Sometimes in my writing I’ll mix up joy and contentment. I’ve even used them interchangeably in conversation, but In my heart, I believe they are two different states of being. Joy is happiness over something new that is often unexpected. For example, if I receive a huge amount of money or an enormous gift from out of nowhere, I feel JOY.
When I began writing this morning, I was using the two feelings interchangeably until I noticed my feelings weren’t the same. Contentment is me being happy with the state I’m in. I am content when I have successfully completed a task. I feel content when have a block of uninterrupted time to dream and transfer that dream onto paper. When I read the dream and it is whole and meaningful, I’m content. If someone else reads it, gets it, and compliments it, that is JOY.
I am content relaxing and watching a movie next to my spouse. If the doorbell rings and it’s my best friend holding a bottle of wine, or my Mac and his parents paying a surprise visit, I feel JOY. I am content reading a good book, but If it’s a book that I race back to after a bathroom break, that brings me JOY.
It doesn’t take much to make me content—a clean house, enough money to help others, a satisfying meal, room to breathe, and no bad news; but, I’ve experienced an ocean’s edge, arms raised to the sky, waves lapping at my toes kind of happiness. It is a feeling of exhilaration that comes only once in a while, and that is JOY!