Surprised by joy

Is your cup half full or is it half empty? I have debated this particular question with myself at great length lately.

Is your cup half full or is it half empty? I have debated this particular question with myself at great length lately.

With winter’s icy doorstep just one shake of a snow globe away, I’m struggling to mentally capture the “feel good, half full” feeling about life in general.

Every day when I drive the familiar ribbon of highway that eventually takes me to my place of employment, I see changes around me that remind me not to be too happy.

The trees, once all proud and flaunting their stunning fall attire, are starting to look all bare and forlorn. Even the sky doesn’t look friendly anymore, and as often as not greets me in the morning with an icy, cold stare.

And the other day I had to scrape my windshield.

And, I haven’t even mentioned the construction which is very much alive and well on our Alberta highways and byways, and even on other little roads where potholes dare to flourish. It seems in our lovely province where the wild rose lives on license plates and in roadside ditches, our most common roadway signs are “construction ahead” and “detour.”

But, ironically, I’m here to tell you being forced to take a detour is not always bad.

The other morning, I obediently took my grouchy old self and my trusty Hyundai on the detour route just like the sign said and, voila, I was surprised by delight.

I got to drive by the lake.

Somewhere along the way, I had forgotten about the lake and its many moods and how it seems to hold its own particular charm, no matter what the weather.

Even when the wind is angry and mean and whips up the lake’s blue pudding waters into frothy whitecaps, it is awesome.

And, on a quiet and still morning, when God has ironed out all its wrinkles, the lake just lies there looking all blue and tranquil, making me think of the quiet blue gaze of my youngest grandson.

Steady. Calm. Peaceful!

If I was a wise and philosophical woman, I could, perhaps, relate the detours we are sometimes forced to take simply because the road ahead is under construction, to the struggles that happen to each and every one of us, all the time.

Disappointments. Frustrations. Illnesses. Worry. Exhaustion. Feeling overworked and under appreciated. Exhaustion. Oh, right, I already said that.

Seriously, though I’m not really wise or philosophical, but I certainly am happy because of a detour I was forced to take.

It never hurts to be reminded of beauty. It makes it easier to focus on the “half full” concept.

It’s true. There are those little, full of surprise, happy moments that often drop into our day, unnoticed.

And we should remember notice them.

The other day my husband, out of the clear blue sky of nothing, actually said, “We should clean out the garage so you can park in there this winter.”

Wow, what a good and novel idea. Parking in the garage. Who would have thought it?

I’m excited, already.

Treena Mielke is editor of The Rimbey Review and is a columnist for Black Press.

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