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When my nephew found out tonight that I would not be sleeping in his bed again, but would be going out to my parents’ house for the night, he became very sad. After I assured him that we would be together again tomorrow, and would in fact both be sleeping at his grandparents’ house tomorrow night, he went upstairs with me to help me pack. He then handed me his favorite Mickey Mouse pillow and told me to take it with me so I would be more comfortable.

My mom looked at me several minutes ago and said, “You look happy.” I said, “I am happy.”

Now I am sitting in my childhood bedroom, with Mickey Mouse behind me propping me up. I am where I want to be.

Sometimes, joy is easy. Even for me. It’s just here, as anything else might be. It is mixed in with all the other things I feel. Like the discomfort of aching feet (after hours spent Christmas shopping). Like the pall of tiredness that I just can’t seem to escape no matter how much sleep I get. Like the irritation of being hungry and not being able to make a choice about what food to eat. Like the mild displeasure of being witness to a petty argument. Like the despair of watching my nephew cry.

I experienced all of that today. And joy was woven throughout it.