en{joy} the process

I open my eyes. Another day. I immediately feel guilty because I don’t want to get out of bed. I should appreciate a new day to be alive. Instead I roll over and close my eyes. I’m not ready to do it all over again. Groundhogs Day. Every day the same. Again, the guilt suffocates me. 

I scroll facebook to avoid my reality. It’s Monday morning. Several posts suggest that it’s another week and a new chance to crush goals. I’m suddenly aware that my only goal for the day is to survive. I throw my phone down on my bed. 

What is wrong with me? Where is my joy? 

The smell of coffee lures me down the stairs. 

I begin my daily routine of chores. Empty the dishwasher, load the washing machine, sweep the kitchen, take the meat out of the freezer to thaw for dinner. Numbly going through the motions. 

What is wrong with me? Where is my joy?

I prep dinner. Again the motions are there. My mind is not. I used to love cooking. Now I’m throwing frozen things on a tray because I have these little people who have to eat. 

I begin to think about the other things that I used to love so much. The things that would bring me alive. Singing, decorating, dancing, writing, creating. 

I do none of those things anymore. If I do it’s only out of obligation. 

What is wrong with me? Where is my joy?

I sit in my recliner at the end of the day. All is quiet. I see my journal sitting on the table near by. I haven’t made an entry in months. I stare it. I want to write but I don’t feel like it. Something pulls me out of the chair and I pick up the journal. I begin to read it. I feel a stirring in my belly.

I reach for my favorite pen. I sit paralyzed for a moment. What do I say? What should I write? A thought comes. I slowly and cautiously begin to place the thought on paper. My pen begins scribbling words. The words pour out, spilling all over the pages.

I sit back. I smile. That felt good. 

I re-read my thoughts to see what I’ve actually been thinking and feeling.

One line stands out among the rest. My sloppy handwriting reads, “Lord, show me one small thing that could bring me joy. Help me to learn how to enjoy the process of creating.” 

En{joy} the process. 

I don’t like the process. Of anything. I like the end result. The process? No. 

“Help me learn how to enjoy the process…”

What does that look like, Lord?

I immediately see a picture of myself in the kitchen. There is a pot with boiling water. The steam pops the lid and tells me its time to add the noodles. I pour olive oil into my favorite cast iron pan. I hear a tune in the background that sounds familiar. I turn up the volume. I love this song! I dance back to the stove and check the olive oil. Its ready. I grab the onions that I’ve already chopped. I add the minced garlic. I love the smell of garlic. I take a sip of wine as the onions and garlic sauté. I breathe deep, enjoy the smells, the music …. the process. 

I sit in my recliner replaying the motion picture I had just seen in my mind. I realize I’m smiling. I have that feeling again. Little bubbles popping in my stomach. Rising up to my chest. Oddly I try to push the feeling back down. Why am I fighting this?

I make the conscious decision to rest my head on the back of the black, leather chair. I close my eyes. I stop the rushing thoughts. I inhale deeply and tell myself it’s ok. I feel another bubble. I let it pop. As it pops I feel something release. It rises towards my chest. I let it. More bubbles form and burst. There is a pressure building in my chest. It’s uncomfortable but I don’t know what to do with it. I see a picture in my mind of the boiling pot again. Something whispers, “take the lid off.” Immediately joy is released through my entire body. An overflow! An overflow of joy.

I want to laugh. I want to cry. Instead I just sit and allow myself to feel the joy.

I walk upstairs feeling lighter than when I had walked down in the morning. I wash my face and brush my teeth wondering what tomorrow might hold but not dreading it because today I found my joy.

The joy is in the process. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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