The unexpected early arrival of my nephew, though joyous, backed up my whole to-do list into a a big pile that I just couldn’t keep up with. Part of that pile was to do and write about two of my action items before the end of the month — bring joy to someone else and focus on right now. The first one I didn’t get to — though I’m sure there are things I’ve done this month that have brought people joy, I never had the chance to figure out one specific thing to do that I could report back on.
I decided to make focus on the now one of my items because I think that there’s nothing that can rob us faster of our current joy than worrying about the past or the future. If we spend all our time thinking about the what-ifs and the I-should-have-said-thats, then we really lose out on the beauty and joy of this moment.
I’ve attempted to do this more focusing this month, and I’ve been hit-and-miss successful. I’ve really enjoyed being with my friends this month, and I didn’t think about much else when I was with them except how glad I was to be there in that moment. While my sister-in-law was in labor, I was very focused on the moment. I was fully present in what was happening, making sure she and my brother had what they needed. I was so incredibly present during the actual birth that I don’t think I will ever forget that joyful experience.
Then the exhaustion hit.
I didn’t get a lot of sleep this week, starting the early morning that my SIL went into labor until last night when I finally got nearly eight hours. With all of the emotions of a new baby, many long days trying to catch up on things (including two half days where I cooked all my food for a month), a lack of exercise, and eating absolutely nothing containing any nutrients, I just crashed. Poor Ryan had to deal with my exhausted sobbing the other night. He’s a good boyfriend.
I found myself thinking about that to-do list and all the things that are coming up. Let’s just glance at my calendar for June: several birthday parties, an engagement party, a dinner with friends, a volunteer appreciation dinner, a BBQ, two book clubs, a Pinterest Party, Ryan’s birthday, two churches to attend weekly, volunteering, two nights of karate a week, finishing two quilts, maintaining my blog, Tough Mudder training on Saturdays, training for Eppie’s triathlon in July (including several kayaking classes), and a Giants game. Also, I should probably, you know, go to work and get some sleep at some point. These are all good things. It’s just so many things to think about and plan for.
So minus the baby, this has not really been a joyful week. I’ve been stressing about all these things in the future, constantly wondering about the next time I will get some decent sleep. I’m particularly worried about the triathlon and my lack of training for the run. I was even stressing about finishing only one book about joy this month, not my planned two or three. I’ve been cranky and highly emotional, and I’ve had a hard time enjoying life right now.
Which brings me to peace. Today is actually my first day of [CULTIVATE] PEACE (Hello, June! Where did you come from?), and I’m realizing how intertwined joy and peace are. Without peace right now, it’s impossible to have joy right now. And I haven’t had a lot of peace this week, which meant that joy has flown the coop.
Now it is onward to peace! Not only will it help me be more peaceful, I expect it will increase my joy as well!
Also, more naps. Definitely more naps.