I’ve been ruminating on Joy. It would be easy to write a how to list, or a check list. But is it fair to tell another person what THEY need to bring them joy? NO! Instead I believe it’s best to individually ask yourself the hard questions. You are the best person qualified to figure out what brings you joy and happiness. You know what you love. And if you’re struggling with figuring this out- it’s ok- take your time. RELAX, BREATHE, and eventually, if you listen, a small voice within will speak to you. And between us, I get it…..there were times that if ONE more person told me to just relax and take a bath I was going to scream! So this article is NOT about advising you to take a bath. It’s about encouraging you to find what works for YOU!
As I write this, it’s the evening after a “golf outing” with 8 women friends. It wasn’t your typical golf outing, as none of us are very good golfers. In fact it’s safe to say most of us stink – we laugh, we joke, we’re not serious and half the time we don’t hit the ball straight. So today we did something TOTALLY different. My friend Karolyn invited us to our “golf outing” to Greenfield Village. It was fun to talk about our lives and our businesses as we journeyed back in time by visiting pieces of yesterday.
Four of us discovered like-minded interests when we entered the hat shop and had the chance to ask pretty intense questions about “What is it like to WEAR a corset, and how long did it take to get used to wearing one?” to the hat shop manager, beautifully dressed in a period costume. Six months was her answer as she gave us a quick tutorial on the use of corsets and how they enhance your figure.
And then happily discovering we were visiting on October 21st, the anniversary of the day Edison and his team figured out how to keep the light bulb burning. Edison’s lab was meticulously restored – the rows and rows of brightly colored bottles- the old fashioned wooden chair that he once sat in, and watched an actor portraying Edison’s great discovery. Henry Ford was so moved by his good friend and mentor visiting the lab, now rebuilt at Greenfield Village, that he decided to cherish and save a piece of history. The chair Edison sat in was nailed into place with instructions to NEVER move the chair or allow anyone to sit in the chair. The only exception to this, was when Ford allowed Helen Keller to sit in the chair to help her experience the wonder of the lab and it’s amazing discoveries.
And finally a highlight of walking on dark wooden floors and touching white plaster walls that Abraham Lincoln had once touched. We entered the exact courthouse building that Lincoln had worked at. And we saw a wooden cabinet that Lincoln and his father had made with their own hands for a neighbor. The curator had stated that the wooden cabinet made by Abraham Lincoln and his father was priceless – the value unimaginable. The courthouse was a piece of American history available for us to touch, feel and experience.
As I ruminate on joy, why tell you about my “golf outing” at Greenfield Village? Why not give you a long list of things that bring me joy and encourage you to add on or share the same list? Because the list that bring me joy is personal and specific to me. Each of us is made completely different and unique from others- and we alone know what brings us joy and happiness. I find joy in shared experiences with friends and I especially love examining pieces of history. So as you start to ruminate on what brings you JOY – have FUN! Think back to the pre-kid or pre-marriage days- back to when you seemed to have more hours in the day. What did you like to do? Do you find yourself missing any activities from your past life – and is there any way to experience some of these activities? Figure out what you love, what brings you joy- and as the commercial says “Just Do it!”