Saturday, May 29, 2021

Choose Joy

 When I stepped into the hospital elevator the other day, the poor couple with me, well, they looked grim.

“How are you?” the elderly man asked in a monotone.

“The sun is shining! It’s a beautiful day.” Forget that on that day I found out my liver started failing, and I’d need to be admitted as soon as they had a hospital bed. “I’m just fighting the good fight, staying strong, trying to beat cancer. ‘Cause what else did I have to do with my time? Nothing! I’d get bored if I wasn’t so damn busy trying to stay strong. Am I right????”

The couple just stared at me—like a genuine lunatic had joined them in that tiny, locked, moving box.

Bing! The doors opened.

“That’s my stop.” I waved and got off, positive that I’d just scared the crap out of the poor, sad couple.

Just before the elevator door closed, the woman stuck her hand out and stepped into the hallway. “Miss?”

“Yeah,” I said.

“We... Well, we really like your positive attitude. Don’t lose it. If you lose it, it’s hard to find again.”

I nodded. “I hope the two of you will have the most wonderful day. I have a feeling I’ll be thinking about you—and sending you good vibes—for most of it!”

She went back into the elevator, and I headed off, hoping that whatever situation they’re in, that it’ll somehow get better.

I also hope I’ll never lose my optimism. Some days are hard—and I’ve cried out of fear, pain, or just grief because of my changed health and life. But that’s the thing I’ve realized about joy. It’s not like happiness. Happiness comes and goes. Joy stays—it’s a way of being. When people persevere, they see a wall and keep trying to knock it down, get over it, overcome it EVEN when they know they will fail. Having joy is the same. I CHOOSE to be joyful despite hardship and even failure. Always, I have to choose joy. 

So, what am I doing today? I’m fighting the good fight, trying to kick cancer’s butt. I even started writing a new book during this hospital stay—and I’ve written three chapters! Like I said before, what was I gonna do with my time anyway? 

No matter what you’re going through today, I hope you’ll find a way to choose joy as well. It’s actually quite liberating.


  1. I drove to the ocean, sat on the beach - it was a gray and overcast day. I had just been diagnosed with cancer. I remember very clearly that I didn't leave until I found some joy again, just watching the waves calmly roll toward the shore. As it turned out my cancer was not as serious as yours, nowhere close, but I didn't know what the outcome would be when the ocean sort of healed my crazy frightened thoughts. A wonderful post Elisa and I'm so sorry for what you are going through.

    1. I bet that was so beautiful to see. I love nature so much.

  2. Joy sometimes isn't easy to find but we should keep trying to find it