Do you have joy and meaning in your life?

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I remember being 10 years old with a runny nose and hands so cold it was hard to feel them, much less hold a basketball. It was winter in the midwest, after all.

But when dad asked if anyone wanted to play a game of ‘HORSE’ none of that mattered.

My dad was a CPA in a small town firm so he was super busy during 'tax season from January 1 to April 15th.  

He worked very long hours often late into the night. 

But every night he came home for dinner.

He made a point of spending time with us kids by playing horse, ping pong, or a game of cards before heading back to the office. 

Sunday's were my favorite.  Family Swim at the YMCA and being launched off my dad's shoulders, falling back into the water, amidst laughter and screaming.   

On the way home, we'd stop to buy root beer and a carton of vanilla ice cream.  Root beer floats never tasted better.

But, it wasn't just with us kids.  My dad and his partners would often end a long night of work by playing cards together to wind down and enjoy each other’s company. 

My dad was very clear on what brought meaning and joy to his life.  

I was blessed to have had such a wonderful example of finding meaning and joy in life.  ❤️❤️❤️

As my grandmother slowed down in her later years, she lived to be 97 years old, my dad would visit her every day to play a game of gin rummy. 

Even as my father was struggling with ALS, he still found ways to connect with those he loved and what brought him meaning.

Some people, like my father, intuitively know and gravitate towards what brings them joy and adds meaning. 

For the rest of us, it may need to be something that we intentionally identify and focus on. 

Life, in general, has been extra challenging and often traumatic these days.  Add living with rare, complex, and chronic health issues and it can be even more of a struggle. 

When I’m struggling, I try to take a deep breath and think of my dad.

I stop and ask - what brings me meaning and joy?

What can I do to bring more of that into my life?  

How can I share it with my friends and family?

Things that bring me meaning and joy (and share them as well):

  1. Roasting coffee beans allows me to enjoy a safe coffee that my body tolerates
  2. Knitting and creating something with my hands
  3. Teaching and helping you navigate the medical system and work with your doctors to get the right care for you! 
  4. Exploring nature and the wilderness that surrounds me (it heals my heart).
  5. Sharing my adventures and photos with others

If you are unsure of what adds more joy and meaning to your life - take a few minutes to brainstorm ideas about it. 

In his final days, as my dad lost his ability to speak, he used a whiteboard to write on.  Shortly before he died, he painstakingly wrote 'I ❤️ You'...pointing to each one of us in his hospital room.   Even in his final days, he was focused on bringing meaning and joy not only to himself but to his loved ones. 

Let’s bring more meaning and joy into 2022 ❤️❤️❤️

What will you be doing for yourself to bring more joy and meaning to your life?  

 

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