Friday evening I sat in this very seat, basking in the glow of my family. It was... joy. Joy. Yep. After a long week of wondering if there was something wrong with me for not flitting about with bubbles circling my head (although I'm not thrilled with the bubble idea), the work week ended with joy.
How did I get there? Well. Let's examine the week:
We had to cancel plans for our anniversary trip. We had planned to spend our anniversary at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, much like the one we enjoyed on our honeymoon. Prudence convinced me not to buy plane tickets until we took care of a few things, just in case. Well, "just in case" turned into reality and then reality turned into responsibility and responsibility turned into canceling the trip. I cried. I pouted. I was not my best self. But I didn't use money we didn't have to get what I wanted. Again, responsibility. Someday we'll go back to Mexico in real life. I say "real life" because we both visit there occasionally, if only in our minds. It's such a lovely place. Beautiful beaches. Lots of food. Lots of frosty beverages. No responsibilities. I digress...
In taking care of "reality," we depleted our resources considerably. We weren't broke, although I felt broke. Last week felt like a continual outlay of cash. Throw in another visit to the pediatrician and another certifiably sick kid and the money kept leaking out of the bank account. I'd been in the pediatrician's office with one or more sick kids every week since early March. Another sick kid meant another visit to the pharmacy. Adios, cash. Add it all up and and it was not a joy-filled week. It was a grumpy, testy, had-enough kind of week.
I kept hearing my declaration to the powers of darkness to "bring it on." Yeah. Maybe I shouldn't have done that? Maybe that was the problem? No. No. God is bigger than the boogieman. (Thank you, Veggie Tales.) I was missing something. What was it? By Friday afternoon I felt empty and worn and spiritually flattened and desperately needed my load lifted.
Friday afternoon came. With it came my darling husband who arrived home early. Not only did he arrive early, he had stopped by the store. While staying within budget, he bought tasty bits to grill. He commandeered dinner. The kids played with cheerful abandon. I sat in this very seat. I surveyed my family and felt something filling my heart that had been vacant from my heart all week: Joy.
I know it sounds trite. I don't care. I say it is true: Joy isn't in a vacation or a bank account or a weeks' break from the doctor's office or not seeing the sympathetic smile from the pharmacist who saw you just a few days ago. Joy is being with the ones you love, who love you, who don't care about unlimited margaritas or 24-hour room service or multiple digits in the savings account. Joy is simple. It is stripped of the fluff of life. And it isn't found surrounded by fuzzy bunnies, rainbows, or bubbles. Thank God.