The other day was a colleague’s birthday. The same people who didn’t want to publicly acknowledge or celebrate my birthday a month ago invited me to join in on the celebrations of someone they actually like. I like her too so it wasn’t a hardship… and this isn’t really a complaint…. I was asked to hold the bouquet of flowers the group got her as we walked to her cubicle, which meant I would be delivering the flowers to her.
The flowers were gorgeous and they smelled heavenly. I halted the procession before leaving my desk area and told them I wanted a picture with the flowers because a picture lasts longer.
They laughed at me; they think I’m silly. But now I have a joyful memory of someone handing me birthday flowers even though they weren’t intended for me. Look at the photo. If I hadn’t told you, you wouldn’t know. But truly my joy in that moment was as real and beautiful as those flowers were. And I gratefully handed them over to their intended recipient a few minutes later with no less joy and enthusiasm.
Today’s lesson: Joy is a state of mind. It has nothing to do with how others appreciate or value you (or under-appreciate and undervalue you). Joy is about your capacity for gratitude….gratitude even for the fleeting fragrance of a flower.