Thursday, October 19, 2017

Day 19 - Joy at Any Age

            (This is part of a 31 day writing challenge, to write on the same topic everyday in October. This series is Joy in the Journey. To read others in this series, click here.)

They were the cutest couple. A short, white-haired husband and wife probably in their mid 80’s, strolling hand-in-hand. My friend and I were eating lunch outside of a restaurant as we watched this sweet couple walk by. They were looking lovingly at each other and smiling. We assumed they were married many years and still had a flirty, close, joyful relationship. My friend turned to me and said, “That is how I want to be with my husband when we are old.”

I gave her a puzzled look but decided not to say anything. Though decades younger than the couple we watched walk by, I had never seen my friend and her husband act like that. I had never seen them hold hands, act flirty or look lovingly in each other’s eyes. They didn’t have a bad marriage; in fact they seemed to be doing well. I had just never seen them show any physical closeness or affection. I didn’t think my friend and her husband could grow up to be an affectionate, romantic older couple if they weren’t that way when they were young.

In the same way, if we want to avoid the stereotype of being a ‘grumpy old man’ or a ‘mean old lady’ when we are older we have to work hard on not being like that when we are young. Whether old or young, it is special to encounter a person who is truly happy, joyful and quick to give an encouraging word. A person who lights up with a smile when they meet you is fun to be around.

Being in the customer service business, we look forward to seeing our regular customers who are kind, appreciative and positive. We had two new customers recently that we worked with for several weeks. One, we only met on the phone, but just by the way she talked, we could tell she was smiling on the other end. She laughed. She complimented us. She asked about my kids. She took responsibility for her mistakes and was appreciative for the creative quality work we provided for her. Never having seen her in person, we could tell she was filled with joy.

Another new customer came in already disgruntled before she met us. She had been to several online and big box stores and was completely dissatisfied with anything the four other companies had done. Her job was easy enough, but after being with her for an hour listening to her complain, our employee turned to me when she left and said “we are never going to be able to make her happy” which turned out to be true.

Growing old joyfully starts with being joyful now. Life is difficult, busy and stressful for everyone. Choosing to go through life with joy is a habit we need to cultivate now if we want to have joy later in life.

Life is too short to live without joy. We have more joy when we share our joy with others. We can only share our joy with others when we are joyful.

A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
    and how good is a timely word!   Proverbs 15:23



  1. What a great verse. I want to store in my heart and live by it daily. I also want to be the old couple people admire who cuddle and love each other. I joke with my husband about that a lot. Nice meeting you on the Survivors Together Facebook group today.

  2. This is such a great reminder. If I don't want my kids to remember a grumpy mom when they grow up. Then, I need to be a happy mom now. Thank you for sharing this. -Jolene

  3. Amen! Pedro and I joke about having to call 911 thirty years from now because we fell over laughing and won't be able to get up :).