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Finding Your Childhood Joy

One thing I always admired about my dad was how he was able to hold onto his childhood wonder and joy throughout his life. From his infectious laugh (it really was more like giggling) when he was trying to tell a funny story about what happened at work that day, to walking around the neighborhood on stilts and then teaching all the neighbor kids how to do it, he experienced joy. Though he knew sorrow in his lifetime, it was the joy that he held onto most dearly. Even through his final years, in that Alzheimer’s haze, he would mumble and then tap you on your arm like he always did to see if you got the joke. And you know what? He could still make me smile and laugh.

In our work days filled with deadlines, texts, emails and the immediacy of everything, how do we find the time to tap into that childhood joy we once experienced? You know it would make you a better employee, friend… ahem… person, right?

Unfortunately for some of us, it takes effort. So first on the list is that I need to make an effort, and second is that I need to make a list. Oh, come on!

Then I started thinking about it. Where did my dad get those stilts? He came home from work one day with them. That’s all I remember. But it must have taken some effort on his part to get them because stilts are just unusual.

And then I thought about his funny work stories. Well you have to be observant and interacting with coworkers to have some of the tales he told. Observation and interaction take effort.

Aha! What had once looked effortless to me was in fact something that he truly invested himself to find. Finding joy takes effort for everyone whether it is being observant, interacting with others, savoring moments or creating experiences. I can try that at home. I can try that at work. I can try that anywhere.

Yes… Let the joy begin!