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What is JOY?

An article reads: "Ask yourself...........What gives you joy?"

I start to laugh. I mean, laugh out loud. I’ll be honest, I haven’t encountered Disney's Inside Out fictional character, Joy in a long time? I do know of her, actually saw her last week at Disney On Ice, You know, the one with the cool blue hair? The question got me I really know Joy, or what she is or what she does?

I think it’s because I don't stop. I don't take one moment for myself to reflect. I mean, I don't reflect on anything, I don't even communicate sometimes with the humans living in my household, How am I to reflect on myself to figure out what is my Joy?

I then remember what kept me up on Saturday night. You know the nights when you are trying so hard to fall asleep. Saturday night, I found myself laying awake due to my 5 year old's shoe size. Yes, you read that right, her shoe size. While buying her a pair of rainboots earlier that day, I discovered that size 12 is the last toddler size, then you go to youth. Youth, the size that is more expensive and you can't find the really cute Mini Melissa shoe styles anymore? Yes, that youth. Wait, what? How am I now purchasing size 12, the last size on the toddler rector scale, the last size before the kick really hurts during a tickle fight? Where did size 6 go? In fact, where did 24 months clothing go? That same day, I purchased a winter coat in size 6 and told my husband, “She will need this coat for Kindergarten”. What just popped out of my mouth? For the love of God, Kindergarten? Where did the time go? Am I drinking wine? Did I take too much medication? Kindergarten?

I have 3 kids, Reece 16, Ellie 12 and then along came Remee, age 5. See, we weren’t expecting to have another child, 2 was perfect. Then tragedy struck and my husband became an only child. I couldn’t imagine it, making all the decisions without your sibling? Going on vacation without your sibling? Sunday dinners without your sibling. He was 35 when he lost his brother. Not in my wildest dreams was this suppose to happen and what “if” this happened to one of my children.

If you have had an unforeseen tragedy in your life, life sort of stands still. It stands still long enough for you to evaluate, re-evaluated and never move on the way in which you had been. We thought about a 3rd child but with being 36, the risk was too big. Or should I say, so we though? God had big plans, that included a unplanned pregnancy that would end up giving us that child, you know that one child, that tests every last patience you have in your entire body. That one child everyone spoils and who tell you her legs are too tired to pick up her toys, that one child who can’t get dressed in the morning because it’s simply “just too hard”.

Now, back to what gives me Joy. See I thought I hadn’t had Joy in a long time, but truth is EVERYDAY I have on earth to spend with my loved ones is Joy. Now, I’m not saying, I get up every morning and hear the birds singing and say “WOW, it’s great to be alive”, actually far from that. I struggle to get up at all, to get moving, to start the day, to break up the fighting, to tell the middle child, her outfit doesn’t work with the shoes she wants to wear because a group text went out the night before that said it’s “Converse Monday.” I struggle to see the Joy when it’s right in front of me. Just like my 5 year old's shoe size going from a cute toddler size 6 to a mammoth almost YOUTH size 12, I don't see it until it’s pointed out.

Case in point, as women, lets remind each other of the everyday Joy in life. Let’s celebrate the baby dolls that have taken over your living room, the cars that you step on and have words fly out of your mouth because it hurts like (ummm.....insert word) when you do, when you get to drive back to the same destination 4 times in one day because someone forgot their dance bag. Let’s remember this time in life as JOY, as good, as meaningful even if you feel like you are just going into circles. I always said I want to be a circle in a square world. Goal accomplished!

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