Nomadic Self-care tip: Don't cram your joy


The other morning I was walking along Mercer street in soho, NY, with a friend of mine, chatting flippantly about random topics and letting the conversation wind around itself. As we walked I observed the other people on our path.  Many were rushing to work, some were already at work setting up the front window displays of the fancy boutiques and others were engaging in a variety of distractions.

During a break in conversation I noticed a woman walking by who was talking on her cellphone, with ear phones in, with a friend. At least the conversation had a more personal feel to it and she was loud enough. She was also with coffee in hand and seemed to be on a mission to do something; head to work or run errands. I couldn’t quite tell.

I turned to my friend after she passed and said ‘That’s why we’re so stressed and unhappy today?”

“What?” he retorted having not noticed what I had.

“We don’t enjoy moments any more. That woman could have had 3 opportunities for joy. She was drinking a coffee…that’s a joyful experience. She was talking to a friend….that’s definitely a good feeling moment and she was taking a walk in NY city on a beautiful, sunny day.”


“Well, all those 3 things separately were an opportunity for joy but instead she created chaos with them. She was rushing and not seeming to enjoy any of it. Imagine if she had sat for 5-10min and drunk her coffee, really savoring that experience?  Then, what if she sat outside of a café, or on a stoop and actually talked with her friend, listening and talking and enjoying the moment of catching up with a friend? Then, what if she ended the call and really noticed the things around her as she was walking to wherever she had to go to? Imagine that experience.”

Instead, we’re trying to rush through life. Trying to cram all the things and experiences we want into the same moment. It doesn’t make for a calm experience. Did she even remember what that coffee tasted like after?

When was the last time you sat for 5 or 7 min to enjoy a delicious drink or meal? When was the last time you had a really juicy conversation with a friend where you didn’t seek out distractions or where you weren’t doing something else?

Stress and busy just isn’t sexy. That woman walking along the street, holding her take-away coffee, talking with her friend not even noticing the sights around her; she didn’t look happy. She didn’t look calm.

It does beg the question then, what kind of day do you want? A day where you just got a lot done or a day built around small, joyous moments in between all the doing?

After all, style just isn’t in the clothes that we wear, it’s in the way we carry ourselves. It’s an attitude.

Go forth nomads, build your day with small moments and watch you