I have difficulty with time and place. That is, I think there is a time and place for everything. Well, not everything, mostly just those experiences that bring me joy. And the time and place for that is often somewhere in the future.
Let me give you an example. A friend and I went to a craft store this weekend for some holiday supplies. (Yes, I brought my list!) When we got home, she immediately opened the supplies and began playing with them. I, on the other hand began cleaning the kitchen. After a few minutes I forced myself to stop what I was doing and join her. Instantly, I was having much more fun and doing exactly what I wanted to be doing in that moment. The funny thing is, had I gone to the craft store by myself and bought those items, I would have come home, put them away, cleaned the kitchen, then moved on to laundry or answering emails or some other sort of work. Somewhere around December 20th I would have looked at the stuff again, felt like it was time to pull it all out and would have promptly realized that I no longer had time to just sit and play because I had too much to do to prep for Christmas.
Despite the fact I do that sort of thing all the time, I generally have fun whatever I am doing. Maybe that’s part of the problem – since I can find something to enjoy in most situations, I find it hard to stop and pursue something simply because it makes me happy. I think many of us struggle with this concept. We have so many things on our plates already, there better be a compelling reason to stop working and do something that has no other intrinsic value but to bring us personal joy. And yet, shouldn’t that be the compelling reason in and of itself?
I have a bumper sticker I picked up at a small toy store years ago. It says simply “Don’t Postpone Joy.” I try to remember that.
What joy are you postponing and how can you bring a little bit of it into your life today?