Saturday, December 7, 2013

DOING THE DANCE OF JOY

I celebrate a lot. Because as I once famously told a classroom of seniors, having stolen the line from someone (although I can’t remember who), “We don’t go out of this world the same way we came in.” Which was my way of saying, eat the birthday cake and get a pony or whatever it is that makes you joyful. (I give a version of that line to Jenna Samuels in next year’s The A-Word, by the way. Just to throw out a shameless promotional plug.)

Point being: Life is weird and short. It throws curveballs at us on a regular basis. To paraphrase John Bender from The Breakfast Club, “It’s an imperfect world. Screws fall out all the time.”

So celebrate! Do the Dance of Joy. (stole that one from Joss Whedon) Make some noise. Because tomorrow things might suck. Possibly in five minutes. Eat the damn cupcake already! Light a sparkler!

How do I celebrate the good stuff? Nothing particularly extravagant most of the time. Homemade food. A cup of Starbucks coffee because it costs just enough too much to make me feel celebratory—as long as I don’t have one every day. Inviting friends over/going out with friends/talking to friends. Allowing myself (even if I’ve got crazy deadlines and am panicking) the luxury of an evening with fuzzy socks, a blanket, red wine, and a movie/tv show. Reading a book I’ve wanted to read. Buying/making a gift for people I love. Taking a walk and getting my thoughts in order. (Yes, this is a form of celebration for me. These days when I get a new book contract, I wait a bit before I spread the news, and not just because my agent has told me to keep it quiet. But because it’s nice to have it be just mine for a bit. Thanking my imagination and my tenacity and some lucky timing and whatever it took internally to write something that someone else was willing to pay me money for. That’s huge. And a quiet, private celebration makes me aware of what it took to get there.

What am I currently celebrating? In no particular order:

  1. My brilliant editors who care deeply about the work I do, about making it shine, about publishing it well. Currently I celebrate my editors at Soho Press and Balzer and Bray!
  2. Our current state of general health. We’ve had some ups and downs in our family in that regard this past year, and so when everyone’s smiling and feeling chipper, it’s a good day.
  3. The fact that I am still working at a job I love. In the past few years, I’ve learned how rare that is (I really didn’t know), and so I know it’s worth cheering for.
  4. Our son and daughter in law—who found each other and are making a lovely little life for themselves with Bernie the wonder dog. Cheers to that.
  5. The people I am honored to hang out with: readers and writers and friends old and new. I CELEBRATE them and all they bring to my life.

I could go on. But that’s a good start. 

What are you celebrating and how? Let me know!



9 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Husband and I quote from Breakfast Club like all the time.

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  2. Great post, Joy! Love "eat the damn cupcake already." I just might.

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  3. You have a lot to celebrate, Joy! And I'm totally all about the celebrating with Starbucks.

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    1. Seriously, there is JUST SOMETHING about those red holiday cups that makes my heart beat a little faster. Which is ridiculous, I know. But nonetheless true. Aren't we all a little sad when they go back to the regular white ones in January?

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  4. Very nice!! I bet your seniors think you're a great teacher! Re "Do the Dance of Joy", so I love Joss Whedon, but when I read that, my first thought was of Cousin Larry and Balki from Perfect Strangers. :-)

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