Deep Joy

     My son and I enjoy a show from the BBC called the Reassembler. It features James May, of Top Gear fame, putting stuff back together. We enjoy May's manner and banter as he reassembles things, including debating the difference between a bolt and a screw and playing Twinkle, Twinkle on his wrenches with a rubber mallet. I've been reflecting on one of his sayings. He'll look at something or feel something after it's been re-assembled and calmly explain, "deep joy...". 

     Why have I been thinking about this? Well, this is the first time since I graduated from college when one of my primary income sources has not been in one of the fields I studied. I had a task before me today that might seem tedious but it was relaxing and the process brought me deep joy. I don't know if it would if I did the task everyday, but for today it did. Got me thinking about other things that bring me deep joy.

     I like to fix stuff. When something I've tinkered with works (after I've tinkered with it), that brings me deep joy. When an engine runs after I've fixed it, that brings me deep joy. When I use foul language in the process of fixing something, it reduces my stress level and brings me deep joy. Well, it helps me on my path to deep joy. 

     I like it when the dog is behaving. If he comes when I call him, deep joy. If he  jumps on me in the morning and then falls off the bed because he's being a bozo, deep joy. When he curls up beside me on the couch, deep joy.

     Music brings me deep joy. Singing does, always has, and always will, more than just about anything I can think of. If you know me, you know I'm quick to sing and slow to stop. The process of learning music, writing music, and sharing music brings me deep joy, so deep that I'm not always conscious of it. Making music, especially with my son, brings me deep joy. 

     Being a father brings me deep joy, even in the frustrating bits. When he succeeds, when he fails then figures it out, when he smiles, when he shares a story or thought, all these things bring me deep joy. Deep joy comes from knowing this cool person, as it seems you always have. Deep joy comes from the excitement of seeing what's next. 

     Sailing and being on (and under) the water brings me deep joy. I can't explain the feeling I get when I'm sailing but it feels right, like an old shoe. Sometimes the shoe gives you a blister but that's probably because you had a wrinkle in your sock. 

     What do all these things have in common? That's really what I was thinking about today. All of these things are processes, journeys, experiences. They aren't static and it isn't about the destination, it's about enjoying what got you there. A fixed engine will get you places, but fixing an engine will take you places. A dog is the best kind of friend, one that only wants to hang out and have you throw him the ball. He'll come back, eventually, because you're the one he wants to curl up with on the couch. Music is always a journey, and always exciting. The waters never stay the same, there's always nuance. Kids grow older, and you get to enjoy all kinds of different things with them.

     I have a challenge for you. What brings you deep joy? Think about it and the answer might surprise you. An hour in your hammock might be one of your many things, as I know it is mine.