I used to wear pants. They were colorful and funky, thrift-shop finds and occasional splurges. With my pants came self judgement. “Why are these too tight? I need to eat less or exercise more. Why am I not taking care of myself? Why did I think I could even pull off wearing these pants in the first place?”
Then my in-laws gave me a few pair of spectacular tights. Not only were they colorful and fun, but when I wore them, I just felt happy. That extra few pounds that would come and go, did so without my self torment. Although my bike commute quickly tore up my fabulous leg wear, I replaced the tights with equally adventurous leggings and haven’t looked back since. Now I work and play without self shaming.
We all need tools to help us let go. One of my favorites is Lycra.
A gorgeous elder shared the elevator with me in New York. I commented on her joyful red nails. She said it was her way to brighten up the daily nightmare that is our current political reality.
Sometimes the frivolous is a necessity.
The fifth graders are “feeling their oats”. Drama is high, motivation is low. We still have more than a month left. Thankfully, I have an alter ego that I happened upon while teaching quadrilaterals. “Quads” is a tough Jersey guy that owns a triangle factory turned to quadrilateral fabrication. He has an elderly cat names Francis and makes pastries in his free time. Most importantly, when “Quads” shows up, kids get down to business.Sometimes an alter ego is the key to levity and hard work.
I was completely spent after a long week…spent to the point of feeling physically ill. All of a sudden, a dear friend called with the joyfully giddy story of a new relationship. As I shared in his happiness, the atoms in my body began to shift. My formerly joy-deprived being was suddenly buoyant once again.
How do you get your joy back?
Our oldest turned seven today. She was beyond excited all day long and did her best not to tell every stranger it was her big day (only about half). The other strangers we met, found out about our family celebration from our three year old announcer who proudly let the world know that her big sister was bigger today. At the end of the day we heard the most surprising announcement from Simka; “This was the best day EVER.” When asked why, she simply responded, “Because it was Freya’s birthday.”
How can we remember to tap into the joy of those we love?