“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress of vex her.” Jane Austen, Emma
I am stuck in a bit of a funk, friends.
Discouraged and frustrated, I find smiles a little forced and laughter a bit of a chore. I don’t know why this is. Today the sun is shining and the air is balmy with the salty scent of the ocean and I feel like crying for no reason.
I hesitate to share these feelings, afraid of sounding hollow and shallow and fishing for encouragement. I’m not overly prone to put myself out there like this because it makes me feel a little too exposed. But there is some relief that comes from admitting that life isn’t always a musical.
Or maybe it is and this is just one of those sad interludes where you want to get up and go to the bathroom and come back when everybody is happy and tap dancing in the sunshine again.
I don’t know why I’m down. Maybe I’m tired. Perhaps swirling hormones have knocked me off balance. Maybe I’m still getting used to the new schedule, still hoping and praying that sending the kids to school was the right choice. Maybe I’m overwhelmed, though I don’t feel a bit stressed. I just feel…down.
Life is full of blessings and there is so much joy to be had. We are healthy and blessed. I’m counting those blessings today and reminding myself to choose joy. While happiness in this thing called life is not a guarantee and cannot always be grasped, joy is a choice. I can wallow in my invisible frustrations, in the unknown things that leave me glum, or I can choose joy.
I can waffle in a puddle of self-doubt and waver under the banner of feeling like I’m always a step behind, or I can choose to look at all the joyful things that surround me right now, at this moment.
A steaming mug of green tea.
A building full of books all teaming with imagination and dreams.
Clean hair thanks to a hot shower this morning.
A computer that (mostly) works and allows me to connect and pour out my heart to the rhythm of a clicking keyboard.
A few moments of quiet in which to read my Bible and lose myself in Jane Austen’s fantastic world.
I bought three new Jane Austen books today…and a book on Albert Einstein. Random? Yes, I know, but I found the book too intriguing to pass up and upon reading the first few pages, I am so glad I bought it.
I came to the bookstore with a plan to stock up on Jane Austen goodies. I’m going to admit something shameful right now. I have never read an entire Jane Austen novel. I started Mansfield Park in college and upon getting distracted (so many cute boys!), I put it down and never picked it up again.
I’ve seen the movies, but we all know those aren’t the same thing.
I’m going to lose myself this weekend and hope that the written word will pull me from my funk and give me a fresh confidence in my own ability to pen words worth reading. And above all else, I will choose joy this weekend.
May your holilday weekend be filled with family, friends, grace and joy, everyone. Happy Friday to you all.
PS: Which one should I read first?