Ordinary joy. Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?
Perhaps it’s just proximity, but I can’t help but think that this most joyful ordinary moment has to have come — repeatedly — during the last few days. The best approximation I can make of what that kind of joy might feel like is the sensation that I have when I’m really focused and clicking, just working on whatever I’m working on without any sense of interference.
Prague has been fantastically productive for us, in that sense. This is our third trip here, and the weather’s been a little on the cold and grey side, so we’ve basically just settled into our usual set of places to go here. We’ve spent pretty much every morning in the concierge lounge, writing away; we’ve gone to the same place for lunch more or less every day; we’ve taken long, amazingly deep naps; we’ve gone to the gym most afternoons; we’ve made the rounds of our favorite restaurants and bars in the evenings. It’s not at all what most people would expect from a trip here, and yet it’s been exactly what we wanted: the feeling of being somewhere else, but focused on our own stuff.
And that focus has come, quite brilliantly. I’m between writing projects right now, having wrapped up a couple of articles, waiting for a few revision notes and some copy-edits, and beginning to think about the next thing. I’ve wrapped up some administrative details, I’ve done some solid reading, and I’ve laid a course for the second half of my sabbatical that I’m really excited about.
The brilliant thing about this kind of ordinary joy — the joy of really getting to focus on the things I want to focus on, and to structure my time around that focus — is that I’ve got months of it ahead of me yet.
That, of course, is quite extraordinary.