Cheryl's Blog

Never postpone joy

I stood at the kitchen sink rinsing plates and putting them in the dishwasher when I noticed a familiar train of thought laying tracks in my head. Let’s see, I told myself, I’m done paying bills, balancing the bank accounts, and cleaning up the kitchen, so now I can make a cup of tea and finish reading my book.

Sounds harmless enough, except that it was the third time in a week that I caught myself acting as if I could only do what I wanted to do once work was done. It’s an old paradigm, a holdout from the stage of life dedicated to generation, accomplishment, and hard work. But now, in this new stage – the wisdom years – I have to keep reminding myself:

You don’t have to earn your joy.

So, I sat down in the living room, pulled a blanket over my lap, and spent the next hour finishing my most recent favorite book. As I turned the final page, I closed my eyes in an effort to hold onto the magic of the experience. My back and hips told me I’d been sitting in the same position too long but I didn’t want to break the spell by getting up to stretch.

Late to the party, I finished “The Overstory” by Richard Powers, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel published in 2018. It tells the story of nine people from different walks of life joined together by their relationship with trees. These days, I’m spending more time with books than with my phone or computer and it’s been such a source of joy. Powers’ book has some of the most beautiful lines I’ve ever encountered and it’s a master class in writing and storytelling that left me baffled by the creative genius of some human beings.

You don’t have to earn your joy. 

You don’t have to live by rules that no longer serve you. 

You don’t need to worry about life falling apart when you decide to make pleasure a priority. 

These are the words I’ll need to reread in order to lay new neural tracks that serve this beautiful stage – the year when “never postpone joy” became the opening line to a new chapter in my life.


P.S. – Check out the audiobook/workshop called Self Care for the Wisdom Years available through Audible. You can learn more here.



Photo by Jaime Winton – an Etsy artist