When I first agreed to write this blog entry, the topic sounded fantastic. Brain dump. Write about what’s on your mind right now. Easy, right?
Not that there isn’t plenty going on in my life. There is. But, put simply, most of it is too personal to detail in such a public forum. And so I’m left wondering what I can offer you for the next few minutes that will satisfy my obligations without compromising the privacy of my family.
A joke perhaps? Because I’ve heard plenty this week, thanks to my eight-year-old who has delighted us with ones he’s found in one of his school books. Things like:
What did the blanket say to the person? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
I know, I know…it’s one we’ve all heard before, but I’d gladly hear it a hundred times over just to see the look of pure delight on his face as he delivered the punchline. He was so pleased with himself, even managing to make Master 11 laugh (usually he just rolls his eyes) and before we knew it he was reciting every joke he’d managed to memorise from the book. Yes, they were all corny, but it wasn’t the quality of the material that had us all laughing.
It was his joy.
You see, joy is infectious. Especially a child’s joy, because it comes from a place of innocence. As adults, we get caught up in the rigours and responsibilities of being ‘grown-up’. There’s bills to pay. Deadlines to meet. Pressures mount. We get overburdened and tired and grumpy. It’s easy to get lost in the demands of adulthood. But when you watch a child try to pop soap bubbles, or hear them inventing a new way to slay the make-believe dragon, or watch their face as they tell you a corny joke, they are reminding us that there is joy to be found even in the smallest things.
One of my favourite quotes comes from theologian Henri J.M. Nouwen:
Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy, and keep choosing it every day.
Life can be tough. We all know it. But we all have a choice in terms of how we respond to the things that life throws at us.
Me? I’m choosing joy.
I hope you will too.
Melanie Coles is an author of contemporary and rural/small town romantic fiction and is a member of Romance Writers of Australia and Writers Victoria.
Her love affair with the written word is long. While other children spent their lunchtimes climbing tyre walls or playing kiss-chasey, Melanie spent hers in the library with either her nose in a book, a pen in her hand or her head in the clouds. Throughout her school years she wrote countless stories, only to lose her writing mojo sometime after high school. Thankfully she rediscovered it in the dead of night some twenty years later and now juggles writing with family life and her work as an Executive Assistant.
Her first book Evan and Darcy: An Aussie Tale of Pride and Prejudice sees Jane Austen's beloved tale reimagined in a fresh and unique way - with gender reversals for the main characters and the setting transported to modern-day country Victoria. It will be published in e-book format in 2016 by Escape Publishing.
A hopeless romantic, Melanie is addicted to chocolate and happily-ever-afters, and may also have an obsession with Jane Austen novels. She resides in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges in Melbourne, Australia with her musician husband, two sports-crazed sons and a ginger cat named Jack.
You can connect with Melanie via: