Recently during a zoom session I attended, the participants were asked about where they found joy in the midst of pandemic, upheaval, and uncertainty. I was not very successful in my responses; I only came up with past opportunities for joy back while I was working and the idea that joy in the face of threat and distress can be an act of resistance, though I am not very good at identifying and employing joy. I am better at writing an email of dissent to a political figure, a terse letter to the editor, or an angry social media post, all of which, while allowing a vent of my frustration, do nothing to add joy, either to me or to any who read my screeds.

          Others in the group identified times of peace while walking the dog, chances of encountering beloved others, or recognitions of gratitude as situations that create joy. Joy, of course, is deeper than this times of happiness or contentment; what those experiences and episodes do is to create the space in which joy can emerge if we will only look and identify it. I am preaching to myself as I sit typing this out this morning.

          Our house is in a bit of an uproar today as we are in the midst of a major remodeling project, but this points out the fact that we have a secure home and adequate financial assets. The air is cold with snow flurrying, and this is as it should be in Ohio December, reminding me that the cosmos runs by facts and order, that there is truth. We need to get on with the job of writing our holiday cards, and this again reveals the number of people who are precious to us. So today, as I get irritated with the noise of saws, drills, and hammers, as I bundle up and put my boots on to take Rico out, as I get writers’ cramp, I will attempt to look beneath the petty nuisances, recognize the positives in the situation, and then choose joy as my mode of operations for today.

          I wish you all the peace, joy, and love of this holiday season.
JOY photo by Preslie Hirsch on Unsplash