Aren’t we all drawn in and easily enamoured by all things…cute and adorable? Whenever I look into the eyes of a wee baby I can’t help but smile. But, it’s no ordinary smile. It’s that kind of smile that spontaneously explodes onto my face and cements there. Then there’s the emotion. I leap into joy; heart racing, blood pumping, “lost” in this world where my number one goal is to make the baby smile, or just respond to my crazy efforts. I think we can all connect to this experience, and this is what I call sheer JOY!

“Rocky” is our new 11-week old puppy. He’s a Schmorkie!

Then, there is that joy that comes when you bring home a new puppy!  In their first days, so cute, warm, sleepy, and loveable. Bringing me to the true inspiration for this post. Last week, we brought home a new puppy.  “Rocky” is our 11-week old Schmorkie.  You heard it right…a Schmorkie.  A Schmorkie is a hybrid breed crossing a Miniature Schnauzer, Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese.  As you can see, he is truly adorable.  My nine-year old daughter has been begging us to have a dog for 7 years (she reports).  She has gripped on to the hope and dream of having a dog, much like a talented young Canadian boy hopes and dreams to make it to the National Hockey League.  Dogs bring joy into peoples lives.  Any dog-lover would confirm this.  Dogs are loyal and evolve into these companions that we, the dog lover get swooned and drawn into.  Dogs become your companion, playmate, friend, and part of your support network.  I can see that Rocky is well on his way to doing all these things for us.  He brings joy and excitement into our home everyday.  We are all thrilled to have him…and once trained…we will love him unconditionally (lol).

Joy is by far my favourite human emotion. Joy gives me such a positive,overwhelming feeling.  Not the kind of overwhelming feeling that come with stress. Joy takes over my body, mind and spirit leaving everything else on the OUTSIDE, where I can’t see it all for a while. Perhaps Joy can be better explained through an example. Family time at the beach is truly my  favourite thing to do…experience…I can’t find the words to say how wonderful it is. I don’t love the beach because I love to sunbathe, or swim in one of our splendid Great Lakes. It’s because, being at the beach with my hubby and our kids feels like a romantic and exhilarating retreat all-in-one!

We love to visit Port Stanley, Ontario once a week throughout the summer. Lake Erie is one of three Great Lakes Ontarians love to visit when hitting the beach.

The moment we arrive at the beach my body begins to change. As the kids burst with excitement, I can’t help but smile and join-in showing the same childlike thrill. We run along the shore, have races on the sandbar, and tow the kids through the deeper filling their gullies with water. Getting started it perhaps the best part. I race to the trunk of the car, frantically rummaging through all of our gear trying to find a way to take it all in one trip. All four of us load-up and we scurry down to the sand and water. Everyone is talking, giggling and planning what we’re going to build, dig-up, swim out to, and play. Everyone is a kid again.
This sensation is called…living in the moment. Another on of my favourite states to be in. Within five minutes of being at the beach, my mind and body surrender to these future moments right here…in the moment…at the beach. Gone, are all thoughts about work, house renovations, errands to be done, registrations to complete, bills to pay, things that just aren’t right, people I’m upset with and what to do about it, or all the things the kids need for this and that. All those thoughts rinse away with the waves that roll-up on the Great Lakes shore, and then pulled back out into the open water. Now, I’m actually living in the moment. When the kids begin digging to start their sandcastle I can really see them, when they laugh I can really hear them, when I jump in to pack the sand down I’m really there…playing with them. I become overwhelmed with a feeling of joy. I can’t stop smiling, and everything just feels…right.
Summer fun is wonderful! I used to get irritated by fellow teachers who seemed to clearly be in the profession because of the summers off. But as a mom and hard working teacher, I too have come to love my summers off. This is when I come alive and live in the moment. We don’t have to wait for moments of joy. The beach doesn’t come to us. We should all go out to find the joy we want.  We prepare what we need, pack-up, and drive to the beach. We’re creating these moments of joy.