Minor Inconveniences To Joy
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When children rush into cold water we adults will say, “wow, it’s amazing how they don’t even feel it”. That’s not true, is it? We know because we’ve seen children complain about something being too cold before – a classroom for instance or ice. What children know and we seem to forget is that joy is worth a minor inconvenience.
A personal example
For the last two months, I’ve felt immobilizing pain in my hip. First, I’d convinced myself it was popping hip syndrome. Then, I concluded it was a stiff hip flexor from too much indoor cycling. Finally, when it turned into radiating pain beginning at my lower back and ending at my right ankle bone, I decided all the gentle yoga and geriatric pilates weren’t working.
It had to be in my head. I exhausted the internet searching for the yoga and Traditional Chinese Medicine reasons for hip pain, but none of them really felt right. Deciding on the mindfulness route, I laid with my pain (because sitting was out of the question).
My conclusion after many days with my mind (and pain) was that I felt stuck. I was so focused on making myself comfortable that I’d stifled my Spirit. Little Kristen was screaming, “let me go! The water’s fine!”.
Free yoga class? The traffic might be terrible.
Beach day? Looking for parking is the worst.
Meeting a friend for coffee? I’d have to wear real pants.
And on, and on, and on…
There was no end to the reasons I would not do something. It seemed, especially over the last year, that my world had become smaller. In my defense, for a good chunk of that time, I was licking my wounds and recovering (physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially) after a traumatizing 2020 and 2021.
Now, I was in danger of something else completely – becoming old. Not chronologically old (we’re all headed there), but old in Spirit. One of those people that were once so full of life, whose life now revolves around the latest Netflix series and seasonal favorites at Trader Joe’s.
It got me thinking about how we defer potential joy because of minor inconveniences. In fact, last week I wrote in my journal “be weary of those who keep you in perpetual comfort”. What if that person is yourself? What if the person foiling all your attempts at joy is doing so under the guise of self-care? What if this well-meaning person inside is just trying to keep you from pain?
The solution I’ve come to so far is to weigh the inconveniences against the potential joy I may experience.
Free yoga? Traffic might be terrible, but I’ll find joy in community.
Beach day? Looking for parking is the worst, but I’ll feel joy in the expansive ocean.
Meeting a friend for coffee? I’d have to wear pants, but I’ll find joy in the love we share.
My hip still bothers me, but less every day. I inconveniently step on my mat every morning and it gets just a little easier.
What minor inconvenience are you going to leap past this week? Jump in, the water’s fine.
featured picture byMarcTutorials on Pexels.