The Unexpected Occurrence of Joy
4:42, I blinked twice to make sure I had seen the large red numbers correctly. Maybe the chlorine was blurring my vision. Nope, I definitely saw the clock right. We had 18 minutes of practice remaining, yet we had already completed the last challenge written on the board. I looked up at my coach, wondering where the catch was, the big “gotcha”, the deal breaker. There was no possible way practice could be over already. I kept waiting for him to spit out the words “Joe bottom”, or scribble “8×25 No Breath” on the board; some of our hardest sets involving little oxygen. I opened my mouth to question which fate would end my mediocre day, but before I could say anything, he replied “Bye.” Finding joy in little things is what makes life fun.
An enormous smile covered my face; I looked to my teammates, speechless. We had never gotten out of practice early, never. We often stayed late to complete our last set. When it finally sank in that we were officially done, I got out of the pool and started dancing and jumping up and down and repeating over and over, “We’re done, we’re really done!” My coach, along with everyone left on deck, stared at me like I was some kind of idiot. I guess I was kind of acting stupid but I was elated! The agony of what I presumed was replaced by a completely unexpected and undeserved reward. We were done, completely done, yet the clock did not read 5:00.
I believe in taking joy in the unpredictable occurrences of life. No one else thought anything of the event other than being able to take an extra long shower. I raced to the locker room trying to make the most of my, now 15, extra minutes. The simplest thing had changed the entire outlook of my day. If I hurried, I could beat the 5 o’clock rush and snag a garage spot before my brother got home.
No one was as excited as I was that day, but we have all been there at some point. The smallest incident made all the difference. Something totally out of the blue made you smile and laugh. An event so trivial, no one else thought twice about it, but to you, the occurrence was Christmas morning. Things like getting a front row spot in the parking lot, or finding a dollar in your pocket. They are minuscule events, but their power to change you mood is monumental. You don’t plan or expect it to happen, but when it does, you can’t help but smile. I believe in finding joy in little things is what makes life enjoyable.
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