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Finding Joy

It’s the beginning of the school year, and even though my school days are far behind me it’s never too late to learn something new.

So I gave myself an assignment: become aware of what brings me joy.

I thought it would be simple. Turns out…not so simple.

As a former New Yorker who tends to move quickly through life, I realized I was going to have to do something very important to complete my assignment. I was going to have to slow down, and consciously…deliberately…become aware of all the magical, mystical, miraculous and perfectly wonderful things that are happening all around me.

So what makes me smile? You can’t write the kind of heartfelt books I write about animals and NOT find overwhelming happiness in the presence of critters. That’s a given. But I wondered if there were other precious moments, when I felt completely content and happy, that were simply passing me by. So I began my journey of joy, curious to see what I might discover.

The other day I was racing through a large fabric store, on a mission to look for a certain type of material. I go to this store all the time. I can navigate easily through the many aisles, I recognize the sales people and I know when the best sales occur.

On this particular day something made me stop in my tracks. For the first time I realized how much I LOVED being in this store, surrounded by employees and other “craft-minded” people who are passionate about sewing. The smell of the fabric, the sound of scissors cutting material off bolts, the voices of customers wondering if this particular print would work for living room drapes…I was in heaven!

And all I had to do was slow down and become aware of this lovely little moment.

And then I remembered something. Our community just organized a Neighborhood Watch program, and I’ve had the pleasure of helping to get this new program off the ground. After several meetings and lots of emails, the neighborhood agreed that given the cars that race around our loop there was one thing we needed to do right away. We collected some money, and just last week I placed the order for our first investment in the welfare of our community.

I ordered four SLOW DOWN signs.


One Comment

posted on September 19, 2008 Reply

A very good post Chris! And a needed lesson for most of us!

I am planning my wedding (on Nov. 1) and I keep being reminded that I need to slow down and enjoy the planning and not stress over the details!! Thanks for another reminder! 🙂

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