As I took my dog Bear for a walk on this first day of June, I realized that summer has arrived in all of its glory. The light breeze; the glorious warm rays of glistening sun basking my face; the scent of the jasmine in bloom; the periwinkle color of the Jacaranda tree; the sound of dogs barking; the sight of children playing; the scent of the barbeque grill; the sounds of the bees pollinating the trees; the pure, cloudless blue sky; the bright, colorful flowers; the perfect SoCal weather — these and so many other blessings are bringing me joy today.
These small little pleasures also take me back in time to my youth, to summer days filled with running barefoot through the slip and slide, staying up late playing with the neighborhood kids while our parents barbequed, going swimming, eating ice cream, jumping in the car and going on long drives with the family, having sleepovers, playing 'camp director' to the neighborhood kids, helping my Mom bake, playing tennis and simply being 'free'.
As an adult some of the freedom I experienced as a child no longer exists, as the demands of work, business, home and family are at the core of my daily routine. However, I have found ways as a 'grown-up kid' to integrate some of these joyful pleasures into my life.
Last night, for example, my husband and I took some 'time off' (as we both continue to work even on the weekends) and met friends at a local annual street festival, where our friends' band was playing. It was the perfect summer night in Southern California, and everyone was in a festive mood while kicking off summer. We indulged with some beer and a giant polish sausage with all of the fixings, setting our 'healthy eating' guilt to the side just for the night.
We spent the evening celebrating summer with friends and (maybe having a couple more glasses of wine than usual). We ended the night at a local dive bar around the corner, where my girlfriends and I danced two hours straight with 30 of our new BFFs while the guys chilled at the bar. I felt like I was back in college, completely 'free' as my body moved to the music and I tried to keep up with my friends! I stopped to take it all in and enjoy the moment of experiencing pure fun with the people I love. This is what joy is, I thought!
Here is Merriam-Webster's definition of joy:
: a feeling of great happiness
: a source or cause of great happiness : something or someone that gives joy to someone
: success in doing, finding or getting something
We encourage you to be 'Joyful in June' and share with us all the ways you celebrate life's little pleasures that bring you and others great joy. Here's to a great summer and a Joyful June !