Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today's fortune: January 18, 2011

Today's fortune: You will soon bring joy to someone.

Anybody who's married has gone through a time when they feel like their spouse would be much better off without them. For some, even those in the best marriages, we go through that feeling several times per day.

My most pronounced crisis of confidence in my ability to be a good husband came earlier this year, during a short stretch of unemployment. My wife was (and still is) working full-time for a non-profit agency and also going to school. I was sitting on my butt at home.

Chalk it up to depression, but I was worthless during that time. I didn't lift a finger to help around the house, and I nary cooked a meal.

I thought about this when I asked my wife today how I could bring her joy. Without hesitation, she replied, "You could do the dishes."

Well guess what, honey? The dishwasher is running as we speak. I'm also going to clean the rest of the kitchen and take a stab at the living room before she gets home from school tonight.

Jamie wasn't the only one I solicited for joy requests. I asked several of my friends what I could do to bring joy to their lives, and they all gave the exact same answer: "Just having you in my life, Matt, makes me joyful."

In a few instances I'm pretty sure a heavy layer of sarcasm accompanied the sentiment (I'm looking at you, Phil). But it was really nice to hear nonetheless.

So I'm in my friends' lives, and I'm doing the dishes for Jamie. I thought that was going to be the whole post.

But this evening, just a few minutes before I came to my office to write this, I received a phone call from my father.

Unbeknownst to me, I brought joy to my dad today.

Mom and dad were eating dinner out at a restaurant. Dad was wearing the baseball cap I got him for Christmas, which proclaims that he's a proud veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

During their meal, a stranger approached the table.

"Sorry to bother you folks," he said. "But sir, I saw your hat, and I just wanted to say thank you for your service."


  1. Do I have to unload & put away the joy, or are you gonna do that too? LLLLOOOOOLLLL! Just kidding! You know, it may seem like a trivial thing, but I can be REALLY hard on myself. I work 40+ hours & go to school 4 nights a week, but I will still see a sink full of dirty dishes & feel like a slouch if I don't have the energy to do them. That kind of stuff weighs on me, so it truly does bring me joy to have one less thing on my mind. Thank you babe!

  2. I don't know about all this joy stuff, but when it comes to me, you know how you stand in my book.

    You have brought me nothing but pain and suffering, and for that I thank you.
    Because I'm a masochist.

    So that's a kind of joy. :D

  3. Dave, you are SICK! Just sick.

    And Matt thats so sweet about your dad! I always get the urge to hug someone when I see they're a veteran. But you know me =P