This is how you chase joy (while avoiding traffic fines)
Life is hard. We all know that. Hell, I've spent most of myletting people know that it's okay to find life hard.
Relationships are hard. Parenthood is hard. Loss is hard. Just being alive is hard.
But life is absolutely full of joy, too, and we have to remember to seek out and grab those joyful moments whenever we can.
Today, my kids and I chased an ice cream truck. Oh yes we did. We were driving home after a morning outing, and none of us were in particularly good moods. My son had homework to do, I had a pile of laundry to deal with, and my girls were tired after a late night.
And then, as we took the winding road down the hill to our street, we saw it.
"An ice cream truck!" shouted my daughter.
"Ice cream! Ice cream!" shouted the four year old.
"Let's follow it!" shouted my son.
My instinctive response was to say no. We had to get home. We had work to do. And besides, it's dangerous to chase another vehicle - even if it is dispensing iced confection.
But the kids were so excited, and I suddenly thought, why the hell not? This is one of those moments. Grab it, enjoy, and be joyful.
And so I followed that truck. It wasn't easy, because I wasn't prepared to break the speed limit*, and we almost lost the truck, twice. But I hung in there, the kids screaming with delight as we changed lanes, turned corners, and kept it in our sights.
The truck took a highly circuitous route, keeping us all on our toes, and ended up at the beach. As it came to a halt we all cheered, triumphant, the actual ice cream less important than the thrill of the chase.
The kids jumped out of the car and ran to the van, returning with giant sprinkle cones with Flake. It wasn't even lunchtime and the cones were bigger than their heads, but I didn't bat an eyelash.
This morning was joy. Pure joy. I didn't care about the inappropriateness of eating ice cream before lunch. I didn't care about the melted ice cream dripping in my car. I didn't care about the Flakes smearing all over three tee shirts. And I didn't care about the exorbitant cost of soft serve cones. It was joy. Pure joy. And we will all remember it.
It was the day we chased the ice cream truck.
Seek some joy for yourself. TODAY.
*because I have no points left on my license am a very safe driver
Kerri is a Sydney-based writer. Her first book, When My Husband Does The Dishes... A Memoir of Marriage & Motherhood (Random House Australia, 2011) is available in all good bookstores, or online here. Her second book, The Little Book Of Anxiety - Confessions From A Worried Life (Random House, 2012) is also available everywhere, and online here.