Seizing the Joy

I blog quite a bit about legal issues, seahorses, and the writing path. Most of those posts carry lessons…in no small part because my life is one long lesson-studded path (many of which, I don’t learn the first time through).

Every once in a while, I notice other people’s lives on similar trajectories. And when I’m very fortunate, I get to share the happy parts, not just the troubling ones.

Recently, I offered an author advice about dealing with a troublesome publisher. To my delight, the publisher voluntarily gave the author what we’d asked for–even though it wasn’t an industry-standard request.

Last night, I received a text from an author I mentor, who is currently writing her first full-length manuscript. After struggling with the narrative for several days, she experienced her first true “scene flow,” where an entire scene rushed forth in a form that left her excited, inspired, and confident in her writing.

Both of these situations are rare, and both of them are precious. Both remind me, equally, of the vital importance of seizing joy.

Joy–true, Snoopy-dance-inspiring joy, comes fleetingly and all too rarely into our busy lives. Our work, our dreams, our hobbies, and our over-scheduled lives demand too much, and leave too little time. So when those golden moments come, when lovely, unexpected things burst forth upon our lives, we must take note. Stop working. Leave the fear and cares behind, and dance.

Literally, if you wish.

Figuratively, if you must.

Laugh, and smile, and give the joy free rein to romp around in your psyche. Mark the moment, so you remember.

That joy is like a giant plate of steaming chocolate-chip cookies for the hungry soul.

15E29 Cookies

Don’t let them sit on the counter and watch them. Don’t let someone else consume them all. If you wait, they get cold and hard–and so do you, if you don’t take time to appreciate the joy life has to offer.

Sometimes, we miss out on joy because we’re waiting for something bigger. We pass on that warm, homemade cookie because we think there’s a box of truffles around the corner.


Maybe the truffles come. Perhaps they don’t. But your day–and your life–is poorer for not enjoying them both for what they are in the moment.

And–unlike cookies and truffles–big joys and little joys won’t hurt your waistline if you consume them all.

It’s easy to miss the simple joys–or the joys you can share with others–if you let the worries and troubles of life consume you. Take the time to appreciate what you have, and the joys that enter your day, regardless of timing, regardless of size, and regardless of whether or not you expected to have them.

And then…celebrate them with a real cookie (or a truffle) if you want to.

What simple joy did you celebrate today?