I try not to let other people’s stress and negativity affect and drag me down, but sometimes it’s difficult. I was feeling so relaxed and cheerful the other day when I arrived at work. My status on Facebook said something like, “Suck every moment of joy out of this day!” What I meant by that was - look for the joy in everything and relish it as much as you can! And as I drove to work I found great joy in the sunshine, the birds, the trees, the flowers, all of it - because that was what I had put my mind and attitude to. Then I got to school and within the first hour of the day students were angrily telling me how much they hate math. On one level, I do understand that, but in reality, it doesn’t matter how much they hate it, they still have to do it. Math is a necessary evil and my job is to try to make it easier for them as much as I can. It is the end of the year and we have been through it all before and I realized I am tired of arguing with them to get them to complete their assignments. I had to walk to the window for a few moments of gazing to recharge my joy-seeker.
“HA!” I thought, ironically, “They did. They DID suck every moment of joy out of my day!!” But the boomerang effect of that made me laugh. And then I started thinking about how the status had a double meaning and that seemed really funny. And then I started being thankful I am alive, in spite of the negative things I have to deal with. If I really think it through, there is usually an upside to every downer. My students who hate math are learning math in spite of themselves. I believe God has gifted me to teach and I see the results. People are difficult, and my apartment manager is no exception - but I am glad my daughter can learn how to handle frustrating situations like this one with me by her side.
I find sometimes I really have to dig deep and search and squeeze and work hard to find joy, but it is always there to be found. I would rather be a person who brings hope and light and happiness to others than be a joy-sucker who takes the fun out of everything. My early-morning times alone with God rejuvenate and prepare me for whatever I will face. In a supernatural way He overcomes the negative assaults of the world and replaces them with His positive glimmers of joy and peace. So even though it might seem for a short time like the joy has been sucked out of my day - I can turn that around and take it right back!