Being Joyful in 2020

Sunlight through trees

The tone of this delightful book starts with the cover and its colorful confetti design. The book is fascinating in many ways as the author examines how we draw joy and happiness from ordinary things around us. In a moment of joy, we are carefree. The book begins with a discussion of color and how bright colors lift our spirits and energize us. Another everyday experience is light. We take light for granted, but a shaft of sunlight coming through a window illuminates the colors around us and brightens our entire world and our mood. A sunny room is a cheery space. I love color – my romance with beads and gems started with colors began long ago and I continue to draw great joy from skeins of yarn, beautiful fabrics, and glowing gemstones. The author mentions a trip to a large candy store where the displays of colorful candy. There are an abundance of pleasurable sensations in these moments.

Joyful cover

Ms. Lee tells us that views and vistas are not just decorative – they have a restorative effect. Gazing out at a lovely garden or other scene reduces our overall stress. Nature makes us feel free. The author describes adding house plants to a city apartment to create this kind of scene indoors. Nature sounds – flowing water and the sounds of chirping birds add another relaxing element to even a small indoor “garden.”

Ms Lee goes on to explore how harmony and symmetry in our lives and in our environment act to create joy in our lives. She has an enjoyable chapter on Playfulness and comments on the links between playfulness and creativity. Her discussions of playfulness in all living creatures reminded me of something I read recently about crows and ravens playing with each other and with tools and object.

This is an altogether amazing book which I have enjoyed greatly although I think it might have benefited from tighter editing.

Ingrid Fetell Lee devoted ten years to exploring connections between our surroundings and our emotions. She has more than twelve years of experience in design and branding.  Lee holds a Master’s in industrial design from Pratt Institute and a Bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from Princeton University.