How often do you feel joy? Do you even think about it? What brings you joy? What causes you to feel peace and contentment?
I recently made a commitment to search out joy in each and every day.
I find joy first thing in the morning, watching the sunrise and enjoying a cup of tea. It is quiet and peaceful. I don’t have the radio on, the television on, and I’m not speaking to or texting with anyone. It is a moment of pure joy. I don’t experience it often (as I don’t normally get to watch a sun rise with a cup of tea in my hand in complete silence), but when I do, I am awe-inspired and very joyful.
I enjoy sitting by a campfire. Listening to the crickets, listening to the wood snap, enjoying the warmth.
Waking up on my own before the alarm goes off, feeling rested and not having to rush to get out of bed, is a joy for me.
Curling up and watching a movie on a rainy Sunday afternoon knowing I don’t have chores or anything else that needs to get done is a source of joy.
Baking cookies on a cold winter afternoon works, too.
We all have personal moments we treasure that give us the warm-fuzzies. But how do we create joy at work? How can we create a few moments of pure bliss in the middle of a hectic day?
I recently heard former Olympic athlete Bonnie St. John speak at a convention about the idea of creating a “Joy Kit” at work. While I can’t capture a sunrise, or the smell of a campfire at my desk, I can capture small little pieces of that bliss periodically in an otherwise hectic day. I came home from the conference and started to look for things that would give me joy at work.
Here is what I put in my Joy Kit:
- A vanilla-scented candle. I have never burned candles at my desk before (and you may not be able to), but vanilla is one of my favourite scents. I take the candle out and just sniff it and it makes me smile. While I can light it, I do on only very special occasions. If I lit my candle every day, it would take away the joyful feeling it creates. If you can’t light it, don’t focus on the fact that you aren’t able to. Take a deep smell and imagine it burning. Your favourite smell brings back memories, and if they are memories of joyful times, you will feel peace.
- Speaking of smells, I also have a brand new pack of Crayola Crayons in my box. It is definitely a memorable part of my life as getting a new pack of crayons was the best part of going back to school. They remind me of being a child. I don’t actually do anything with these crayons, as just looking them is enough to bring me a sense of joy.
- I have a photo of my boys when they were two in my Joy Kit. They both have huge, innocent smiles that make me almost teary when I see the photos. They are both adults in their 20s now, but as a mom, they will always be my babies. Sometimes I take out the photos and just attach them to the side of my monitor. I save them for every few weeks or so, and take them out just for a day. At the end of the day, I put the photos away.
- A box of special tea. I don’t drink coffee, but I do keep a few teabags as a special treat, just for me. For the record, it is Apples and Cinnamon flavor. It is a smell I love and I find the flavor very soothing as well.
- My next book on my for-pleasure reading list (or an index card with the name of the book if it’s on my Kobo). I love to read for pleasure. I love looking forward to my next “fun” book. I read a lot, but the special books are saved for when I am ready to savour them. The book that is currently sitting in my Joy Kit is Jackie Evankovick’s Tricky Twenty-Two. It isn’t available until November 17, but I have the date and the title on an index card reminding me that I will be able to read the book soon. I absolutely love the series. When I open the kit, I see it and I start to plan for when I will get to read it. I always have a few books stored up to read, and this gets me excited about which one is next. While you won’t be able to read your for-pleasure book at the office, maybe you can read it at lunch, or at break, or even on the train ride home.
- Chocolate (Need I say more?)
- A Lush bath bomb. Just knowing that I will be able to have a bath later when I get home at night is helpful. I can take it out of my Joy Kit and plan my evening (which will include one of my new books and likely a vanilla-scented candle).
- $20. I think of it as my “mad money,” as my grandmother used to call it. Sometimes I just want to go out to lunch. I choose not to do that very often, but every once in a while it brings me joy to enjoy a nice, relaxed lunch.
I love my job. I don’t need joy to balance out any “bad” things I might have to deal with, because I genuinely love what I do. But I do need joy to make me feel peaceful. To allow me to reflect on how lucky I am, and to help me take care of my soul.
What is in your Joy Kit?