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I started a Joy Log

Fear got the best of me lately, and I worked way too much for my own good.

As I was feeling generally anxious and worried, my baseline was changing. I could no longer feel joyful for no reason – just because I am.

I want to appreciate every moment because I know what it feels like. But I also know I can’t force anything, and certainly not how and what I feel.

So I thought I could just notice what brings me joy when I happen to feel it.

How it works for me

  1. I have a Markdown note (nerd, I know) on my smartphone.
  2. Every day, I write a line with the date and make a list.
  3. Whenever something makes me joyful, I jot it down.

The list could be empty, either because:

I am only three days in, but so far none of the above happened (yet).

Benefits and ideas

Maybe the best thing is that now I am on the lookout for my joy.

I think that’s the main reason I have always found at least one item each day.

Speaking of which, I have never come to terms with having to write 3, 5, 10, N “things I’m grateful for”. What if I don’t have that many?

You find them, that’s the whole point – some would say, and I’m sure it can be a perfectly valid advice. I do see the potential gains, but also the risks.

You can’t find what’s not there, and you risk fabricating it – that’s what I’d say. I want to get real. I want to feel, not to fill (a list).

(This reminds me of vanity metrics: it’s all too easy to fixate on the numbers, losing sight of what matters most. See Leo Babauta’s post, minimal web.)

By the way, I want to clarify that I love lists, and they do bring me joy.

Also, my joy log brings me joy, and this alone makes it worth it.