What brings me joy?

Kerflop is running an essay contest to win JOYS materials. I really need to get our paperwork and finances in order. Kerflop and OMSH both gush about these products and I hope with a push, I can see results. Our entry must be an essay about what brings us joy.

A lot of things bring me joy. I am lucky to have lived a good life. I have wonderful people around me (blood family and chosen family), a nice home (albeit messy), and a good job (that I love).

My husband brings me joy. I have known my husband since high school, but I didn’t know I loved him till we were adults. He has been through a lot with me and supported me through physical and emotional struggles. Every day he comes home from work and asks me how my day went. Even if I spent all day at home on my computer. He kisses me goodbye before he leaves for work. Even if I am still asleep. He brings me flowers for our anniversary (because we decided Valentine’s Day is too expensive). Even if we are leaving for vacation. He says he loves me all the time. Even when I am mean, angry, cranky, dirty or annoying. He is my joy.

My home brings me joy. We bought this house exactly 2 months before we got married. It is small (two bedrooms and a living/diningroom) but it is ours (and the bank’s). We have been adding a bathroom to the second floor for 5 years, but we are nearly done and it is wonderful. We have a pond with fish and a beautiful flower garden. My friends feel at home in our house. It maybe messy and really eclectic, but it is comfortable and clean. I feel joy in my home.

My job brings me joy. I have been teaching at Smalltown Elementary School for 9 years. In that time I have taught over 400 kids. I’ve had 9 Literacy groups over 3 grades and hundreds of Technology classes. I’ve worked with over 50 professionals. I have purchased, updated and fixed over 100 computers. I have supervised countless recesses. And I have loved nearly every minute of it (can’t love those 20 degree February recesses). Every time a student figures something out in the computer lab or makes a breakthrough in Literacy. Each time they say “Wow, that’s cool” or “I get it now!” that brings me joy. I find joy in my work.

Being creative brings me joy. I have many creative outlets in my life. I have recently taken up knitting and love making things for other people. The feeling of the yarn and needles in my hands is very relaxing. Watching something grow out of my hands is amazing. I have been working with clay since I was 7. Building things with the earthy brown clay is like therapy. I don’t even have to accomplish anything to feel like I have had a good night. When I give something I have created to someone else, I feel better than if I kept it for myself. I’ve been doing theater for over 15 years. After over 40 shows in high school and community theater I still learn things with every production. No one comes to applaud for me, the stage manager, but if it weren’t for me the show would not be as successful. I create joy.

My spirit’s home brings me joy. Star Island has been my spirit’s home since I was 14. I knew the minute I set foot on the pier I felt right. From the Summerhouse to East Rock I feel comfortable and happy every where I am. I grow spiritually each time I go to Star and the years I was away I missed it everyday. When I return from the island each year I feel like a new year has begun and I refreshed and renewed. Joy is being on Star Island.

I am very lucky to have so many things in my life that bring me joy.

Edit: Jessica also suggested we could include photos, I wasn’t sure I would have time before the midnight deadline. Here is a little of what my filing system looks like right now.

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