Monday, August 17, 2009

Finding Joy in the Little Things

"The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions,—the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss, a smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment in the disguise of a playful raillery, and the countless other infinitesimals of pleasant thought and feeling."
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I have a bad habit of thinking that I will be better when ______________ happens. It could be anything. I will be better when "I am wealthy." I will be better when "my skin clears up." I will be better when "I lose 5 more pounds." Whatever it is, I believe that it is the magic ingredient that will make all of my problems disappear and make my life complete.

The problem with the magical thinking is that it rarely works. Having the money, clear skin, smaller waistline doesn't make the underlying problems disappear. So I would go in search of something more, or less if we are speaking of weight loss. Each pound that I loss only made me sadder and less able to cope with stress, but I didn't see that while I was in the midst of the struggle. It made me sicker, weaker, more depressed, which only compounded my problems.

I had to learn to find joy in the moment. To be content with where I am. This is still a struggle for me. I worry about this economic crisis, I worry about my kids and their health, I worry about what tomorrow will bring. But life is a mix of good and bad, and by learning to find the joy in the little things makes it easier to get through the big bad ugly things.

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