January is my least favourite month; in the letdown after Christmas, the bleak winter days seem to magnify even the smallest of my troubles and add a sense of malaise about life.
I know I’ve been lucky in life overall. I have a good family, I live in a peaceful, prosperous country, and I’ve enjoyed good health so far (knock on wood). Even so, it’s too easy to get bogged down with life’s frustrations and lose sight of the blessings. I’m a chronic worrier. I worry about finances, health, my kids, my parents, the state of the world, and anything else that might possibly have the potential for going wrong.
But sometimes, in the midst of all the negative clutter in my brain, I manage to capture little nuggets of true happiness – those rare and fleeting moments of pure joy.
In my life as a writer, it would be great to sell millions of books (I’ll let you know when that happens), but nothing beats the feeling of reading a glowing review of one of my books, especially when the reader connected to the story in some way I didn’t expect. I’ll go back to worrying about sales later. That moment is precious and perfect.
As a mom, I face countless daily aggravations, but I live for the moments that make my heart warm and toasty. Exhibit one: my 6-year-old twins racking their brains trying to think of ways to express how much they love me. One comes up with, “I love you more than the whole city,” while the other settles on, “I love you so much I don’t even know how to say how much I love you.” Exhibit two: listening to my 11-year-old with dyslexia read stories to her little sisters, hardly stumbling over the words. Also, watching her excel as a performer in the school play, and the pride she takes in this achievement as well as her artwork.
There are plenty of others. A conversation with a friend I haven’t seen in years. A song on the radio that reminds me of a special time or person. A good Indian buffet (with dosas and aloo tikki chaat as essential elements). A whiff of the cologne my husband used to wear when we met (and I wish he’d still wear, even though he says it’s a ‘90s scent and no longer fashionable).
Where do you find your small moments of joy?