Friday, October 16, 2009

The Joy Diet - Desire

I am late with this post. I have not accomplished a visual to go with it. But this chapter was really important to me.

I worried beforehand, before reading this menu item, that it would not be about me. I felt like I was in a pretty good place in my life. In your 60's, if you're lucky, you might feel like you have the basic things that you want out of life. For me that means a good partner, kids who have more or less settled in their lives, health, grandchildren nearby, interesting things to do, some passion about work, supportive friends, enough money to take care of necessities and some wants.

But when I read Martha's description about figuring out what we really want, I realized that I did still have some unfulfilled desires. That there were things worth digging around for.

Let me tell you how this hit me.

The reason this post is so late is that I went to visit an aunt who lives at some distance for over a week. While there, I had no access to my usual supports - friends, computer, routines - and limited access to other family. I took my Joy Diet Book and notebook with me to try to keep up my practice. In the midst of some rather barren days, I found that working with this chapter stirred up some juices, got me thinking excitedly about things that I'd like to make happen for myself.

My aunt lost her husband over a year ago. He was a dear, they'd been together for a long time. Now she sees nothing in her future. When I asked her what she might look forward to, she cited a couple of tv shows. I'm sure that if she were able to work with a book like this earlier, she might be in a very different place in her life. I've seen how dead a life is without desire. And I'm not going to give it up.


  1. Yes, an interesting thing. Has she given all up? All things she WANTS? Or her creativity?
    How sad is a life, when all you are looking for are some TV shows.

    Lately I thought about a real dark time in my life, where everyday was full of doubts, boredom, loss. I made some wrong decisions and it seemed a complete waste of time.
    But then I realized, that during all this time, I was always doing things, that mean so much to me: needlework, writing, singing, dancing, reading, astrology etc. So it was no waste of time.
    If you are creative, there is always this in your life. No matter how old you are. You have always this.

  2. You're right - I think if you value creativity, you will always find something to ponder and appreciate, even in darker times. I think for my aunt and people like her, they somehow got lost. I believe all people start out being creative - you watch most children and see it in abundance. You meet very dull people in life and wonder what happened to them. My aunt has been excessively imprisoned by "shoulds". For her, it seems it is too late to change. Her desire is gone.

  3. Perhaps you'll set an example -- as you nurture your own desires and find joy, your aunt will learn. Take very good care of yourself!

  4. I agree with Kathryn. Your aunt may have a chance, particularly if you share your experiences with her. And as for you, keep getting in touch with desire, it really is a life-affirming focus that bring joy and purpose to our lives.

  5. true we have to be more than just the people around us......remaining true to ourselves regardless. Life gets in the way sometimes though and that makes it very difficult and before you know it our lives revolve around other people or things and we have become lost in the midst. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! I do appreciate that!