Joy on a budget, not budget joy 

What is joy? 

Brené Brown, a research scientist, defers to a Methodist pastor’s explanation of joy. 

Anne Robertson uses the Greek words for happiness and joy to point out important differences. The Greek word for happiness is Makarios, which was used to describe the freedom of the rich from the normal cares and worries, or to describe a person who received some form of good fortune, such as money or health. 

While the Greek word for joy is chario, which was described by the ancient Greeks as the ‘culmination of being’ and the ‘good mood of the soul’. 

Robertson writes, “Chiros isn’t a beginner’s virtue; it comes as the culmination. [Ancient Greeks] say it’s opposite is not sadness but fear.”

And Brené herself goes on to describe joy as christmas twinkle lights. “Joy is not a constant. It comes to us in moments – often ordinary moments.

“I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith.”

Through her research, she has concluded that what gets in the way of gratitude and joy is scarcity and fear of the dark. 

The Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön says, “Everything is material for the seed of happiness, if you look into it with inquisitiveness and curiosity. 

“The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment. There always is the potential to create an environment of blame – or one that is conducive to loving-kindness.”

For me, joy is opening my heart to the moments of wonder present everywhere in life.

And joy is fleeting, so I give full credit to the song, the smile, the dance, the way the light casts golden beauty on the street in the evening, and feel grateful that a moment of joy was found and received. 

I give the same weight to the moments of joy as I do to the moments of grief, because given a chance, they are equally as affecting. 

What is joy to you? 



Author: tendrilwise

Hi, I have a diploma in Journalism, I've published a novel, and I am currently studying psychology. My odd way of viewing the world either gets me kicked out of parties or invited to them. Jenn McKay

8 thoughts on “Joy on a budget, not budget joy ”

  1. Many people always confuse joy with happiness. It is easy to confuse both because they are similar. But I love your definition.
    “I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, inspiration, and faith”
    This makes joy a more internal thing than happiness hich is largely dependent on external circumstances like the purchase of a new car, a new promotion, etc.

    Great job Jenn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Toby,

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Just to clarify, the definition you quote is one written by Brené Brown.

      She’s an inspiration!!

      I’m glad you liked the post.

      Take good care,



  2. Hey Jenn,

    I really like your projects. The first one was about adjusting your perspective to how your received the media. And now you are shining the light on joy. Great idea. When we focus on these topics we start to really begin to see how much of it we can embrace even in times of hardship.

    For me joy can be enjoying a great meal or chocolate or dessert, seeing someone make progress, interacting in conversations that lift me up. And at the moment I am going through a stage of an immense satisfaction and appreciation with who I am.

    So I look forward to your project and seeing where it leads.


    Liked by 1 person

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