Protect Your Joy

It’s my 38th birthday and this year was pivotal. Literally pivoting me into a life, before I had only dreamed about, hoped for, and prayed boldly to have. Every year since turning 30 has seemed to be monumental. Coincidentally it was around that same time I started documenting and sharing my narrative here. Proof that things absolutely get better as you get older. You may think this is an account of my most profound fitness advice from over the years. And while I do believe living fit helps you live a healthy life, it’s the living joyful that helps you have a fulfilled one.

The older I’ve gotten, the more clear I am regarding what brings me joy and how I will do everything possible to protect it. I’m keeping it simple. No gray area. No justifications. No measurables. It simple either DOES or DOES NOT bring joy. When I do these things, I’m my best. I’m living and giving my best. If it doesn’t serve me, it doesn’t need to stay, no matter what the cost. Here’s a few joy makers in my life.

Running – yes

Natural light – yes

Writing – yes

Hours on end at a coffee shop – yes

Real food – yes

Supporting local business – yes

Champagne or… An extra dirty, extra olives vodka martini – yes and yes

Painted toenails – yes

Nontoxic, luxurious bath and beauty products –  yes

Snuggles with the dog – yes

Sunrise – yes

Sunset – yes

Fresh air – yes

Time on the water – yes

Dark coffee – yes

Fresh cut flowers – yes

Falling asleep on the couch after a full day – yes

Sending texts to a friend for no reason – yes

Receiving a text from a friend for no reason – yes

Local farm to table dining – yes

Adventuring with my favorite adventurer – yes

Sunday morning church on tv – yes

Prayer – yes

Sharing my story – absolutely yes

A few nights ago I watched a video about this. The video featured Kathie Lee Gifford. I encourage you to view it for yourself here. She references loss. Like many, she’s had a lot. But because of her faith and her regard for joy, she chooses to focus more on what she still has rather than what she has lost. She talks in great detail about joy. KLG says those same things that bring you joy, are the things that God uses to work on you and in you. I agree! In return, he uses that same joy within you, to help bring joy to others. Identify your joy, do anything you can to protect it, then-passionately…boldly, share it with others who need it!

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