Finding Joy in the Doing

Finding Joy in the Doing- a story
Things won are done, joy’s soul lies in the doing.
— William Shakespeare

I was thinking about the quote above, about finding joy in the doing.  I wanted to write about that idea.  Then I remembered something I wrote about a long time ago.  I believe that rather than explain, I'll tell a story....

A Winter Walk, December 18, 2007

We were greeted this morning by a magical winter wonderland outside our windows.  I sat at the table and leisurely sipped my hot coffee, watching thick snowflakes blanket our street, thinking of no school, no appointments, and no lessons. 

There were wide-open possibilities.  Our little red sled sat waiting in the garden shed, beckoning.  My pajama-clad children were munching on Clementine oranges, eyes big, taking in the beauty of the freshly fallen snow- when suddenly; we all had the same thought.  We have to hurry!  We have to get dressed!  We have to beat the old men to the snow!

Dishes were left in the sink and the beds were left unmade as we scrambled into our warm winter clothes.  It was a race to get outside.  The old men with their snow blowers would be hurrying also.  We wanted to take the sled out onto the snowy sidewalks before it was all removed.We live on a quiet little street of older homes (1920’s).  It wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to say that most of the residents had probably been living in these houses since the time they were built.  It’s a wonderful place to live.  And in the winter, no matter how hard it’s snowing… the sidewalks are always plowed.

a winter's walk

Just as much as my kids are excited to play in the snow, I believe the old men are equally excited to get out their snow blowers, to get to work.  I smile at the comfortable predictability.  I smile because it’s obvious that these men find joy in the doing. 

As soon as the flakes would begin to fall, each 8x20 ft. driveway along the street, excluding ours, would have an old man on it, pushing a snow blower.  One man even had a tractor.  We live in the city.  His whole driveway could be plowed in less than two minutes.  He would usually plow the street as well.  We never had to plow our own driveway or sidewalk.  There was always someone who would do it for us. 

On that day, we made it outside before most of the old men.  I tied a rope to the sled and pulled the kids along the snowy sidewalk.  They called me their sled dog.  It was a great workout.  Sweat trickled down my neck as I pulled them along.  I felt strong.

“Run!  Daddy always runs!” 

“Yeah?  Well, not Mommy!”

Silly kids. 

I smiled.  Me, a sled dog/Mommy and my kids, laughing, as they enjoyed the simple pleasure of a winter sleigh ride.  We smiled and waved at the old men with their snow blowers as we returned home.  They were all outside now.  The sidewalks would soon be cleared- but we delighted in the fact that we had gotten there first.


I wrote that story about nine years ago.  I still smile when I think about that winter walk.  I won’t pretend that I’ve always gotten it right, or that I’ve always found joy in the doing.  But when I think about that day, when my kids were little, I know that it was good.  We were, all, finding joy in the doing- the old men, my kids, and me. 

@@Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing. -William Shakespeare@@

joyDawn Klinge2 Comments