Where’s Your Joy?

Tired student sleeping over textbooks
How I’ve felt lately.

Tell me I’m not the only one, that you have felt like this too:

Not quite yourself, a little irritated, restless and bored with the day-to-day drudgery. 

This has been me for the last few weeks.  All I’ve wanted to do is chuck my to-do list and take a nap (yes, I gave in to it a couple of days!). But last week I did one thing-one thing that changed everything.  And I want you to do it too.

I signed up for a writing class. And no, I’m not asking you to join my class, but instead I’d like you to do one thing.

Do one thing for yourself this week that brings you joy. Not just contentment, but joy. Do something that makes you glad to be alive.

No matter how many meetings you need to prepare for, how many sporting events you need to take your kids to, or how busy your week is: just do it. Do one thing.

Yes, I’m a writer so taking a writing class may not be so unusual.  So why did this one action make such a difference? Because I love to write and as an author whose book has just been released, guess what I haven’t had time for lately?  Writing, of course is the answer, something that brings me great joy.

When it comes to doing what we love, life gets in the way. But we need to take charge of our days or the days will take charge of us. 

I’m fairly certain if you surf the ‘net, you’ve at one point seen the story that talks about the professor who asks his class to fill a jar with sand and pebbles. When the class put the sand in first, they can’t fit in all of the pebbles. But when they put the pebbles in first, the sand fills in around them. Everything fits.

Obviously in this story, the sand represents our responsibilities and the pebbles represent items that are important to us. What’s important to you?  Do you make time for it?

I tend to want to finish my responsibilities before I do anything fun.  But life wasn’t meant to be a race, where I get as much done as possible and then at the end, stop for a rest.  Life was meant to be a walk where I take in the sights, the sounds, the tastes around me as I go through it.

Portrait of young sportsman running in the evening

Life is not meant to be a race to the finish.

Even so, there are only 24 hours a day and most of us have more on our plates than we’d like.  But time is just another form of currency: how are you spending yours?

Earlier this week,  I took a long bike ride with friends along the Monon Trail.  It took some cajoling for me to even commit to going.  My days are full and I always feel like I am behind.  But this week, I knew I’d been in a rut.  I needed to take care of me and take advantage of these last few days of great weather, so I agreed to go. And boy am I glad I did. The sun was shining, the wind was in my hair and my companions and I had a great talk (and lunch) along the way.

Did I get less work done that day? Yes.

Do I care?  No.

Here’s why:  It’s taken me a long time, but I’ve finally learned (though sometimes, like these last weeks, I forget) when I renew my spirit, I’m actually more productive. Backing away from my work helps me work more efficiently when I actually sit down to do so.

Checklist Clipboard Shows Test research Or Survey

I’m also a happier person (which my family will tell you makes me a little easier to live with!).  Filling my bucket or jar or whatever you want to call it, gives me the patience and strength to handle the rest of what life requires of me.

Friends, how we spend our days is how we spend our life.  How are you spending yours?  


I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and to do good as long as they live.”  -Ecclesuastes 3:12 (NLV). 


About thewritertracy

Writer, Mom, Lover of books, travel, family, friends and fun.
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11 Responses to Where’s Your Joy?

  1. I love this post, Tracy. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with work and other responsibilities but try to get a couple of runs in a week before work and some writing time everyday. I’m leaving tomorrow for a much anticipated two week vacation, hope to write daily about my adventures. 🙂

    • Good for you Geralyn. I really believe those runs probably help you quiet your mind and then focus when it’s time to get to work. It’s so hard though when we are busy-excercise or fun seem to be the first things to fall off the agenda! Have a wonderful vacation, I look forward to reading about it!

  2. Yep, been feeling just like this recently! Great to read about your ways of dealing with this. Thanks for the tips 🙂

  3. I so relate to this!
    Every once in a while there’s an odd period in which I’m just tired and restless at the same time, very uncomfortable. However, you’re right… Taking a day off, not getting caught up in the ‘every day life’ is needed…

  4. Janna says:

    great reminder! 🙂 I am listening to The Best Yes right now and she was just talking about being intentional with our time and our schedule to make sure there is even just a little bit of time for our passions! 🙂 and it is something I have been encouraging my moms to do as well! 🙂 love it

  5. plaguedparents says:

    This is a really good reminder of what is really important!!

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