Sprinting down the street singing

One of the major themes of Yay! Pigeons is “the wholehearted pursuit of joy”. The wording of the phrase is rather important because even the most joyful person faces adversity and sorrow. You can design your life so that joy comes to visit often and sits in your kitchen sipping coffee. Even so, sometimes you have to chase that sucker down the street to get back to your happy place. You also have to know when not to be joyful. If something truly terrible has happened it’s important to feel the sorrow before moving on. Joy isn’t about nailing a false smile onto a sad face.

How do you invite joy back when you’re ready? I find that joy leaves little bits of itself around the house, almost like someone you’re dating. If you can find these bits you can reconnect and lure joy back into your life. I often find these traces in music. I love doo-wop music and I find it usually cheers me up. It’s also truly difficult to stay morose while singing along to cheerful show tunes. In the past I made myself mix tapes that had a soundtrack to cheer me up. Now I’ve got a couple of playlists on iTunes. Make these in advance so that they’re ready when you need them.

I’ve also had really good luck searching for cheerful music on YouTube when I’m feeling down. Occasionally I post on my Facebook wall that I need a song (or video) to cheer me up and my friends provide the most wonderful things. I’ve found some real favorites this way. It’s amazing what’s out there when you start to look. You need to tailor this tip to the songs that work for you. I’ll stick with my show tunes because the sun will come out tomorrow, and grey skies are going to clear up, so it’s time to put on that happy face. I’ll even lace up my sneakers if I have to. I’ll be ready for the next time I have to pursue joy down the street.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
259. What songs cheer you up? Where do you find joy pretty much every time you look? Make yourself a playlist of music or a list of joyful activities that you can pull out next time you need it. You might even try listening to that happy music right now–it can take a joyful moment and put it one notch higher.

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