her home in my arms instead of her riding her bike home. So i had to go get it later.

Her bike is a vintage yellow bike with long pink tassels and a watermelon basket.

If you have seen the movie Goonies, you will know this reference, but if not go see the movie ASAP and then you’ll get this next reference. I could have walked the bike home the 3 blocks to my house. Instead i biked home. It seemed like the more reasonable choice. It was also that more fun one.

I grinned to myself ear-to-ear all the way home. I didn’t care that anyone saw me, and there were oodles of cars around. Instead i fostered that Radical Acceptance that it is what it is – i’m on a wee kid’s bike – and claimed the moment. When i got home, my family and lots of neighbours were out and i said – “Hey who am i??!” It took a moment but then they got the reference: I was the big brother on his chase to get his little brother back. I was that big adult peddling a too small bike, trying to save the day.

I realized that in my life, one area that i need to nurture beyond all the responsibilities in my life is one that holds space for Joy. And i want to encourage that in my children. So recently, when were went to a popular outdoor antique market, my son found an awesome helmet from one of his favourite shows. Like anyone, when he gets something new, he wants to hear or use it as much as possible. So here he is at a park in our city on an incredibly busy day. He wore that helmut as much as he could that day. And he chose Joy.

It can be hard to find this daily, and i know that not all of us can ride a child’s bike – but i encourage you to find ways to bring more joy in your life. It’s a form of self-care and self-love after all. It nourishes you, keeps you positive and focused on living the life you love. It can be small simple acts like an amazing new smell, a too-fancy-for-the event pair of shoes that make me feel kick-ass and ready for anything (see my example up there) or a decadent weekend away. It can be that deep hearty laugh that you haven’t had in months.

Here’s to finding Joy.

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