She left us these words – “Don’t postpone joy.”

I never met Marlene, but her words landed in my heart with a resounding WHOOSH! Her message reached me in an unexpected way, as I walked in a beautiful wildlife refuge. Before stepping on the trail, I set an intention for this walk – that I be open to and grateful for the messages that I would receive from Nature as I walked. The fact that it was a cold, damp and windy day meant that Dave and I were among the very few people on the trails. Seeing, listening, hearing, smelling, and feeling the surroundings, my senses were hyper alert. I noticed and felt so much of the natural beauty that surrounded me, and another source of inspiration, too.

Recently, it seems, the wildlife refuge installed benches at especially scenic points along the trails. These benches bear plaques with inscriptions beginning with the words “in loving memory” and ending with a message meant for those whose memory is commemorated. Two of these messages seemed especially poignant to me… Walk in peace … Rest in light.

Then, farther along the path, there was a plaque in loving memory of Marlene, but rather than a message to Marlene, there was a phrase that appeared in quotation marks, which signaled to me that this was something that Marlene often said to those who loved her, “Don’t postpone joy.”

I literally laughed out loud when I read Marlene’s advice, having begun nearly two months ago but then abandoned (or shall we say “postponed”) a blog post entitled “Rediscovering Your Joy.” My goal had been to encourage others to find reasons to experience joy — to notice the gifts of nature, or to laugh, sing, dance, play, or do anything that helped them smile.

You are waiting for the “but” – that bridge that so often links an intention with an explanation of inaction. I was not feeling very joyful two months ago, so it felt disingenuous to suggest that others rediscover or reconnect with THEIR joy when I was not rediscovering or reconnecting with my own.

Marlene’s words reminded me to get to it, to free myself to have some fun. Later that same day, in an ice cream shop, the young woman running the store asked a question that made me laugh again. A little boy had just asked her about a new flavor and the young woman responded with a question of her own, “Try it, or go for it?” To no one’s surprise, the child responded, “Go for it!”

With sincere gratitude to Marlene, and to the boy and young woman in that ice cream shop, I commit to GOING FOR IT! I will not postpone my joy!

Photo credit: © Yuryz |

5 thoughts on “She left us these words – “Don’t postpone joy.””

  1. I love this Sharon. I needed this as well. I will forever turn try it into go for it now. And as for “Don’t postpone Joy” what a wonderful way to live life. I am trying my best to lean into the joy and if I can’t reach it, my goal is to put my energy into figuring out how I can reach it. What am I reaching for right now? The joy of being able to spend July and August in Portugal with my family, working remote, kids in camp learning and connecting with new friends and experiencing JOY!

  2. Hi! Thank you so much for sharing, Sharon, this is lovely.

    I recently participated in a “Reassess Your Life” workshop, intended to help the participants take a little pause from the hustle-bustle and assess where we would most like to spend our time and physical/mental energy. One of the activities was going through various aspects of our lives – career, relationships, health, finances, fun – and rating each on a scale from 1-10 based on where we feel we are today, then we came up with little action steps to help nudge our scores in the direction we would ideally have. Overall, I had pretty high scores – 7-9 – because I feel very grateful for the steps I´ve taken and where I am in all these areas…but I gave myself a 2 out of 10 on the fun scale! That huge outlier was a wakeup call to me, as I have been so busy with the other “categories” that the fun has taken a back seat (or, perhaps, a seat in the trunk).

    I´ve had a lot of Big Life Transitions recently, so I am trying to be gentle with myself, but it is a great reminder to connect with the things in life – even if they are small moments – that bring joy.

  3. Oh how I love this, Sharon! I just sat down for the time I put aside today to do the things that bring me joy – your writing always being one of them. How this post touched me! I adore that question: “Try it, or go for it?” Marlene’s sage words. And the magic of your story. Thank you dearly for not postponing joy – joy partaken is joy shared!

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