"Joy doesn't simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day."
Many years ago, I created a "Joy Box." My friend, Bonnie M., shared the idea/concept with me, as I recall. The name was cute, it rhymed with Toy Box, and so I latched on to the idea. I saved and stashed a variety of things with the idea that if, or most likely when, a bad or sad time occurred, looking through the Joy Box would rejuvenate my state of mind, or attitude. Actually, simply accumulating items brought joy.
Recently in one of my "purge modes" I opened my Joy Box. It overflowed with stuff and had even more piled on top of it. Maybe there are some things I can let go. The cards, notes, and letters from people who no longer are with us on this earth were especially precious. Reading their words and sentiments in their own penmanship, some especially beautiful, brought joy.
Notes and letters from former students made my heart smile. These included notes of thanks, sharing what they were doing, or planning to do in their lives. Even a few poured out their hearts... because they felt comfortable and safe trusting me with their most personal thoughts.
There were cards and notes of many kinds from family, friends, and colleagues - congratulations, encouragements, thinking of you kinds of messages, to name a few. It crossed my mind if I took the time to chronologically order everything, it would be like a timeline journal of 25+ years. Wow!
Confession - It was a pleasant activity, but I did not remove much during that purge project. In fact, what I did take out were pages or clips of inspiration that I'd cut out or jotted down - even some duplicates! These were moved to my "Inspiration" file. It's just hard letting good stuff go. But then, joy and inspiration are good things to hang on to. Can't argue with that!