Don’t Postpone Joy

Retired hospital chaplain Mary Farr was walking past a garden in Chautauqua, New York, when she saw a rock with the phrase  “Don’t Postpone Joy” engraved into it and took a picture. 

The saying has stuck with her for years. She wrote this book by the same name in 2020. 

Mary begins the book with a story from before she’d ever been to Chautauqua, about a visit she had with a patient when she worked as a hospital chaplain. At the end of their conversation, the patient told her. “Whatever you do, don’t postpone joy.” 

Mary offers advice and stories about how to find joy and happiness in life, on the basis that it’s important to not take life for granted. 

Written in 2020 and published in 2021, the book is in conversation with the issues of the pandemic and what effects that isolation, social unrest, and loss can have on us. The book gives advice on how to reconnect in our new world and offers ways in which we can rejoin and rebuild our communities. 

Whether it’s horseback riding, bird watching, or just cooking a meal for family and friends, Mary Farr highlights the power of doing and just how important remaining active in life is for finding joy and accepting that life is unpredictable. It’s life’s unpredictability that makes seizing the day all the more important. 

Each chapter of “Don’t Postpone Joy” centers around a different theme. There’s a chapter on change, and how to embrace it, a chapter on empathy and how we can listen to others, recognizing the differences in our experiences, identities, and cultures and still working to build an understanding of one another, and a timely chapter on loneliness, and how to work through grief and isolation, just to name a few.

This book is all about our own abilities to help heal ourselves and those around us, and how we can find and embrace joy and happiness in our lives, even in difficult times.

You can find one of Mary’s other books, here: If I Could Mend Your Heart.

If you’d like to know more about Mary’s connection to CaringBridge as the chaplain who assisted JoAnn Hardegger and Darrin Swanson when CaringBridge’s namesake, Baby Brighid was born, you can read about that in the article, How to Point- Gently- Toward Healing.

Buy Don’t Postpone Joy, by Mary Farr on Amazon.

— Book review by Aly Haugen, CaringBridge Staff