Sunday Musings—How I define JOY

I’’ve experienced an ocean’s edge, arms raised, waves lapping at my toes kind of happiness.

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!

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Educator, Author, Blogger, and supporter of Independent Writers. One mystery novel, The Neon Houses, Find me on Twitter @boom_lyn.

9 thoughts on “Sunday Musings—How I define JOY

  1. Hi Joy, I completely agree. Happiness is being content with the status quo while joy is more powerful and shorter lived. We couldn’t be joyful all the time or it would lose all its meaning. My greatest moments of joy where when my two sons were born. I can remember that great surge of joy at their tiny perfection. I always think that when you have children, your heart lives outside your body.

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