Monday, December 12, 2016

The Art of Joyful Living, Pt. 5

It is important to remember that not every minute in the day, week or month is designed to be a "mountaintop high" moment.  Sometimes there are seasons in life where monotony is the status quo.  This describes my summer.  The kids were home.  We all woke-up in the morning and found a good routine for getting ready for the day.  All five of us worked - day in and day out.  After work we came home, prepared dinner and hung-out for the evening until we went to bed simply to do it all over again the next day.  It was hot, so we stayed in our apartment as much as possible.  Weekends presented a bit of diversity, we would visit a night market, go to the beach or explore town.  Weekends were also our time to go grocery shopping, catch up on laundry and grab a nap if possible.  And this was ok.  There were moments of quiet, moments of laughter and the good feeling of being together.

It's easy to get caught-up in the facebook, Instagram, snapchat mindset where the best of the world is having fun, posing for selfies in front of beaches and at great restaurants.  The rest of the world is on vacation while I'm working.  But that's not the way life works.  You have a choice to make.  Am I going to follow the world and get all caught up in wanting fun every moment of the day or am I going to follow God where peace and joy are a constant even when life is mundane?  If you struggle with the need to follow social media and you find you're comparing yourself to others, I encourage you to stop and take a break.  Do a fast from social media.  After a break, you can determine if you are able to handle the world of social media.

Here are some thoughts from a photography blog I like to follow:
"We want better.  But we get them confused.  We want better photographs, so we buy better cameras. We want more interesting lives so we buy more interesting things.  We want to feel significant so we weigh in on significant issues before we listen.  We Instagram the best of ourselves in hopes that it is so, and if we can't convince ourselves, we might at least convince others.  We spend more time on Facebook and various social media, as though our days are without end.  An then to our surprise our day does end.  As does the week, the month, and where-did-the-time-go?  Our best work remains undone.  The legacy of our time not much more than a few social media impressions and half-hearted creative effort made in the margins of our lives."
David duChemin - World and Humanitarian Photographer

I'm going to close this series with some paraphrased thoughts from a friend.

The act of joyful living is to keep choosing what is right.  Even though I am anxious about the future, I put one foot in front of the other.  There are happy moments in the day, but it's the forward momentum and all the choices that keep me pushing forward that make for joyful living.

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