Joy to the world

When washing dishes or conducting other cleanup work around the kitchen, I am inclined to use liquid Joy detergent. What a strange name for a soap product. Especially when I find it hard to believe that anyone is likely to be joyous about participating in the types of activities for which it was invented.

But Joy is a great word, don’t you think? It seems to me to suggest an emotion more desirable than simple happiness, but maybe one step below pure elation. For example, one might find it “joyful” to participate in certain activities, such as sports and dinner parties, whereas one is more likely to be “elated” to learn that the mole on one’s butt is benign. There may be parents out there who named a newborn daughter “Joy” because mama had birthed four boys in a row prior to her arrival on the scene—and “Elated” or “Finally!” or “At last, at last…!” just doesn’t work for a girl’s name.

And joy can sometimes elicit Joyful noises, too. These might include oohs and aahs when viewing a work of art or the singing of Christmas carols, such as the one I borrowed for my title. One may utter joyful noises upon the return of a long departed loved one—or the departure of one not so loved.

We also tend to use a variation of this word to indicate that we have “enjoyed” something—usually, an activity. I enjoy cooking on the weekends, but I am not elated about it.

And then there are those wonderful “joyous occasions.” These are, of course, affairs that tend to bring felicity to the hearts of those involved. And, I am pleased to say, there are many of them. For example, weddings are often referred to as “joyous occasions.” And here are some more occasions that can bring good cheer and pure delight into our lives: your thirty-year old son has moved out of the basement and into his own apartment; your three-year old is finally potty-trained; your foul-mouthed, fat, obnoxious, stogie-puffing next-door neighbor has moved out and sold his home to a gorgeous, single woman; having your wife not know how you feel about your new neighbor; not dying for a cigarette when you cannot have one; retiring and moving to Florida; not retiring, but moving to Florida; quitting a job you hate; getting a job you love; your spouse getting a job (any job); saying goodbye to your in-laws, who have been “visiting” for threee weeeks; buying a boat; selling a boat; graduating; being eighty years of age and waking up in the morning; recovering your lost smart-phone; learning from the HVAC repairman that you will not have to spend your vacation money on a new air conditioning unit for your home; being pregnant; not being pregnant; winning the lottery.

Everybody needs a little joy in their lives now and then. We seek it out whenever and wherever we can. And we all love to share it. So, stay on the lookout for opportunities to bring a little joy into your life and the lives of those around you—and not just during the holiday season. It’s always appreciated. I speak from experience.

Well, I have to quit now and go finish the dinner dishes. Oh, joy.

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