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Last week I had an invitation from a colleague to go for coffee to discuss a couple of work topics. Her text message said, “I found this new place and I really love it. Let’s meet there”.
It was Kuppa Joy in downtown Clovis. After we ordered we eventually moved outdoors to a café table, sipping our expertly made lattes that, at second glance, were also pieces of artwork with small scrolled leaves etched into the froth. The weather was low 80’s, with a bright blue, cloudless sky. As we sat in the sun and spread our papers across the metal table, it crossed my mind that I needed to pause a minute to breathe this in. Was I experiencing calm, happiness, pleasure, joy or all four?
I used to think that if I considered everyday experiences as joyful that I must be “dumbing it down.” As if joy was reserved for an elite class of people, like the audience who won Oprah’s car giveaway, or parents who had just given birth to babies with ten fingers and ten toes, or Ivy League college graduates at the moment they toss their academic caps in the air.
English novelist, Zadie Smith, recently published an essay in the New York Review of books called “Joy”. My opinion about joy, and the frequency of experiencing it, used to match hers. She says that joy is:
“ …. that strange mixture of terror, pain, and delight. Until quite recently I had known joy only five times in my life, perhaps six, and each time tried to forget it soon after it happened, out of the fear that the memory of it would dement and destroy everything else.” From the article “Joy,” by Zadie Smith
As for me, I’ve made a decision to change my point of view about joy. Certainly I will never forget the feeling I had when I peered into the bassinet after my c-section, but I think joy is about human connection. It immediately becomes more plentiful when we take time to notice or take action to create these moments. So yes, that Friday morning in the sun, with Michelle, chatting and sipping vanilla honey flavored espresso and milk brought me joy.
What is your “cup of joy?” Tell us a story about a time you found joy at work or at home. What difference does it make to those around you when you are capturing more of these rare moments for yourself? Reply with your story and list your name to receive a copy of Dr. Tim Sharp’s book “100 Ways to Happiness”. Or simply list your name along with the subject “Bring me a KUPPA JOY.” And, I will.