“You’re supposed to enJOY it. All of it. For the rest of your life.”
I begin this post with a quote from Soul Surfer because I’m going to talk about JOY, swimming, and for unknown reasons, am set on including this picture from Oahu. So…
Let me be clear, I usually try to enJOY life. I enJOY the people I am around, even if they’re out of their minds. I enJOY myself, even when I’m out of my mind. I try to be intentionally JOYful.
However, JOY is also something that I often realize is missing from my days: the way I interacted with the cashier, the tone I had with my mom on the phone, or even just the way I let the day be less than mediocre for no reason at all. It seems that as I get older, things that I enJOY are threatened by… grown-up bad attitudes, mostly.
Take swimming. I LOVE to swim. Always have. Ask anyone (mainly my family) about my “dolphin show” I put on in the pool, and then maybe you’ll understand. Let’s just say I’m pretty good at multiple dolphin-like noises and belly finishes. Moving on… When I joined the swim team in high school, something I loved slowly slipped away from me, from no one’s fault but my own. I became stressed at practice and angry at my performance. And it was my bad attitude clouding my enJOYment of swimming, making me dread practice, and actually hindering me from getting better. By the time I got to college, I couldn’t even experience how cool it was to be on an NCAA Div I Swim Team (although it was just for my gpa, so don’t get too impressed). Instead, I was too embarrassed and disappointed in how slow my times were. What?! I look back on that now (only three years ago), and I can’t believe I let that amazing opportunity go by. An opportunity to get better at swimming, yes, but mostly an opportunity to enJOY the experience. To relish swimming in an Olympic-grade pool with future professional swimmers and Olympians. Seriously, why could I not just chill out and enJOY?!
I say this now because I think that the experiences I’m currently going through that threaten my JOY are very much the same. The world comes crashing down, trying to rain on my parade. Oh, how it tries. But guess what, ugly part of the world? You can’t stop this attitude (the good one)! I still love swimming, but it took a while to get back together. We’re still working on things. And there are things I treasure, things I do, and ways I think that I refuse to handle with anything but JOY. So cashier, I’ll make your day next time. And Mom, feel free to call. I’ll be nice. And day, you’re going to be spectacular, or at least full of laughter because laughter is my favorite way to live with JOY.
EnJOY your day, and I’m sorry for the annoying caps. (But not sorry enough to change them.)