"I hope that you live your life - each precious day of it- with joy and meaning." This past summer, on a bus from Boston to NYC, I listened to Sheryl Sandberg share this wisdom in her address to the UC Berkeley graduating class at their Commencement. In her speech, she discusses finding deeper gratitude after tragedy through a focus on joy. Particularly by thinking what brought her the most joy at the end of each day.
This idea of reflecting upon joy resonated with me and after a week of thought, I landed with the idea of my Joy Journal. I've tried many a journal and so I was a bit hesitant to commit to such an idea but I quickly found that simply reflecting on the joys of the day, itself brought me joy, and I was eager to write in my Joy Journal each day.
The Joy Journal is simple. Each day, I write down three things that brought me joy below the date. Some days, I'm in the mood for paragraphs and others I succinctly write three simple words in my sloppiest handwriting before bed but either way, I end the day with joy. Some days, the joys are more profound and other days they are as silly as a SnapChat that made me giggle. Whatever it is - I write it. Truthfully, there are days where its a struggle to think "what brought me joy today?" and I will certainly lean on my go-to response (both physically and figuratively), Henry. But no matter the initial difficulty, I'm always able to think of something that brought me joy.
I created this journal myself and feel less bound by the traditional expectations of a journal. I've tried the One Line A Day and many others but for me, this is what works and I love it. I've shared with a few friends and the go to response is "oh, like a gratitude journal." While similar, not exactly. I'm not necessarily grateful for chocolate chip cookies or for the @dogsbeingbasic Instagram account, but they both unapologetically bring me joy.
I've developed a new nightly routine where I read my devotional and write in my Joy Journal before saying my bedtime prayers. (Sadly, I've finished Savor. If you have any suggestions, please send them my way.) This routine of reading, joying, and praying has brought an overall sense of calmness in my life when I was feeling drenched in anxiety and exhaustion. While I still feel anxious, overcommitted, and exhausted each day, at least I end the day with JOY!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans:15:13
PS. I picked up the adorable journal at my favorite store in NYC, Book Culture. If I could move into Book Culture and have the closet of Kate Spade on Madison, my Joy Journal would explode!