Finding Joy in the Simple

When I was a little girl, the small community where my Mom’s country store was located would hold an annual festival. Everyone in the community came. You could see all your neighbors, friends, and family in one spot. It was a wonderful tradition and something that we looked forward to every year. You could always count on the same booths, games, music, and food. That’s the great thing about country festivals…not much ever changes

Every year I couldn’t wait to go visit “The Fish Pond” booth. You gave the old man a quarter and he handed you a cane pole with a bucket tied to the end of the line. You fished it over a wood wall and waited to “catch something” and then reeled it back over the wall to see what you caught. It could be anything from stuffed animals, bubble gum, candy, mini-games, etc. The excitement of pulling that bucket back over the wall was REAL. I could barely stand it and I can still remember it. I can still remember the feeling of dancing around and being so excited to see my catch. I would’ve played that game all day long if Mom would have supplied the quarters. 

Fast forward to now. I recently went “dirt fishing” with my husband. Dirt fishing is slang for metal detecting. My husband is an avid metal detector and I decided to go with him just to get some exercise.  My favorite part is watching his excitement when he finds a seated quarter or an old button. The energy is palpable and I love to be there to witness his excitement. I have found that as I’ve gotten older, excitement is much rarer. So when I find it, I like to hold on to it. 

For me, getting excited about certain things connects me to my roots. I often think about the things that brought me excitement as a child and honestly, it’s still the same things.


For me, getting excited about certain things connects me to my roots. I often think about the things that brought me excitement as a child, and honestly, it’s still the same things. However, it wasn’t until the past year that I truly began to notice it.  Sometimes we get caught up in the day-to-day, and we lose the simplicity of joy. If we can stop and allow ourselves to be in the present truly, we can find it again.  Simple things from my childhood still make me excited today. When I was little, the bookmobile finally bringing the book I wanted made me so happy. Today, finding a book at the library I’ve been wanting to read…instant joy.  When I was a kid, I loved walking through our endless pastures and talking with my dogs. Guess what? I’m now in my mid-forties, and that still brings me so much joy. Movie and snack night was the biggest deal as a kid. My family and I still do snack/movie night and I get excited every single time we plan it. Mom making pancakes on a Sunday morning when we were young. She called last week to say she was making pancakes, and I instantly arrived “with bells on,” as my dear grandmother would say. It’s the little things; it really is

I encourage you to think back on a simpler time and remember everything that brought you joy and excitement. If we can truly find a real exuberance for life in our day-to-day….that’s living, my friends. 

I certainly hope you take the time to find it.

As for me, I’ll be out wandering through the green grass, talking with my dogs. 

More from Leigh Walkup.

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