December 15th, 2019. Only 2weeks left in this decade. Sitting by the fire, drinking coffee this morning in contemplation. Most mornings I contemplate. How is it time goes by so fast? Lately it seems like wake up, go to bed. The hours in between slip through my grasp like sand. I certainly cannot hold on. Even my play moments are haunted by the reality of my life giving way to years. I wonder how many other 65 year olds feel this way? I wonder will I connect again to the life force of youth?
These are serious moments, probably brought on by fatigue and stress. I wish I would have asked my mom about this. I wish I would have asked my mom a lot. She had so much wisdom.
I know I have lived more happy days than sad and I know I have given more than I have taken. Perhaps that is the best we can hope for. I have experienced far more love than hatred and danced far more times than sat out. Tears have come easily as has laughter. My faith has remained, though tried. I’ve learned there is no joy in material gain and fame is fleeting. A grandchild’s hug is more powerful than an ocean sunset and hearing I love you is a greater gift than gold. In the quiet stillness is the voice of God. In the grip of fear are the hands of angels and in the height of despair is the hope of tomorrow. This life, though fleeting and failing is a gift. Amid the morning quiet, the fire sings, the birds dance, the coffee warms my soul and the words I write give meaning to my simple life. I reach for gratitude to gain perspective through my tears and find a hidden treasure among the ruins. A thankful heart will sustain me as morning contemplations release me.
This is the season when most of us think about joy. It is the season for compassion. If that’s true then why are counselors seeing more clients this month? Because lack of joy is even more disheartening when it is expected; when we see the bright lights, the parties, the hustle and bustle and we are totally disconnected from it. Good News! It is okay to be disconnected from that ‘joy’ because that is not real joy.
Real joy is a deep sigh, it is a touch of blue coming through the dark clouds, it is finding a bit of butter for your toast when you thought you were out. Real joy is simple and it is quiet. It is gratitude wrapped up in a soft blanket. It is the hug you really needed, maybe just a smile, or someone remembering your name. You feel joy in your 7th direction, in your gut, that place in you that is you.
So let go of that horrible to-do list, and turn down that party you don’t want to go to. Connect to the real joy, that inner satisfaction that you are connected to you and that is enough. Be compassionate to that person inside of you first, then compassion will naturally flow out from you.
Joy to your world!
Peggy Perry-Hill has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan. She spent many years as a public school teacher. Her goal was always to be a full time writer. She has spent the last 25 years traveling the globe with her husband John Two-Hawks, presenting concerts workshops and retreats. Her mantra has been 'making music and making friends'. Peggy has also written several books with her latest being 'Give Peas a Chance' a nostalgic 60s cookbook which she wrote to hold onto some levity in her life during the pandemic. She has facilitated Women of Wisdom (WOW) retreats for over 15 years. Peggy is the owner of Circle Studios Records and CSR Media Publishing Company. Her passion is compassion and she has stood for decades by another mantra, Love is a Verb, so her main goal in writing is to inspire her readers into action. Peggy Perry-Hill is a wife, mother, and grandmother who loves writing, music, theater and culinary arts.