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Joy… debunked!

As my children relished in their ever-growing egg stash last weekend, I felt a pang of what can only be described as...hard-done-by-ness, let’s say, at my own comparatively meagre treat haul!

By way of a solution, I took the opportunity whilst on an impromptu shopping trip, to bee-line for something baked and frosting-topped that might take the edge of this burgeoning (and somewhat misplaced) egg-envy!

This moment of cake-and-coffee-shaped victory - it was just one of many so-called ‘short but sweets’ which just so happened to pepper this otherwise blurrily chaotic Easter weekend landscape.

Among the other noteworthy delights..

Cute farm animals

Blossoming flowers

Melted butter on jacket potatoes

I was thinking, off the back of this list, about why it is that acknowledging how lovely something is (that in-the-moment glow that descends when you take a first sip of coffee in the morning, for example) often has a habit ebbing the flow of the very joy that it’s intended to celebrate?

It’s a curious phenomenon, really, and one that I’m sure has a complex psychological explanation. One that I’ll not purport to fully understand.

What I can say, however, is that the last weekend has underscored perfectly this theory of joy as a fickle, fleeting candyfloss-like emotion.

An emotion which is no sooner tasted….as dissolved.

It begs the question, whether it is better to sit with the joy from a distance, rather than tip-toe in for a closer look, and risk it bolting like a frightened fawn into the cerebral ibis.

Joy, after all, seems to suffer a kind of stage fright. It dances like nobody’s watching… until somebody is watching.

This little idiosyncrasy is - I’ve no doubt - part of what keeps us hooked on the ‘drug’ of joy.

It breadcrumbs us. Giving us just enough to believe in its existence, but not enough that the ‘happy hit’ ever has a chance to lose its clout.

The fact that joy consistently proves so elusive and non-committal, makes it all too easy to disappear down the rabbit hole of self-blame .

'It’s me. Hi. I’m the problem, it’s me!'

As Taylor Swift would say!

In reality, however, the fragility of joy, and its innate come-and-go nature, is entirely to blame for why reality often feels so far from the laugh-a-minute benchmark social media (in part) has set.

On a positive note, it’s also the reason that sitting down to the same coffee, with the same cake, in the same coffee shop - it never ceases to thrill, even if only for one hot, blissfully-aware-yet-unaware minute!

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