I think this is one of my favourite prompts so far because it aligns with everything I want my life to be ✨ Day 5 prompt is “what brings you joy in life?”
Over the last couple years, with getting into the pandemic and starting my journey in the Occupational therapy profession, I started recognizing the lack of joy in my life. My life was starting to become me waiting for joy to happen, which was everything I didn’t want in my life. I would wake up for my new job and dread every second of the day, haul myself around the city to visit clients while navigating the corporate BS part of my job, and then come home exhausted. And instead of doing things that made me happy, I’d have to navigate payroll and complicated charting and struggling to function…. And then going to sleep.
I realized during this time that hustle culture and “the grind” does not leave room in our lives for joy. As much as I was depressed and lonely during quarantine, I almost craved having that time to do things I love! That’s when I realized I needed to change something. I found a job that brings me joy – I get to be outdoors and work with kids and adults with disabilities. We play and do science experiments and do art to do art and not for perfection. I took the pure joy I got from doing all these simple things with my clients, and extended it to my own life
Why can’t our lives be full of joy by doing simple things? I used to wait until the weekend or when I had enough money to go out somewhere to feel that rest and joy because that’s when I thought I deserved it. But this past year I shifted. I know I find joy in nature, so I go for walks whenever I can. I lost joy in reading because society pushes you to read a certain kind of book (self help, productive etc), so I started reading trashy thrillers and young adult books! I’ve read 48 books in 2022 and well on my way for my goal in 2023. I lost joy in art because my anxiety and perfectionism made me critique everything I did. So I bought water colours and started painting a colouring book while I watched tv. I made outfits for concerts, and painted in notebooks so that if it didn’t turn out how I wanted I could rip the page up!
I started setting boundaries for myself which surprisingly was hard but brought me joy! On New Year’s Eve for example, we left the party at 10:30 when I started feeling like it was a CHORE to be out instead of a joyful time. And we had a lovely evening! Our friends are on the same page with us, having adventures or soft nights in where we read together or make dinners, and then go home when one person feels exhausted. That respect for others and lack of peer pressure to enjoy something really made my life more joyful!
Last but not least, one of the big things that brought me joy in this past year was celebrating things for me! My fiancée and I were stressed about wedding things (we’ve been engaged since 2019 and have postponed a lot because of covid), so we decided to fly out to BC and get wedding photos taken! I didn’t feel the joy of wedding planning until the moment we decided to do that. Realizing I deserve to enjoy things and not only do things for others was a HUGE source of joy for me! My fiancée and I enjoyed it so much and we got to have a bachelorette party that meant the world to both of us!
So I guess the best thing that brought me joy this year was learning I was deserving of amazing things and that I can be selfish in doing things I want so I feel JOY❤️