Good Intentions, Bullfrogs, and Mayonnaise


February is almost here and I haven’t made any New Year’s Resolutions.  There’s a lot about me that needs fixin’,  but I’m not much for rules or being told what to do, even when I’m telling myself.

I found a loophole last year about this time.  I ran across a resolution  alternative.  You choose one word to represent your desire for the year rather than making a long fix-it list.

As the 50th birthday year, 2014, rolled in, I choose create.  I figured it covered a lot of ground.  Create health, create book, create new home.

2015 arrived and I didn’t have a new resolution alternative word in mind. I considered recycling create.  Recycling is good, right? I hope I’m not done creating. I hope I never am.

My other option was JOY.

Joy has sort of chased me for a few years.  It keeps showing up in those little syncronicities of life I love so much.  You know, the coincidences that might not really be coincidences?

One of the best compliments I’ve ever received was a few years ago when my aunt told me I had “a high capacity for joy.”

I’ve always wanted the 1971 hit song “Joy to the World” played at my funeral. Not the Christmas one.  The one about the wine-drinking bull frog and all little fishes.  I know this might seem odd, but it’s not.  Think about it.

If you didn’t like me, it can be a happy anthem for you. I’m out of your hair.

Whether you like me or not,  I want you to celebrate and remember me with joy. I dare you to listen to Jeremiah was a Bullfrog without a little joy creeping in.  Without singing along.  Or at least humming?  Bobbing your head?  Bet you can’t.  You will at least crack a tiny smile.

Long before joy started stalking me, I titled an essay about my dog “Pure Joy”.  Soon after that, I discovered a photographer who created Joy sessions with pets. Coincidence? Probably.

This year, I got a lot of help from a fantastic holistic healer who introduced me to the teachings of Abraham Hicks.  You should check it out.  One of the teachings is that our purpose here, in this life, is Joy. Was it an accident I met her? I came in for a stiff neck and a nasty rash and walked out with more joy.

While planning our new Florida landscaping, I ran across Magnolia Champaca, the joy perfume tree. Another coincidence? Probably.  I decided on Buddha Belly Bamboo anyway, so maybe that one doesn’t even count.

None of these coincidences were enough for me make the decision,  to choose joy as my one-word 2015 non-resolution.

Maybe I was being lazy.  I couldn’t be bothered to decide on one word?  Plus,  you don’t resolve to have joy, do you?  It just happens or it doesn’t, right?

I decided to test the word first.  I started using it as the intention I set at the beginning of yoga class.

Confession. That’s not totally true. Yes, while I was trying out JOY as my 2015 word,  that wasn’t the only reason I used it as a yoga intention.

The whole truth is that I freak out when the yoga teacher asks us to choose an intention.

The squirrels in my head go… nuts.

“What should we choose?” they say. “World peace?  Getting published? Not falling on my head during tree pose?  Not hating the woman behind me wearing too much perfume? ….no.. back to world peace, I guess.   What does she even mean by intention?” on and on they chatter, jumping from branch to branch of the crazy tree.

The rest of the class might be halfway through their third vinyasa and I haven’t set an intention yet.  It’s the hardest part of class, right up there with showing up.

Joy was working as my intention, if only to satisfy the squirrels. I was getting through yoga class and even finding joy in the practice.

I started noticing more moments of joy in my life.  It’s hard for me not to feel joy when butterflies are hatching in our garden and we are squeezing oranges from our own tree every morning.

Still those are little things, right?   Nothing earth shattering or life changing? Or are they?  I remained undecided on the word until today.

It was the mayonnaise that did it.  That’s right.  Mayonnaise.

I opened the fridge, intending to make a sandwich, and there it was.


I already had it. Joy was in the the refrigerator. and in the garden and the orange tree and in all the other little moments of the day that can be life changing if you let them.

I have joy all around me. I just need to slow down enough to notice.

You, too,  can have joy.

Go get yourself some mayonnaise. Or join me in slowing down and noticing all the little things around you.

If you’re still in doubt , channel the tambourine man from this live version of “Joy to the World“.  That’s some serious joy. Something near ecstasy.


Go on.  Join right in. Jump up and dance. Sing at the top of your lungs.  You can suck at it.  I do. So what?  Who cares?

I implore you. Clap.  Dance, raise your hands and shake ’em.  Shout JOY to the fishes in the deep blue sea.