Keeping Joy

Whether it’s due to limited retirement income or to a lifetime of accumulating stuff, many of us fall into a pattern of curtailed spending. That can be great, except when we restrict ourselves to the point that we miss the very things that bring us joy.

That’s what I discovered last week. For years, I had done without a stereo system, except the speakers hooked up to my TV. I made do with the little computer speakers I had. They worked fine for webinars or listening to podcasts. But I had gone without being able to listen to my music with any kind of quality or volume.

Last week, my computer speakers started acting up. The sound dropped from first one and then the other. They were cheap and over 10 years old, but I considered it a luxury to replace them. Still, something from deep within propelled me onto the Internet where I searched for better computer speakers. I found a reasonably priced set with a large subwoofer and before my thrifty self could protest, I placed the order.

To my surprise, the speakers arrived the next day. I unpacked them, disconnected the old set, and installed the new ones. They were larger, so I had to rearrange things on my desk to accommodate the sleek, black boxes. Then I tested them out.

I played my favorite songs from my iTunes collections. I turned on SiriusXM and listened to my favorite stations. Wow! This was what I had been missing. The bass. The clear treble. The vibration and clarity. I love music, especially jazz and old school dance tunes. Listening to keyboards tickled by Joe Sample or the driving beat of a Whispers or Isley Brothers tune is pure ecstasy. Music is one of the things that brings me real joy, and I had forgotten that.

Before I knew it, I was dancing wildly around the room, pausing every now and then to nudge up the volume a bit more. It was thrilling to hear music so loud with no distortion. To think that I had deprived myself of this for so long.

There’s fewer years ahead than behind. So what’s the point of holding back? Life is meant to be lived fully all the way to the end. That means enjoying the things that bring you peace or make you smile. It’s time to savor whatever brings you joy. Are you making room for yours?

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