My joy, that is. I've completely lost my joy.
There wasn’t a single event that stole it from me. No life-changing experience that robbed me of it. Instead, it was a steady chipping away, piece-by-piece, by the annoyances and hassles of daily life. Years of neglecting myself, of giving all of my time and energy to the service of others, without taking time for things that make me feel alive. The daily realities of being a mom—a thankless, tedious, repetitive job with little thanks and lots of bad attitudes—have left me feeling smaller and more weary with each passing day.
I don’t think I’m alone in this experience. I think for many mothers, it is easy to find ourselves at this place—worrying, anxious, exasperated and on edge. The constant vigilance it requires to keep our children safe and thriving takes a toll, and when you add to that the pressure to somehow make this life worthy of a Pinterest board or something lovely to post on social media, then suddenly it all seems overwhelming.
I used to be a woman that took risks, that laughed loud and freely. I knew the value of silliness and feeling free to dance, to sing, to really live. Somehow, I've lost that. I don't know if it is the constant fear-mongering that happens in our culture, the zillion news stories or website links outlining the many ways we can SCREW UP OUR KIDS, whether it be through toxins in baby wipes or chemicals in our food or by turning our backs for just a second when they are playing. Or maybe it is just the toll of being so busy, running our kids from place-to-place, the constant demands on our time by schools and clubs and sports, never stopping to just be. Or is it the addictive device we carry, the constant source of entertainment that has trained us to feel we need to be consuming media at all hours of the day? I don't know, honestly--but I know for certain that something has to give.
So, I'm on a mission to find my joy. I want to be present in the moment. I want to introduce my kids to the silly, spontaneous, fun person I used to be. I want to stop seeing my life as a checklist and remember it as a journey, approaching it with curiosity and hopefulness for what beauty may lie around the bend. And since imagery is one of the languages I use to communicate, you can expect many images and even videos of this journey to come.
Follow me on Instagram if you haven't already--that will be the easiest place to find my photos, using the hashtag #findingmyjoy. Feel free to join me in this journey, just tag your images with #findingmyjoy so I can find them and be inspired by your journey, too (and tell me in the comments below so I can know to look).
Wishing us all a more joyful journey ahead.