Nuturing the need for JOY!

momisms, musings, joy, bike ride, Cranford, NJ, Uncategorized


When was the last time you felt joy? A pure truly blissful moment? The kind that makes your heart smile?
Are you having a hard time coming up with something? Don’t worry, you are not alone. I feel the same way. Honestly, that is hard for me to admit. I’m the kind of person people perceive as being always happy, full of energy, ready for the next adventure BUT lately as much as I hate to admit it, I’m just not feeling it.
It’s been a crazy month. Nothing in particular but enough to make me feel like I’ve lost my edge.
Maybe it is the weather; chilly and dark in New Jersey during what we had hoped would be sunny spring days filled with promise.
Perhaps it’s my career. Planning engaging lessons, making deadlines, assuring that every child is up to speed, appeasing the individual needs of 22 sets of parents, and always trying to be a truly exemplary teacher.
Could it be the activities and social schedule of my busy sixteen year old child? It’s certainly possible!
Everywhere I turn my friends are saying the same thing. I look into their eyes and see a reflection of my own.…tired, worn and searching for something more.
But what is it we are searching for? What is lacking in our very busy lives? For me I’ve realized that I’ve lost a little of myself lately. Though I’ve filled every moment with fun family adventures, carloads filled with giggling sixteen year old girls and many family obligations, I have forgotten to take care of ME. I’m usually pretty good about this but somehow in the midst of “fitting everything in” I have forgotten to take a moment for me.
Now, this may sound selfish. How can a woman whose family has so many obligations and places to be possibly think about taking time away for herself? What kind of a mother and wife would a woman like that be?
Well, I have to confess, I think that lady would be a very happy and healthy mom! Think about it. When you board an airplane and the flight attendant explains the emergency procedures, the first step everyone is instructed is to take care of yourself first! Place the oxygen on YOU so that YOU can then take care of everyone else!
I contend that this is what so many of us are missing as we rush through our overscheduled lives. Though I have physically been with my family as we check off our list of obligations, I feel disconnected and slightly unhappy and I have been unsure why.
I once read that in order to be in touch with “your real self” the “true you” one needed to channel the person you were at ten years old. Asking “what did I like to do?” “ What were my dreams for the future?” “What gave me joy?” Sitting back and recollecting those ideas of my younger days made me begin to smile. Fond memories rushed through my mind calling me back to the days of dreaming. One absolute certain was that I loved to ride my bicycle everywhere! I’d ride in the neighborhood, I’d cruise “downtown”, I would visit my grandmother’s house and when I was older I even rode to the neighboring town where my friends and I were convinced the “cute boys” lived.

I still LOVE to ride. I have a fabulous pink beach bike with a basket that I adore! Suddenly, I knew it was time to break out my bicycle and clear my head.
Thankfully the clouds gave way to some warm sunshine this afternoon, finally a good day for a ride! Since I didn’t have long I decided to stay local and really focus on my beautiful surroundings. I planned to notice everything from sights, to sounds and smells. Cranford was once called “The Venice of New Jersey” filled with mansions along the Rahway River that were the vacation homes of some of the wealthiest New Yorkers. Many of the homes are large and each one is unique. As I rode I imagined the people who had summered here. Creating stories in my mind of the clothes they wore and the parties they held. Inhaling the gifts of nature I imagined the river carnivals and canoe races scented with the abundant honeysuckle and lilac perfume on the riverbanks. I remembered a story I once heard that Katherine Hepburn had attended a party at a home near the river. I marveled at how awesome those days must have been.

I began to smile and relax. I realized people were smiling back. A stranger waved to me and I realized I was again projecting the real me. I continued to ride, breathing in the cut grass, the burgers being cooked for a neighbor’s dinner, the smell of the river itself. I stopped by the back of Dreyer’s Farm to take in the bountiful beauty of all the locally grown crops. Appreciating the lush colors thanks to our recent rainfall. I was peaceful and grateful. Ready to now go on with the evening, showing the world the real me.

Newly energized and ready to take on all that life had to offer. Mother Nature might still be suffering from a mood swings but I know that I have found my JOY and I intent to keep nurturing it!

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. Howard Thurman

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. Howard Thurman


2 thoughts on “Nuturing the need for JOY!

  1. Love this one!! Great job. ☺

    Jennifer Vespole
    Director of Food Service
    QuickChek Corporation
    3 Old Highway
    Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889


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