My husband’s tools were stolen right out of his truck in the middle of the night last week.
I wonder how the robbers value those tools.
I can assure you that they will never understand the magnitude of what they took – generations of stories passed down to my husband in the form of tools – tools collected over 20+ years of working as an Iron Worker.
It simply is not fair. Each tool he owned had a name and a story. While we can replace the tools with brand new shiny ones, the meaning of using those old, beat-up tools will never be regained.
While I frantically searched Craigslist, e-Bay, Buy-Sell-Trade Facebook pages and garage sale listings, my husband went to work and remained calm. Perhaps a tad bit somber, but calm.
It irked me! “Get mad, won’t you? Don’t leave me here to panic alone at the injustice of it all!”
It is enough to cope with the loss of literally 100 lbs of tools that took over 20 years to collect, but to allow the robber to steal our joy too? No way. Tim would have nothing of it.
And so we enjoyed the weekend spending time together and enjoying our family.
This has caused me to think about what I allow to steal my joy, especially the joy that should be shared with those I love:
This is never-ending. I come home from work feeling frazzled, my home is never as clean as I want it to be and my to-do list grows faster than I can complete it. The weekend comes with a plan to “catch up”, but I hardly ever do. I start Monday morning frustrated and biding my time until Friday. The acronym TGIF exists for a reason and Monday-Thursday are often thirsting for joy.
I don’t remember the last time I felt truly rested. Whether due to lack of sleep or having an autoimmune disorder, I oftentimes let fatigue bite me. When I focus on it, it drags me down and I am simply not present to enjoy all that is so good in life.
I am a grower and therefore ALWAYS looking for ways to improve. While growth is good, focusing on what I do not like about my current circumstances is not so good. It makes me a complainer with a bad attitude. This is a joy-stealer for sure!
Just ask Tim. I cried when he helped me move from Ithaca to Rochester. I cried the morning of my surgery to remove my spleen. I cried on our wedding night. I cried for 9 months before we had our first daughter. I cried for another 9 months before we had our second. And all these tears were not tears of joy, sadly. Change breaks me. I focus 99% on what I am losing and 1% on what I am gaining.
Busyness, fatigue, discontent and change are just a few of the joy stealers I have to fight off daily.
If I imagine joy being a quiet and sunlit walk down a peaceful path, all of the above are distractions from enjoying that walk.
The busyness is like a swarm of gnats that I frantically swat at or even run from. Fatigue beats me down like heavy humidity on an oppressively hot day. Discontent makes me notice the thorns instead of the blooms. And change… well change is grieving the end of the walk before I am even halfway done.
Are you choosing joy today? Are you showing your children what it is to CHOOSE JOY daily?
What are your joy stealers and how are you choosing JOY instead?