In my experience, joy comes when I’m engaged in one of three activities: learning, creating, or being self-indulgent. The best joys, I find, come when I’m immersed in all three simultaneously.
This site, for instance, allows me to learn as I experience or read about interesting things; to create as I write about them; and to feel self-indulgent as I make time to do my favorite activities (reading, having new experiences, and writing). It adds up to considerable joy.
I see this same effect in the students in the international collaborations that we create at Blue Planet Writers’ Room, the organization I co-founded with Susan Gay Hyatt: as they learn about other cultures, our students are creating their own stories to share with their new international friends. And the luxury of that time and space to be curious and creative feels self-indulgent to them. They grin a lot in those workshops. They experience joy.
I would argue that there’s a formula at play here: to have a joyful life, we need to fill it with opportunities to satisfy our curiosity about things that interest us…to be creative in our work and in our home life…and to do some things just because they feel good. Thus, the Glorious Curious To-Do List and Credo:
1. Learn things.
2. Create things.
3. Indulge yourself.
That way lies joy.
I created Glorious Curious to explore a whole raft of joyful things: reading, writing, teaching, traveling…international projects…eating, drinking, celebrating…languages, the arts… mindfulness, beauty, culture…and of course, creativity, curiosity, self-indulgence, and joy itself.
Let the essays inspire you in your own explorations. Let them move you to make your own list of joyful things to explore. Let them expand your curiosity…your sense of wonder…and your pursuit of creative, brainy joy.