An image of two people building a snowman on front campus, with the blue words #JoyAtUOfT.

#JoyAtUofT: Letting the Little Things Bring You Joy

I’m learning that I really love challenges (if you can even call them that). For example, this weekend I challenged myself to eat a whole box of cookies. I succeeded. Okay, all jokes aside, this week is Joy At U of T, an event all about spreading joy and learning what brings people joy across campus.An image of two people building a snowman on front campus, with the blue words #JoyAtUOfT. When we were tossing around blog ideas for Joy At U of T, I decided that one day, I would spend the whole day writing down all of the little things that brought me joy, and then reflect on it. That day was Monday. To be honest, it started out as a pretty rubbish day for many reasons, but by 10:30 in the morning, I was smiling as I was walking to class. My day kept getting better from there, and I will share my list with you so that you can see why. But before that, a note: Before doing this, I would always tell myself that it’s easy to not enjoy things, and to complain about everything around you, but it’s far easier to find joy in things once you break the habit. That being said, I often fail to follow my own advice, and consequently am not a very joyful person. But Monday really changed my perspective, so I’m going to share with you a few items from my list (which was very lengthy by the end of the day, which is when I’m typing this). Please don’t laugh at me; I’ve learned that I really like liking things. Every bolded word would make a great puppy/cat/lizard/other name.
  1. The snowflakes are BEAUTIFUL!
  2. Oats and honey is maybe the best granola bar flavour ever.
  3. There are so many birds chirping!
  4. This room is very warm, and this chair is very comfortable.
  5. Taking photos with fun people!
  6. 10:28 AM, February 11th 2019: Tanith pets a 3-month old golden retriever and is forever changed.
  7. I bet Pumpkin chocolate chip loaf tastes amazing.
  8. I just saw somebody beaming. They proceeded to sneak up on their friend and they both laughed. Friendship is actually hilarious!
  9. I held the door for somebody, and they smiled at me!
  10. That is maybe the nicest hair I have ever seen in my life.
  11. I smell peppermint tea…
  12. Stickers! 10/10
    A hand drawn graph of joy over time, titled "My day". Joy increases steadily, then spikes upwards, then continues to increase throughout the day.
    Can you guess when I pet the puppy?
  13. The smell of warm bread <3
  14. Squirrels! So chubby!
  15. Deep breaths
  16. Soft blankets!
  17. Long conversations
  18. Silence
  20. There is nothing better than watching people who know each other so well interact. Not in the creepy way!
  21. Thinking about chocolate chip cookies
  22. Thinking about freshly baked chocolate chip cookies
  23. DOGS!
  24. I can hear birds chirping, even in my room!
  25. Being wrapped up in blankets with the window open.
  26. Fast music!
  27. Slow music!
  28. Writing down things that make me happy!
  29. Imagine a dog named “people”.
  30. Lists that end on odd numbers!
Sometimes when people talk about joy, it can feel like they’re mocking you for not seeing it. But honestly, joy takes different forms for everybody- as much as I love dogs, not everybody feels that way about them. Anyway, what I learned: It’s really easy to not enjoy things. Not necessarily hate them, but just be indifferent. It’s really easy. But that’s only because it’s a habit; if you let yourself find joy in even the simplest of things, like the granola bar you eat every morning, that can become your habit. It always takes a bit of work to break a habit. I’m sure tomorrow I’ll forget to look for joy, but I’m going to do my best to keep this up. Perhaps at the end of each day I’ll list a few things that brought me joy that day. What do you think? What brings you joy at U of T, and how do you let yourself be joyful? (Also, what would you name something if you had to pick a word from my list?) Stay warm!    

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