Creating Pure Joy


“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”  — Erich Fromm



One of the habits I have lost along the way was the ability to have fun.  I noticed it only recently when I was taking stock of myself and my habits after being retired for almost a year.  I did things that I liked to do such as gardening and photography.  And yes they were fun, but I felt something was missing in these endeavors, in my life.  And I found I did not have as many hobbies or friends to “play” with anymore.


Now I know I am an adult and we have to work, but there was never anything that precluded us from playing and having fun with friends as an adult.  It just seemed my life became about the job… especially since we had no children.  And there was less and less fun in the job as time went on.  Challenges had replaced pure fun, and for a while sufficed.  But soon the joy seeped out of the job and I couldn’t find it anymore.  It became, “I have to” not “I get to”.  Where was the fun in that?


And sadly it was as if I didn’t know how to play anymore once I retired.  I used to DSCN6752amuse myself for hours as a child bouncing and catching a ball to see how many times I could do it without missing.  I would wander and smell the flowers, look at the bugs, climb trees, swing, wade in the creek, ride my bike, and all alone if friends were busy.  When friends were around we would play make-believe games, riding our horses to the rescue (our bikes with rope tied around the handlebars).  We would roll down hills, play tag, hide and seek and even card or board games.  Nothing planned or scripted, but whatever we felt like doing in the moment that would bring us immeasurable joy.


I miss those simple games, those creative fun times lost for hours in the sheer joy of life.  When we were with family at Thanksgiving, my 27-year-old niece and her fiancé wanted to play a board game.  So we got out the only game my sister had, Trivial Pursuit.  You bet I was in and ready to play.  And we were lost for hours playing the game, making up new rules and having so much….you guessed it, FUN!  Yes I won, but that is beside the point.


One of the ways I know I can create more joy in my life is to learn to play again….to let go and be creative…find what amused me as a child and still does.  There are the obvious things like riding my bike, wandering around the garden and watching bugs.  But those will have to wait for warmer weather.  It will be challenging to see what fun things I can find this winter…I love puzzles and there are a few jigsaw puzzles with my name on them just waiting to be put together.  And perhaps a bit of play in the snow-making snow angels and  snowmen!


Of course once the weather warms up and spring fever hits, I will be itching to get out and DSCN7059have some fun in the garden.  I can ride my bike over to the lake and see what’s what.  Oh that sounds like fun….you know I never get over there.  I wonder why…it could be fun!!  And there is flower arranging, or maybe painting a few pictures of flowers….oh I think I am going to like that too.


But more than doing all these things, I will be continuing to find more and more time to create joy…the pure joy from just exploring my surrounds and enjoying life in the moment with no scripted plans.  The possibilities are endless.  All I have to do is get back into the flow of those joyful, spontaneous moments of life.  Hey if you are in the neighborhood, stop on by…no need to call….we can play.  It will be such great fun!


Note:   The yellow roses pictured here represent joy.




I leave you with some additional thoughts on, creating joy in our lives. Feel free to download this photo and share.

yellow rose

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

21 Replies to “Creating Pure Joy”

  1. So true, Donna. Often, I think that I was born and adult and never really played like a child. Now, I feel something missing and I know it is that little girl inside that was never allowed to be free. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. They mean so much to me. Thanks for inviting me to play. I think I’ll try it! Have fun!

    1. Oh I am so happy that you have accepted the invitation Debbie….I think many of us have forgotten that little girl and we need to play so much more!! Have a blast…..

  2. Yes yes yes. Do you know the poem “God says Yes to me?” It is all about play and the freedom to be exactly who we are. If you don’t know it, I’ll try to get it to you. Whenever I am feeling like I’ve forgotten how to play, I remember that poem and the Yes, Yes, Yes! Also I play guitar and there is nothing quite like playing music with people. Talk about goofing around! Especially country and bluegrass. So glad to hear you are having fun! Thanks for bringing the subject to us….

    1. Oh how wonderful you play guitar Susie. My family is not and has not been musical but I do admire those who can play music. I did not know this poem, but I found it online….how did you know this was me to a “t”…..I will be placing it prominently to remember it. Thank you for bring me the poem…and I will be saying Yes, yes, yes too know!

  3. My inner child is a big part of me. Sometimes the healthiest part of me. She plays well with almost all the other me’s as well. And brings them joy. Never a bad thing.
    I do hope that joy/fun/silliness regain their important part in your life. Hugs.

    1. Thank you Soosie….I love how you talk about your child self and all your other selves….I love that perspective….letting mine back out is bringing me the joy to Soar. There is such freedom and joy with her playing!

  4. I’m the same as Debbie, play wasn’t a big thing in my childhood. I think it had a lot to do with not being carefree. I have to remind myself to play but I’m getting better at it. I notice my adult kids play games instead of watching TV. It seems to be a natural choice for them. I’m glad they have forgotten how to play.

    1. I marvel when young people play and don’t lose that like my niece. Susan, I am glad you are getting better at it and that those of us who have stopped playing are finding it again.

  5. A friend of mine keeps a bumper-sticker on her fridge which reads “Don’t postpone joy.” Sometimes, when I’m waffling between playful self and serious self, this message makes it through the waffle batter. I’m ever so glad when it does. Becoming creatively lost in time and space is excellent rejeuvenation for our aging brains. I wish you many, many such non-hours and thank you so much for sharing.

  6. Yes, it takes a little while to unwind all the years of stress and tension at the end of a career, but it is simply a long exhalation. Let it go, and let the inhalation bring you fresh energy and life. It sounds as though you are already doing that, and rediscovering the sheer joy of living. What a beautiful blog, Donna 😉 Thank you for visiting Forest Garden today. I’m so glad to have found you and your beautiful poems here. Cheers! WG

  7. I think it is even more important to have fun as we get older. We need to always be looking at things that give us joy and trying new things as well. Hobbies can be a lot of fun and getting out in nature is great, too. It gives us a bounce in our step when we spend some of our day having fun….every day! Hugs, Diane

  8. I haven’t played Trivial Pursuit in years; we used to play teams in my early teaching days and it was a lot of fun! Another way to think about fun, in addition to looking for the things that give you joy and making room for them in your life, is to look for and savor the joy in all the little things that are already part of your life.

    1. Absolutely Jean…we cannot lose sight of those joys that we already have which is why expressing gratitude daily is so important….thanks for this important reminder!

  9. I actually set a goal of doing something hedonistic — something for pure pleasure — every day this month. It’s only the 4th, and I’m already stymied. How do we rediscover this knack for play when it’s faded?

    1. I have found that if I go slow it is best. Maybe one thing a week or every third day….I also looked at what things I used to love to do or always wanted to try and started those one at a time. It is wonderful and some I am building as habits even…

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