This is unadulaterated joy! It’s my son’s soccer team celebrating the goal they scored to win their first playoff game. It was scored in the last 30 seconds of double overtime.
This team has won lots of games. In fact, they won their division championship, but they never celebrated with such abandon. I think I know why: because they really EARNED this moment of triumph. Their opponents played well, and my son’s team was down 1-0 at the half. Coming back to force the game into overtime was satisfying, but winning with almost no time left on the clock created a sense of jubilation.
When we earn our happiness by putting forth our best efforts, it’s so much more satisfying than having it just handed to us for no good reason. I try to remember that when things are not going well. If I can make it work out, I will feel all the greater joy.