How to choose joy

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

There was a list at least three pages long of things he hadn’t done the way I wanted them – when I wanted them. Important things, like getting rid of that eyesore of an aquarium and taking millions of water bottles to the recycling bin.

So, I set off for work with this list running through my head and about the time I hit Lake Avenue I saw these three women out exercising. I probably wouldn’t have noticed them except that they were dancing as they walked.

I smiled and thought it was nice that someone was having a good morning. And then, I had the little thought: Maybe they’ve just decided to dance anyway.

I pushed the thought aside. I had a lot to figure out before I made it to work, and I was hungry. There was that to think about, too.

Halfway to work, I pulled into a drive-thru and got out my wallet while I waited on the person in the car ahead of me to order.

I found no cash.

No debit card.

No credit card.

And I had no packed lunch for the day.

I turned the car around and drove home, sure to sigh heavily when I opened the door and asked my husband for the card. It was a simple miscommunication, but it meant my early-to-work day changed to a 15-minutes-late-to-work day.

I got back in my car and back on Lake Avenue and I saw the three women again. Their dancing had slowed a bit but they were still smiling and laughing. Good for them, I thought as I drove a little faster.

I was over a bridge and almost to halfway to work again when I noticed a man who looked like he was walking to work. As I passed him, though, I saw his head bobbing and his shoulders swaying. I caught him in my rearview mirror just to be sure.

Yes. He was dancing.

I rolled my eyes and took a deep breath. Maybe there’s something to all this dancing – all this joy. Nobody’s life hangs in the balance if I turn on my computer 15 minutes later than expected. I can love my husband even if the recycling takes another day, I thought.

So, I turned up the radio. And I chose joy.