Overcoming the 'unjoyment' of annoying distractions

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Chip Collins

Don't worry: Google doesn't recognize the word "unjoyment" either.

In fact, when you try to search the word, it's an immediate battle between Google and your auto-correct to see which is faster at changing it to "enjoyment."

I quite like that, and it seems that technology is one step ahead of psychology when it comes to our innate drive in life to seek happiness and joy. After all, life is short, so it should be enjoyed to the highest level possible, right?

That said, we all have things in our lives and in our surroundings that we "un-joy," many of which are found right around our home. They exist on different levels, of course, and each offers up a varying degree of annoyance or unhappiness, be it through the conscious or the subconscious.

It could be something minor - even technical - like a light bulb that is out in a recessed light, way high on the ceiling, just perfectly out of reach enough to require the involved task of buying the proper size replacement bulb, fetching the ladder, and doing your best to avoid a trip to the ER.

The unjoyment comes from having the task hang over your head, as well as perhaps the diminished lighting in that spot of your home. The enjoyment comes from adopting a do-it-now attitude to tackle the chore straight away ... or, perhaps even better, from picking up the phone and hiring a handyman to do it for you!

Or, as in my case, it could be a cat who insists that 3 a.m. is a fine time to want for a meal that he cannot serve up himself. Thus ensues a most insidious bedside engagement involving whiskers against my face, or, if required by my non-responsiveness, a devious attempt to topple the pricey bedside lamp onto the floor.

In this case, the unjoyment was somewhat easily solved by a change-up in how (and who) we allow access to the bedroom overnight. How joyful our sleep is once again!

Unjoyment came in a different package for a friend of mine, and I suspect this might be a little more common. It seems that a late-night infomercial gave way to the impulsive purchase of a certain "get fit fast" device that has since occupied a prominent corner of his bedroom.

There it sits, collecting dust and clothes and (worst of all) reminders of all the workouts that haven't happened.

The psychology of personal fitness is challenging enough without the constant, in-his-face, unspoken chiding offered up by the device that promised so much, yet has delivered so little.

I suggested he should eliminate the unjoyment of its presence, donate the device to someone who is actually going to use it, and begin a much more enjoyable regimen of daily walks to pursue a more realistic and sustainable approach to a fit lifestyle.

So, what's unjoyable in your home?

Walk around the house - inside and out. Open closets and drawers, meander through the basement, attic and garage. Whatever it is, it's there, screaming for attention, and all you have to do is put up your antennae, turn up the volume, listen to the message of unjoyment, and set a plan of action to eliminate it.

Chip Collins is the broker-owner of Collins Group Realty chip@collinsgrouprealty.com or collinsgrouprealty.com

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