It’s probably not someone lounging on white sand beach, sunning and smiling.
Work in a forge is dangerous. It’s hot, heavy, sweaty work. It takes an enormous toll on the body. It takes a long time to learn. They don’t just “let” people into forges to make stuff. You have to be trained.
It’s not easy.
When looking back upon the times I consider most joyful, they came at the expense of hard work.
At age 45, completing a 13.5 hour crucible event conducted by retired Navy SEALs. That took months of mental and physical preparation, and I bawled when it was over (in the car — I’m not cryin’ in front of those guys!). It was one of the most joyful moments of my life.
Writing and staging a one-man show in my backyard for 120 people over two nights, for free. (And the standing ovation my actor got on opening night.) We spent ten weeks rehearsing that show, never mind the time it took to write. A pivotal moment in my life, utterly filled with joy.
Writing a novel (or two, or three), trying to get an agent, selling a book for the first time, bringing it to market, and doing a launch event at my local bookstore. That journey took more than twenty years. And was a complete joy.
There’s no Joy Fairy flying around bestowing joy in your life or mine.
There are happy accidents and twists of fate that can certainly bring a smile to our faces. Sure. There’s joy in “simple things,” like the giraffe I saw at the zoo today who was leaning over its enclosure to eat landscaping trees. We are almost close enough to touch. A simple, joyful moment.
I’m not dismissing those. Not at all.
But if you’re seeking the hard-core stuff . . . those highs of triumph and joy that make you momentarily immortal . . .
That takes work. Laborious, draining, sweaty work.
We forge real joy.
And it’s worth every drop of sweat.
Work for it.
Tom is an award-winning author of nine novels originally with imprints of Random House, Simon & Schuster, and other New York publishers. He is a Bram Stoker Award finalist who has written for Image Comics and the BattleTech universe. Be sure to follow him here for more!
For a free novel that will take you back to the Before Times, visit bit.ly/partyYA.