The Glad Game
Growing up I identified with characters like Anne Shirley of Green Gables, Rebecca of SunnyBrook Farm, and Pollyanna. These girls were filled with an exorbitant amount of joy and found beauty in quite literally everything in their life, except for Anne Shirley’s red hair. As a kid, I could never understand why the adults in these stories were blind to the joy and beauty that surrounded them. It seemed to me if these girls could pick up on it then surely the adults could see it as well.
Pollyanna specifically had a trick that she used to keep her spirits lifted. She played “the glad game”. No matter what the situation was she always found something to be glad about. Again, as a young girl, this was second nature to me. I had no problem finding things to be joyful about. Somewhere, along the way, I forgot how to be glad about the small things. It was easy to rejoice in finding a good job or getting engaged. However, things like getting to finish a fresh cup of coffee, finding a new book, or just seeing the sunrise became just a part of life. Things, moments I took for granted. Things, moments that I listed as "ordinary" that somehow became to mean unimportant.
Instead of being glad that I had a fresh cup of coffee, I would rush through it thinking of the responsibilities I had to tend to that day. Believe me, I get it being an adult means responsibilities, and kids have a sense of flippancy that adults don’t have the privilege of carrying. Someone has to pay the bills and keep the house clean. I get it. But, there is nothing in the adult handbook that says you have to give up your joy to be an adult. Yes, there is simplistic beauty in childhood but I would argue that there is equal beauty in the complexity of adulthood as well, you just have to look a little harder to see it.
Mom, I know that extra load of laundry is weighing on you but be glad your child is home safe with you. Dad, I know that Barbie dolls hold no interest for you but be joyful that your daughter wants you in every moment of her life. Newlyweds, I know that learning to do life with each other is hard, but be thankful that you have each other to lean on. Things like a note in the mail from a loved one, watching your friend marry the love of their life, planting a garden, sun beaming into your kitchen, or re-discovering your favorite childhood book. Friend, I know that things are not rosy but see beauty in the little things. There is never a moment where there is not something to be glad or thankful for, we may have to dig deeper but it is there.
Play the glad game with me and watch as the beauty of your everyday life becomes easier to see. I will start. I am glad that I know you. As Pollyanna says :
"And most generally there is something about everything that you can be glad about if you keep hunting long enough to find it.”
* I hope you enjoy these photos of little moments that bring me great joy.