While out in the world this week, I witnessed more than a few folks who seemed to be quite frazzled by the holidays. A couple of them were certainly over-stressed, and on the verge of blowing a gasket. A few others were keeping it together, but the effort to achieve that looked something like “Frank Costanza” screaming “Serenity now!” Not good, folks.


In the face of all that, I decided I wanted to maintain my own sense of calm and to that end, I actively chose to embody Joy. I couldn’t have made a better decision for myself. People wearing stressful grimaces saw me and smiled, most of them saying something nice and friendly. Hell – the parking attendant at Whole Paycheck had the driver in front of me circle around the lot so that I could have the primo spot by the door. (This is L.A., so yes – we have parking attendants at our overpriced grocers.) And for me – all of that was great!


But maybe the best feeling was reserved for the few moments when I didn’t have a conniption fit over someone else’s bad driving. Instead, I smiled at the person and made nice. Never mind the smile being fake. It kept me calm, and it kept me centered.


By the time I was pulling into the driveway of the new pad, I was beaming and saying, “I AM Joy!” And I meant it. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying my little experiment will work for you, but it sure was nice for me.

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