By Dietitian Jill Place
I don’t know about you but … even though I wrote an article about it … I’m still struggling to find joy in these COVID times. So I decided to look deeper and spend three whole articles on it. Here’s the first … Working on JOY with a “J” … COVID version.
I awoke this morning realizing that I HAD to write an article about joy. Lying there … contemplating my usual “I’m taking this time to envision my day …” a morning ritual I do … I realized that I was doing it these days with not an ounce of ebullience … nary a faint WHOOPIE …
I realized that my days were filled with N95 masks PLUS face shields. And were drowning in friends and colleagues frightened about getting the virus.
I myself had adopted an attitude of “c’est la vie (that’s life)” about it … explaining to them that infections were inevitable. One expert even said, “You can’t sanitize everything!” But I wondered … even though that appeared a better belief … where was the “joie de vivre” in that?
Was it there in the constant cooking? Yeah … I love to cook … and am even experimenting again (HEADS-UP … the chocolate chip muffins I’m sharing next week are fluffier with maple syrup and grapeseed oil) . But night-after-night (HATE take-out … and they never get my delivery order right … with everything I don’t eat I’m a bit fin-iacal)? NAH!
Or the fact that I’ve ditched my beloved air-brush makeup for mineral. Because air-brush smears all over my masked face. I’ve stopped wearing lipstick too … what’s the point! Do you think I’m thrilled … ARE YOU KIDDING!
But just putting together the picture above inflated ebullience. I began to visualize the meaning of the above words. I’m sure that you have your own “J” for “JOY” words. Here are some of mine …
I have NO idea where this word came from. But when I was very young I coined it as a blanket term for everything fabulous in my young life.
So I would go around saying this was “jazz-ling” and that was “jazz-ling” … To the dismay of my parents, who didn’t understand it at all and often shook their heads.
Just thinking about the word … which I didn’t even remember until I thought of this idea and started the picture above … makes me happy. So when I heard the song from the musical, The Prom, “Give it Some Zazz”, it reminded me of it.
Zazz is defined as “style plus confidence”. Makes sense to me. And if you see Nicole Kidman’s spirited performance in the film version, it does bring joy to not only the situation but to whoever is watching …
So maybe I need to “give it some jazz-ling” and dance around the house. Sounds good to me …
Life should be like ripe fruit ready to pluck. That floods juice down your chin when you take a bite of it. The very image makes me pucker …
A juicy life is encompasses a juicy mind, body, and soul. It’s a life infused with freshness … the way a teabag insinuates instelf into a pot of percolating water.
I like to think of it as an ease … a Pippa Passes moment that harmonizes, “god’s in his (her?) heaven, all’s right with the world.” And it’s interesting that the Sanskrit word, “rasa”, can either mean “essence” or “juice”.
So we should stop looking at life right now as shriveled and less-than. I know I do. Every time I put on a mask I shrink. Even my back is hurting from the bend it acquires whenever I don my “gear”.
So let’s slurp up the succulence instead. And be juicy in our life choices …
I’m a bit of a recluse. Actually, I’m a big one. So when this whole lockdown thing hit I burrowed even deeper. I stopped all my outside activities not only because it was mandated. But because I just stopped. Being a recluse to begin with … it was easy.
OK … so it’s official. I just enrolled in two intensive classes beginning next week. Yeah … they’re online … but they’re a step in the right direction. And improvement stuff to boot (daily mindfulness and four-times-a-week Qigong).
I’m also toying with getting together with the girls on my newly-established Zoom account (stay tuned for more webinars … one happening next week). Perhaps drinks … perhaps milk (gotta be coconut or almond though …)
Oh … and snuggling in rooms in my Good Gut Group … ? Lots of fun there beginning on the 1st … schmoozing, cooking, lots of ideas about breaking down skills to be successful with HEALTH and HEALING.
Whatever we do, it’s about joining family and friends. And joining for success. Want to join me in the Good Gut Group … click here.
The definition of “jump-up” … “an occasion of mass dancing and merrymaking”. OHHH … I long for that … Mardi Gras was one of the fun-est experiences I’ve ever had.
How to recreate that when shut-in???? Well … I just found a Global New Years Eve with lots of options … and the party package (whatever that is) is already sold out. And so are the one-and two-person ax-throwing sessions on Groupon???? And … of course … concerts on Goldstar.
Lots of jump-ups to be found. The question is … will you find and do one?
And you really don’t need a jump-up atmosphere. These days I just get joy out talking to people on the phone. So maybe we should be dancing too????
JE NE SAIS QUOI
The definition of this French phrase is “an indefinable, elusive quality, especially a pleasing one”. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had that.
In actuality we do. I do believe that finding that elusive quality and cultivating it is what truly brings you joy. And remember … pleasing everyone and not being you can drive you bozo-bonkers.
I see it every day in my psychiatric hospital. Especially with teens. One of them told me just yesterday that she was being bullied about her weight by everyone in her family. And they … too … were overweight.
You might call it personal strength. I call it being true to myself. Then people say … as one of my colleagues did a bit ago … “You seem to have it all together!”
I don’t think that’s totally true. But it DOES smack of “je ne sais quoi”. And reconnecting with it always brings me joy.
What’s YOUR plan for joy?
We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy~Joseph Campbell