JOY by Tiff Ikin
JOY - noun
1. the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation
2. a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated
3. the expression or display of glad feeling
Having just navigated our way through 2016 and a very busy festive season, it seems an appropriate time to ponder the true meaning of ‘joy’.
We all experience joy in so many varied ways. For many it is seeing the delight in the eyes of our children as they open their gifts after dragging us out of bed at an ungodly hour early on Christmas Day. For others it may be as simple as reflecting on the day with a cup of tea and enjoying one of the wonderful handmade treats that someone has lovingly crafted for you.
As adults we sometimes struggle to find the joy in just the little things. Our busy and complex lives can inhibit our ability to just occasionally stop and ‘smell the roses’. Children, however, are inherently able to find the joy in the simple things...
Jumping in a puddle (with or without the appropriate clothing). Sticking their small face in a bowl of residual cake mix, or pinching the topping of one that’s just been made. Singing at the top of their lungs in the bath, just so they can hear how loud they are. Giggling uncontrollably in the middle of a family tickle fight, or after hearing another bad ‘dad-joke’. Gazing hypnotically at myriad rainbow colours on freshly blown soap bubbles. Dancing around the backyard in their undies, or proudly showing off their favourite Spiderman, Elsa or fairy costume down at the shops.
I consider myself blessed to have a front row seat to this kind of joy every day, and to hear all the wonderful stories that impact the lives of my dear little friends each time I see them.
I feel the joy and happiness that comes with the reactions to ‘Fuzzy’ coming to life. Watching the children duck down to hide, then pop up and dance around is priceless!
I love to pay particular attention to the babies in the 6 – 15 month classes, and indulge in the pure, unadulterated joy on their faces and in their movements. They may be hearing the guitar ‘live’ for the first time or just being part of their first group ‘dance’, and they find an innate ability to bop or sway, kick their legs, and/or squeal with delight. As an adult, wouldn’t it be liberating and fun to have NO inhibitions, and just move and dance around when we feel like it, even if ‘someone is watching’.
I recall a very fond musical memory with my (now) 18 year old daughter, when she was 4. We had finished watching Home Alone 2 for the zillionth time, and I’d retreated to the kitchen when my daughter exclaimed, “Mummy! Stop and listen.” The credits were rolling to a particularly orchestral version of ‘Merry Christmas’. She then said, “Isn’t it beautiful? Just stay there and listen.” I did exactly that, and for the first time (out of a zillion) I truly felt the ‘joy’ of the sound and the moment.
In 2017, I encourage each and every one of us to resolve to find the joy in the small things. Maybe we’ll share a story soon of one of us who has unabashedly sung along to a daggy tune in a supermarket, wearing odd socks which are soaked through having just jumped in a puddle of water!
Live in the moment. Find the joy.
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