Saturday, November 19, 2011

In Search of Joy

One day, during the middle of a business math lecture, one of my female students interrupted me to ask, "Were you a cheerleader in high school?"

Oh my, did I have a hearty laugh!  Because really, I was everything a cheerleader shouldn't be: shy, quiet, completely disinterested in school sports, and generally unpopular and unnoticed by most of the boys.  I suppose I could have moved further away on the spectrum by going hardcore goth or being completely sullen and refusing to make friends with anyone, but short of that, I was the opposite of a cheerleader.

I don't know why she asked me, but at the time I guessed it was because I was being as peppy as possible about calculating interest or whatever we were doing that day.  Given that, I was actually really impressed with myself.  I came off bubbly enough to make someone think I had cheerleader on my resumé?  Score!

I'm not a bubbly gal.  Woefully, I have, on multiple occasions, been asked what was wrong based on my facial expression, when nothing was -- I was simply lost in thought.  I've made a concerted effort to adjust my default facial expression to something a wee bit closer to content, but I don't know if I've made any progress.  Sometimes I'll just be walking along and I'll think, oh crap! I should smile!  So I twist my mouth into what I think looks like a smile, and then happen by a mirror and realize I just look ridiculous.
Now this chick is bubbly.  Also mischievous.
A very lovely lady who went to my high school recently became a postulant with the Sisters of Life.  Now that she is in the convent, she does not use cell phone or email, but she has a Facebook group set up so that her close friends and family can share news about how she is doing and when people can visit her.  Recently, someone posted that she recently received a letter from her and that "her joy jumps off the page!"  I believe it, too -- this woman just radiates joy.

And that is what I want.  To radiate joy.  I know that for my personality type, it's not going to come across as bubbly, and maybe it will never "jump off the page," but it's got to be possible.  Many of the blogs I read regularly do it -- Hallie at Betty Beguiles, Holly at Perfectly Imperfect, and Dacia at Praying Twice spring to mind immediately, and there are plenty of others.  All of these ladies are richly blessed, but do they have perfect lives?  No, of course not; nobody does.  Yet they are able to capture the good and the beautiful in their lives exquisitely.  Their gratitude is constantly evident!

I'm planning to do something on the ol' blogaroo to kick off my search for joy, and what better time to do it than the season of Advent?  It starts a new liturgical year in the Church, it is a time for us to prepare for the joy of Christmas, and it gives me a little over a week to plan out just what I am going to do.

Have a wonderful weekend!  My weekend wonders thus far have been buying a lovely apron and a cool space-themed pillow at our church's bazaar, both quite reasonably priced, and enjoying an insightful book club meeting with two fantastic women.  Colin left around 4:15 this morning to go to a martial arts tournament in western PA.  Elise is napping now, which is great, but it's lonelier to be alone on Saturdays than during the week, so my day will improve a hundredfold when her daddy gets back tonight.


  1. Aww I didn't know she had a fb group, I'm going to have to search for it! It is lonely when your significant other is gone, and I agree that weekends are lonelier. I cannot wait to hear more about your search for joy.

  2. I was a cheerleader in high school, but I was also very shy (obviously not in the performing aspect, but socially). And I couldn't have paid boys to pay attention to me! I definitely didn't fit into the typical cheerleader role, so it made me laugh to read your description.

  3. That is so sweet of you to say Louise. I try really hard to keep things in perspective (and often fail) that even when nothing seems to be going right, I am so very blessed. I love your Advent resolution and will be joining you.

    I have to say though, that the reason I started following you and fell in love with your blog is your goofiness (its right up my alley) and your happiness. I feel so many blogs just complain and whine all the time and you don't. It was a breath of fresh air. You talk about struggles but always end with a great resolution. Can't wait to hear what you come up with this weekend.

    And also, my husband had a rare sat today where he was gone and it was tough, dominic and I missed him so much! But he's back now so all is right in the world. :)

  4. Ashley, you and A are in my prayers as you soldier through this time apart! I think I can add you to the FB group, so I will.

    Mandi, that's fun that you were a cheerleader! I guess I am guilty of assumptions and stereotyping here. Nice to hear that shy gals can be cheerleaders, too!

    Dacia, thank you. I'm positively giddy that you consider me a breath of fresh air! :) I'm glad your husband is back -- I had the same thought this morning when he and I were being silly with Elise during breakfast: all is right in the world!

  5. I have a good friend in Sisters for Life too!! Ditto joy radiating off the page with her letters. Wowzers. I like the phrase joie de vivre - the joy of living. I think it is a good reminder for all the ordinary times that we experience, and how joy can be found in all-- like that adorable imp you have! :D

  6. Just have to ask - Is that Elise "joyfully" ripping apart some kind of book? lol

  7. Ohh Elise is so adorable. I honestly see you as a person that radiates joy off the page. I always look forward to reading your posts and very much enjoy reading them. I can't wait to hear more about all of this :)

  8. Thank you, Emily!
    And Lindsy -- those are little inserts that go with one of her books. And yes, she rips them a lot. They are quite tattered now.

  9. I just saw this now..I wish I read it sooner! Thank you for the shout out, you are so sweet! And you are such a wonderful blogger and woman! I try so hard to be positive and uplifting on my blog because so many others need to see a positive message some days. You are so real on yours and I admire that so takes a lot for me to really say *everything* that is on my I appreciate it when I find a blog that does that :)