Finding Joy in the Dark

We recently moved. Believe me, I want to tell you why because it was hell, but I just am not ready to do so yet for a couple of reason. First, I’m still recovering, and second, we haven’t quite wrapped up the final details of the move with our former residence yet. Once we’re free, I really look forward to sharing everything. Because whoa.

One of the things that the last place we lived did to me, particularly over the past couple of months, was give me a case of near-agoraphobia. I hated going out because I never knew what I’d come home to and if I’d be able to make it from my car to our door without running into someone.

Now that we’re at the new place, we can go places. I can go places by myself. I still force myself to get off the couch and go, though, because the memories are so fresh and the fear is still bubbling just below the surface that if I go out….

But today I forced myself to get up and run errands. I needed to return a couple of things plus I needed to pick up a couple of things. So I got ready, gathered the returns and the receipts, and got in my car.

After I merged onto the interstate,  a car flew past me. One of the bumper stickers caught my eye.

It looked a lot like this:

dont postpone joy

The reaction was visceral. Tears welled, my heart raced (more than it already was thanks to minor anxiety), and I was MOVED. The car continued on its way and I realized that had I been even 2 seconds later, I would not have seen this perfectly apropos message.

And then I pulled into Sam’s Club for my first return.

I was greeted by this lovely sight:


The owner came out before I got out of my car (the club wasn’t open for us non-business folk just yet). On my way in, I stopped and talked with her for a few minutes. I told her how I had just seen a car with a bumper sticker that said “Don’t Postpone Joy” and how shortly after that, I pulled in to see her van. She was very friendly and open to talking.

She said a lot of people smile at it. “Why not put it on the side of my van? It’s a free billboard!”

She delivers phone books, she said, and sometimes that can irritate people. But when they see the cheerful message, it kind of neutralizes her throwing the phone book in their driveway, etc.

Her inspiration?

Her son received a bracelet with the saying on it and she was quite taken with it. “Why NOT?!?” Her daughter also has a tattoo of the saying on her ankle. (Her son walked up whilst I was talking with her and made a point of telling me about his bracelet. They all seemed quite used to discussing the saying on the side of the van. SO grateful I had the opportunity to talk with all three of them.)

Live. Love. Laugh.

Spray painted on the side of a rickety old van parked in a handicapped spot.

If that’s not proof that there IS joy everywhere you turn…

Don’t postpone your joy.

Go out and live, love, and laugh.

That’s the message the universe sent me this morning.

What an amazing Monday.