So, I wanted to share something…

I haven’t mentioned it on the site, but our family has been dealing with something for the past few years, and it has been very disorienting and emotional and hard to navigate. I had an especially hard time this winter as we were struggling to figure out a new element. I want so, so, so much to talk about it and tell you everything and connect with other parents in similar situations, and maybe I can at some point, but right now, it’s not my story to tell.

But I wanted to at least say something now because when I look at the blog or Instagram, it’s all true (we did throw a fun dinner party, we did go to the beach), those photos show such a small part of the story. And this other thing is going on with one of our children that monopolizes my heart and brain and is the #1 worry that keeps me up at night.

It sometimes helps to realize everyone has their struggles. Everyone. You’re never alone. Behind the scenes, there are career challenges, breakups, breakouts, depression, anxiety, period cramps, illness, financial difficulties, awkward parties, loss, loneliness… and, honestly, that’s not a bad thing. If the goal in life is wholeness, that’s it, right there. :)

How are you feeling these days? Do you have a secret (or not-so-secret) struggle? When life seems consuming, I think about this article’s “thin slices of joy.” Chade-Meng Tan, Google’s former happiness guru, explains his philosophy that happiness doesn’t have to be a constant overarching feeling. It can come as sweet, short moments throughout your day.

“Right now, I’m a little thirsty, so I will drink a bit of water. And when I do that, I experience a thin slice of joy both in space and time,” he told CBC News. “It’s not like ‘Yay!'” he notes in Joy on Demand. “It’s like, ‘Oh, it’s kind of nice.’ ”

Usually these events are unremarkable: a bite of food, the sensation of stepping from a hot room to an air-conditioned room, the moment of connection in receiving a text from an old friend. Although they last two or three seconds, the moments add up, and the more you notice joy, the more you will experience joy, Tan argues. “Thin slices of joy occur in life everywhere… and once you start noticing it, something happens, you find it’s always there. Joy becomes something you can count on.” That’s because you’re familiarizing the mind with joy, he explains.

And The Book of Life agrees that simple things can be the most meaningful:

A pleasure may look very minor – eating a fig, having a bath, whispering in bed in the dark, talking to a grandparent, or scanning through old photos of when you were a child – and yet be anything but: if properly grasped and elaborated upon, these sort of activities may be among the most moving and satisfying we can have.

Whispering in the dark! That’s what life is all about. What are your thin slices of joy these days? Sending a big hug to everyone, and thank you so much for reading and understanding. xoxoxo

P.S. Home as a haven, and my motherhood mantra. Plus, the great quote: “Loneliness does not come from being alone, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important.”

(Top photo by Nicki Sebastian for Cup of Jo. Book of Life article via Joy.)