Sunday, January 13, 2013

Finding Joy

I recently attended a workshop  - the focus of which in part was - finding joy in  your life and making certain to find joy in the life of an individual with a disability.

As a parent of Andrew who is 18 and has autism - finding joy - sometimes is elusive and absent or sadly not even sought after or thought about.

Oftentimes people with disabilities all but disappear from the world at large - they are not seen, heard or dealt with in a way that would bring joy or fulfillment to their lives.

The speaker's words validated what I had felt for so long -- work schedules, tasks and evaluations lend nothing to the the life of someone with a disability and more importantly for the most part most typical persons lives are not centered around joy or surprise either.

We are "work beings" centered on the day to day tasks of just "getting it done" "succeeding" and garnering money and stuff. Different stuff for different people. Does  joy come from financial success? things? I would have to answer for me - no.

while money and financial success may give you peace of mind - a roof over your head and a vehicle to drive, clothes to wear - for  me there is little joy in those pursuits.

So for my son and for others with disabilities who finds the joy for them? How do you measure joy? How do you introduce it into your life? How sad that someone has to tell us to find it in the first place. Shouldn't it be part of the rules of life- take time for joy?

For Andrew who has come from some sad and dark places  in his own emotional life I believe that being involved in something respectful and challenging  gives him a form of joy and most importantly self respect, worthiness and satisfaction. I see smiles and I see  a wanting to engage in activities that make him feel as if he is contributing.   To watch him - to see his reactions to new tasks - new ideas - is to see for him a sense of joy and self worth.

I am happy to be able to help him travel down this road - It is a path less traveled and unknown, but I measure it's success in the form of smiles, happiness and eagerness to be involved. No amount of money would or could make me change this path.

I am grateful for my little business and for all it does for Andrew and I hope that somehow we can touch and improve the lives of others even in a small way by our donations to our local charity.

In the meantime I will continue to seek joy and will make certain  that  when I have the opportunity to engage in activities that can deliver this emotion, I won't turn away - be too busy or otherwise involved in"work" but instead take time to embrace it fully.  I am not certain I know what joy looks like. I have, like many adults, worked myself into a place where Joy is often unrecognizable and would arrive as a stranger at my door. BUT when it does arrive, and I pray it does, I will open the door and invite it in.   So my wish and word for the new year is JOY.


No comments:

Post a Comment