Joy in Pocketfuls

Symantha's Talking Therapy

If a little thing gives you joy, note it, save it, and put it in your pocket.

I recall, during a particularly dark period of my life, sitting by a window on a rainy autumn day.

The reasons for my low mood are not relevant to my sharing this memory, suffice it to say, I felt unhappy, lost and my situation felt hopeless.

As I sat there watching the raindrops dribble in streams down the window pane I became transfixed. 

I’ve always been a bit of a magpie. I’m drawn to things that sparkle and shine. Enjoying the light of the morning dancing in tiny rivulets of water that shimmered and sparkled on the cold glass, I found myself transported.

Remembering Raindrop Races.

Suddenly, I was a little girl again and my eyes were seeking out the two heaviest raindrops at the top of the pane. And citing one as my favourite, “ready, steady…. GO”, I watched as they raced down the pane. Converging with other drops of water as they gathered pace, I smiled in pleasure as my champion droplet hit the bottom and disappeared into the wood of the window frame outside. I was triumphant. For a moment I knew no pain, nor fear or uncertainty. Just for a moment. 

I don’t consciously remember playing raindrop races as a child. But I am sure that I was transported back to a time when I did.

The whole process lasted maybe one minute.

But in that one minute, my spirit shifted and lifted. 

In that one minute, I forgot my troubles.

In that one minute, I felt good.

It was only one minute, but I had noticed it.

Notice And Nurture.

And because I’d noticed it, I could reflect on it. Make it bigger, brighter and seem to last longer. 

I squirrelled the moment away as a minute of joy that I had put it in my pocket and could pull it out and feel again at any time.

A moment of escapism could be achieved this way. During any rainy day. (And we have plenty of them in the UK). I just had to recall my raindrop joy and take time out, to watch a raindrop race.

Reader, please understand, my situation had not changed. I still felt sad and powerless but I now had a happy secret. No one could stop me from having moments of happiness. Even if they were so small as to be unremarkable to anyone else. A moment of pure joy that was mine, that I could keep safe. That others could not touch.

I started making a point of noting any brief moments of hope and happiness that came my way  in many and varied forms; the smiles of my young daughters, the wind on my face, a song that I love coming unexpectedly on the radio, catching a leaf on the breeze to name but a few.

I Filled My Pockets Full!

This was the genesis of my saying “I take my joy in pocketfuls”. 

It is my response when people ask how I am doing during difficult times. It is more authentic than “I am fine” because in hard times I’m usually not feeling fine but that doesn’t mean I am without joy. I do have joy, even if small enough to put in my pocket.

It is my response when people ask how I can always seem so happy. 

Even when less than a minute long and only the size of a raindrop, moments that make me smile, or transport me somewhere else are given weight and substance.  They may only be little scraps of joy but I own them.

These days, I have collected so many pocketfuls of joy that I could stuff several hundred duvet’s, or knit each moment into a scarf  that could wrap the world several times over.

I am truly blessed, I know.

But there was a time when I didn’t feel blessed and during that time, I learnt to take my joy in pocketfuls. And “joy in pocketfuls” got me through.

Take my advice or leave it, but I thoroughly recommend that you do not dismiss even a nano-moment of relief or fleeting happiness. Notice it, hold it close, magnify it, feel it’s warmth. 

Like crumbs, each moment will stave off starvation until you are back in a place where joy is more abundant.

And even when you  have so much joy you can practically swim in the stuff, always take time to notice the little joys and appreciate the small moments too. 

An ocean is made of a billion droplets, if all the droplets evaporate, the ocean dries. 

With a smile and warm regards,

Symantha x