What Fills Me With Joy

What Fills Me With Joy

For the most part, I live happily in a large life, with my energies and joys in so many areas of my personal and professional lives, yet I have worked for decades, non-stop, both through my own inner exploration and my formal academic education, to create my current inner and outer worlds.

When I was younger, I often stood in front of closed doors and felt the towering walls envelop me; I was engulfed by my limitations—low self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth. I twisted and turned myself into the child my mother needed and expected me to be, resulting in my arduous, long struggle to own my unique inner strength as a wife, mother, daughter, friend.

A gift of my passage enables me to actually view these doors, now open, as doors of growth, which might have existed all along if only I had been prepared to walk through them. Today these open doors reflect my lessons learned and self-acceptance, all hard-earned joys.

What Brings Me Joy?

Besides (and it is a big ‘besides) the amazing people and dog in my life, there is much I enjoy (in no special order):

* Dark roast coffee, especially the first sip in the morning. I close my eyes and sip, always with a smile of contentment.

* My early morning walks with Emma, my furry daughter, who looks forward to these jaunts like a child going to Disneyland.

* A good book—no, a great book, which forces me to stop reading before the end so I don’t finish it. Of course, I ultimately complete the book, but always with the same dilemma. Do I put it down and savor the fact that it’s not over or do I appreciate having completed such a valuable piece of writing?

* Watching a great series on television: Downton Abbey, The Crown, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, Game of Thrones. There are others, but I always feel amazing while watching and slightly forlorn when having completed the series.


 Get The Latest From InnerSelf


* Chocolate Malt Balls from one specific candy store in the San Fernando Valley. Heaven on earth.

* Lying under a soft blanket with Emma on top of me during the ‘cold’ (60 degrees) Los Angeles nights

* Swimming my laps every day during the warm weather.

* The hugs from my 3-year old grandson with his unsolicited words, “I am so happy to see you, Nana!”

* The large smile of acknowledgment from my seven-month old granddaughter when she looks into my eyes.

* A comfortable pair of shoes. They aren’t sexy or attractive, but comfort far outweighs vanity when it comes to my feet.

* Having a granddaughter to dress in pink after three sons and a grandson.

* My office ceiling fan that blows cooler air around the room.

* My legs that allow me to walk every day.

* A bright red or pink lipstick, especially on days where a dark cloud surrounds me.

* Rereading a piece of my writing and with humility accepting that it is good.

* Finally having strong fingernails after five decades of split and broken nails.

* Hearing from a past student who conveyed to me how I positively affected his/her life.

* Having the dinner table set in the morning (carry over from watching my mother prepare for our dinner).

* Drinking ice cold water and sparkling water.

* Writing early in the morning (before my walks with Emma), when my mind is the clearest and most creative.

* Acknowledging the elements of my life such as those I have listed that provide me joy…such a simple yet important act but essential to my being.

Copyright 2017 by Barbara Jaffe. All Rights Reserved.

Book by this Author

When Will I Be Good Enough?: A Replacement Child’s Journey to Healing
by Barbara Jaffe Ed.D.

When Will I Be Good Enough?: A Replacement Child’s Journey to Healing by Barbara Jaffe Ed.D.Barbara was born to fill the vacancy left by her little brother, who died at the age of two. This book tells the multitude of readers who have been “replacement children” for many reasons, that they, too, can find hope and healing, as did Barbara.

Click here for more info and/or to order this book.

About the Author

Barbara JaffeBarbara Jaffe, Ed.D. is an award-winning English professor at El Camino College, California and is a Fellow in UCLA’s Department of Education. She has offered countless workshops to students to help them find their writers’ voices through writing non-fiction. Her college has honored her by naming her Outstanding Woman of the Year and Distinguished Teacher of the Year. Visit her website at BarbaraAnnJaffe.com
 

enafarzh-CNzh-TWnltlfifrdehiiditjakomsnofaptruessvtrvi

follow InnerSelf on

facebook-icontwitter-iconrss-icon

 Get The Latest By Email

{emailcloak=off}

FROM THE EDITORS

The Day Of Reckoning Has Come For The GOP
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
The Republican party is no longer a pro-America political party. It is an illegitimate pseudo-political party full of radicals and reactionaries whose stated goal is to disrupt, destabilize, and…
Why Donald Trump Could Be History's Biggest Loser
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
Updated July 2, 20020 - This whole coronavirus pandemic is costing a fortune, maybe 2 or 3 or 4 fortunes, all of unknown size. Oh yeah, and, hundreds of thousands, maybe a million, of people will die…
Blue-Eyes vs Brown Eyes: How Racism is Taught
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
In this 1992 Oprah Show episode, award-winning anti-racism activist and educator Jane Elliott taught the audience a tough lesson about racism by demonstrating just how easy it is to learn prejudice.
A Change Is Gonna Come...
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
(May 30, 2020) As I watch the news on the events in Philadephia and other cities in the country, my heart aches for what is transpiring. I know that this is part of the greater change that is taking…
A Song Can Uplift the Heart and Soul
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
I have several ways that I use to clear the darkness from my mind when I find it has crept in. One is gardening, or spending time in nature. The other is silence. Another way is reading. And one that…