Joy.

I’ll never forget this time.

It’s weird to *know* when you’re living history. I mean sure, we document our lives and we all have a history. But to know we are living moments, memories, times that will actually be in a history book? Something that our children and grandchildren will read about?

Man.

Something weirder is that I can without a doubt say that this has been the worst and best time of my life.

Someone compared the feeling to grief, and I think that’s not a far cry from it. We’ve all lost something here. But we’ve also gained something else in the process.

When the numbers of covid cases started creeping up in the world, when it finally made it’s way into the United States, when the first case showed up in Kokomo, when Kokomo announced the closure of the schools, when the city posted an ordinance of the temporary closure of all non-essential businesses…it felt like my life was over.

Last year was so good to us. So good that I cried. so. stinking. much. because I couldn’t believe that this was our life and because I was so scared to lose it. It was so good, that it was too good.

I must have told Jon this a million times about how scared I was for it all to end. For it to be gone. For something to finally swoop in and ruin our happily ever after.

Thoughts the last couple weeks:

“This is it. This is what I’ve been fearing.”

“The other shoe has finally dropped”

“How are we going to tell the kids?”

“How am I going to teach the kids?”

“What if one of us dies?”

“What if someone we know dies?”

“How are we going to keep our kids safe?”

“How are we going to keep each other safe?”

“How am I going to keep my business from going under?”

“How are all of our small business friends going to recover?”

“How is Kokomo(which has FINALLY started to grow) going to recover?”

“How are WE going to recover?”

Needless to say, the inside of my head has not been a pleasant place to live. I’ve been crabby, moody, and walking around feeling pretty much hopeless.

But wouldn’t you know it. After about a week something started creeping on in, just like she always does.

Joy.

I didn’t think she would come around. I’ve been pretty unhappy the last two weeks. But as I was sitting the other day in my own pitty party, praying, trying to squeeze in just a few minutes of silence after what had been an overwhelming day, and wondering how we were going to get through this, that still small voice showed up.

“Jessica. If you had chosen to take this time off, you’d have been happy about it.”

Dang it.

Don’t you hate it when you realize that you’ve been sour for no reason? Or said something angrily to someone and then realize that YOU are the one that made the mistake?

If you told me that I’d get to take off three weeks to spend with my kids, to do the things that I love, to make homemade play dough, to play in the dirt, to race paper boats, to catch up on the endless pile of laundry, to read a book, to take a long bath, to have fun…I would have been overjoyed.

But because this was something out of my control and something that significantly impacts our family financially, I was hopeless.

Two weeks ago, I was handed a gift.

Just because it’s a bad time, doesn’t mean it isn’t a good time too. Joy can be found in any place, regardless of our circumstances. We just have to look for her.

Joy

She found me. Because I let her.

And I’m so glad I did.