On making time for my joy

umzila kawulandelwa
4 min readDec 11, 2020


Pardon me if this reads like an older post of mine. I’m not sure if I’ve written about it here, my journal or any other place I share my words on. Bear with me if you have access to all my writing platforms save for my journal, no one gets to read that but me.

2020 has been a weird year. I wanted to say shit year but then all the amazing things that happened to me this year were staring at me funny when that thought popped so I had to quickly fix my thinking. It’s been a weird year.

I’ve always known my body hates stress. In fact EVERYONE’s body hates stress. We can handle it, sure. However I am convinced MANY physical ailments are actually stress related. No, I do not want to argue with anyone about that. If you disagree, write your own blog post.

I was so caught up in my own stress that my body just decided if I was not going to do anything about it it would pack up and bounce. My bladder stopped functioning normally. When I finally realized how much I was letting stress run my life I made a conscious decision to make time for my joy. Joy used to be an unintended consequence of something I’d do but it was never consciously my goal.

I decided to shift my mindset and prioritize my joy which meant actively pursuing it. I chose for once to divert my attention from all the things I did not like, hated and/or were stressing me to figuring out what actually brought me joy and consciously deciding to make time for those things.

I started small. I like music so I got my wish-granting-fairy aka my boyfriend to get me my first Bluetooth speaker. If music brought me so much joy then I wanted it everywhere. In the shower, kitchen, my balcony, by my bedside. Everywhere. I have earphones but I was going bigger here. I wanted to expand my joy. I wanted all the music that brought me joy to occupy all the rooms I entered.

Writing brings me immeasurable joy. Words in general. All of my eight tattoos are words. I still have many more words I want tattooed on my body. I’m still learning to discern between words that need to go on my tumblr, my journal, my bedroom wall and my body. Wish me luck. Or else I’d have whole books on my body. I started writing more. Yes, yes and yes that has brought me so much joy.

I learnt how to cook. I enjoy good food but I never really tried to make myself good food. So I took it upon myself to learn how to make delicious food for myself. I discovered there was no secret to great meals. I had to be adventurous, try out different spices for different flavors to find what I liked. I’m still learning now with the help of the internet. I have this self satisfaction I get when I make something nice for myself which I’m going to call “my joy”.

Then there’s the drink of the gods. Wine. I’ve always liked wine but I rarely drank to savor it. I drank to get drunk. Yes, my therapist has expressed her concern about that. However when I decided to pursue my joy I started drinking wine to enjoy it. I have the most wine I’ve ever had all at once in my house right now. I am happy every time I drink it. Honestly, is there anyone who ever feels sad after drinking wine?

Keeping a clean and empty kitchen sink was one surprising source of joy. I HATED doing dishes. No, I will not do anyone’s dishes. It’s easier for me cos I live alone. I find doing dishes so therapeutic. I put on whatever music I’m in the mood for in the moment and I get busy. It almost feels like by doing dishes I’m literally cleaning my mind. Amazing!

Turns out I don’t actually like my bed as much as I’d convinced myself I did. I like getting up AND out of bed, showering, putting on a pretty outfit, wearing perfume and actually getting out of the house. My mood lifts instantly if I scrap myself out of my bed and do those things for myself.

I need my 8hrs of sleep. I don’t know how to be a functional human being on less sleep and I’m still waiting to find out how other people do it. My sleep is very important for me and a quiet part of my joy. I always tell people that I’m a sleep, water and solar powered human. I do not drink coffee or energy drinks, I just sleep. So far, it’s going well for me.

There haven’t been any major changes in my life. Major things are things that threaten my existence in my books, as in my literally staying alive. While there is life, there is hope. No, I’m not a happy clappy. I do believe that statement deeply. I’m a calmer, more centered, happier and lighter human being for simply choosing my joy in the face of everything screaming for my attention. I feel we are closest to God/source/the universe when we experience joy and that makes it even more profound and important to me.

I always write listening to music so if I remember I’ll share with you what I wrote listening to. Sometimes it’s one song on loop, other times a playlist or album. I’ll try and share as much as I can cos like I said, music brings me joy and helps me write better. Thanks Rhye for massaging these words out of me. :)



umzila kawulandelwa

I tell stories about my experience of being alive. Perpetually day dreaming of reading and writing by the beach