what happened to joy?


There’s a 7-year old who shares my house, and my life.

She is ridiculously, relentlessly, noisily happy.

I mean, within moments of her eyes opening in the morning there’s a smile on her face, and it rarely leaves until the last giggling, cackling, out-loud goodnight tickle fades away.  She is just happy.

Her happiness is out-and-out infections, and those around cannot help but be swept up in the joyful life that bursts forth involuntarily.  She is just happy.

Even when disaster strikes (like a stubbed toe or an uncooperative older brother who refuses to play by her rules) the smile doesn’t fade for long. Wherever, whenever….just happy.

I feel the need to include an emoticon….  😀

It struck me this week, as once again I found myself marveling at this seven year old and her crazy antics, that somewhere along the line, we seem to have gradually lost this kind of general happiness.

And when I say we, I partly mean those of us who are a little older (and dare I say it, more sensible) as individuals.  But I mostly mean all of us collectively, our society.

It’s rare that I notice outright happiness, infectious laughter and non-stop smiling kind of behaviour.  How about you?

More and more we’re prone to expressing our frustration, disagreement, disapproval or downright dislike.  It seems like there’s a constant flow of dissatisfaction in our public discourse, and even in our private moments.

We’re more likely to be sadly observing how busy we are, how hard life is, how expensive everything has become, how the people around us just aren’t doing a good enough job (at anything!) than we are to just be loving life, out loud.

Maybe it’s years of advertising rammed down our throats 24/7 with the singular message “who you are, what you have is not good enough/beautiful enough”.

Maybe it’s the constant assault of “it’s all about you.”

Maybe it’s wall-to-wall media that is focused on stories of conflict and anger because they sell more advertising space.

Maybe it’s none or those things, or all of them.

I just know…when I watch the seven year old, I see in her this kind of raw happiness that I don’t observe anywhere near as much in the rest of my life.

And that makes me sad.

So my new month’s resolution (is that a thing? I think so!) is to strive for happiness. To find and enjoy moments of pure joy each day. Join me (if you’re not already there)?

PS: Happy birthday PG!


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