I Need More Joy In My Life

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I’m sitting here and I’m about to cry. I’m that full bathtub or cup of water or whatever that is filled to the brim, and the one more drop of water finally causes everything to overflow. 


I’m not sure I’m getting that metaphor right.

Whatever. I don’t need a metaphor. I’m sad. Just plain and simple sad.


I need more joy in my life. I need more laughter. I need more space to breathe, and feel the sun on my face. I need more nights with friends and drinking wine slowly and eating together while music plays. I need to watch more sunsets. I need more connection, real connection, with friends and family. I need more time to let things…grow.


Maybe the real thing is I just need more space. Or, I need to allow for more space.


My schedule is so busy. I’m sure yours is too. I have constant work deadlines, or I’m hustling for work. I have a book that I need to write. And the kids need me. The dogs need me. My family needs me. I’m trying to be there for everyone, be a hundred arms at once, a hundred of me, but it’s a little tiring, isn’t it? Because I can only be one place at one time. And even when I’m there, I’m not there.


I need to slow down. I need to be more present. 


So I’ve decided to reach out. I scheduled a meet up/happy hour with friends in the audiobook community. We live close to each other and never see one another, and a group is joining me in a week or so to say hi and cheers. I’ve asked friends to lunch or dinner. Schedules are busy and it’s hard to connect, but I’ll keep trying. I’m taking breaks during the day, just to get out, just to breathe and be outside in the heat the cool the wind the rain the whatever. 



I’m making plans to travel. Secret plans, maybe. Long term plans, but plans that can happen. There are places I want to see. Things I want to experience. People I want to connect with. A real connection, not just a quick tweet or Facebook post. I want to look at my friends over dinner and just see them. I won’t have to say it, but I’ll feel it: “I’m glad you’re in my life. You bring me joy, and I need joy right now. Thank you.”


I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think we’ve all become so busy that maybe we’re not really living anymore. Every day is just a bit of a grind. It’s a bit grey. I can take lots of grey. I’m from Michigan after all, but I need to make space for those times of brightness.


I think about walking in New York late at night with two of my narrator friends. Of taking a wrong turn and walking too far. Of finding a cozy Italian restaurant that we stumbled into starving, our feet aching. The food was amazing because we were hungry, because we were grateful. 


I think of the afternoon I had recently with my aunt and uncle, the sparkling wine they poured me, the conversation, the cheesy vegetable casserole we shared. 


I think of the long walks I take with my daughter and how we chat about anything, story ideas, the changing leaves, how we can’t whistle very well.


Lately, life has been really ugly. People have been ugly. I’m stressed out and tired and I’ve lost a little bit of my faith in the world.


But there are good things too. Good people. Real connections. Tiny moments, that become significant, because we share them together. 


For me, it’s olive oil ice cream. Fresh pasta puttanesca. A long drive talking about our lives and our mistakes. A crowd of intimidating people but standing next to your buddy, facing it. A movie that was just plain weird but the popcorn was good. 


I want more of this.

I’m making space for it. 


Starting now.