Invest in Joy

Having grown up in central Florida during the Fifties and Sixties, well before the age of air-conditioning, I came to greatly appreciate an afternoon summertime thunderstorm, as the air temperature dropped about fifteen degrees, and the sound of the rain falling on the tin roof of our back porch generated a peaceful, comfortable sound. It didn’t cost a thing, but somehow brought me great joy.

Even in the mid-Seventies, my wife and I lived in an apartment without air-conditioning. After a hard week of commuting, working, and studying, we treated ourselves to a Saturday morning bike ride to a local park, followed by a delicious cone of soft-serve ice cream from Chick-Fil-A as we slowly wandered through the delightfully air-conditioned environment of our local mall. The ice cream cones were about fifty cents each, and the cool air was free. Wahoo!

The global pandemic of 2020 has wrought great economic hardship on millions of Americans, including members of my own family, my friends, and loved ones.
Having faced a few significant economic challenges of my own, please allow me to share some coping strategies that have helped me through some dark times…

First and foremost, pull together as a family, and identify sacrifices that can be shared. Second, identify your assets and establish a penny-pinching budget to help you regain financial stability. Third, find out how family and friends may be able to assist you during your time of need. Fourth, embrace your faith, remain strong in the face of adversity, and never stop believing in yourself or your ability to overcome the issues you face. And, finally, invest in, and find joy everyday…

If reading a favorite book puts a smile on your face, make time to read. If a walk through your neighborhood or local park brings you joy, take that walk. If baking cupcakes with your children makes you happy, get in the kitchen. And if playing that old board-game with your kids at the dining room table brings laughter to the family, dig out that old board-game.

Even during times of economic challenge, it’s important to “invest” in joy. It needn’t be expensive but may remind you of how “truly rich” you are and of the many blessings you still have.

 



 

Mountaintop Moments(3) resized

“That attitude you have as a parent is what your kids
will learn from more than what you tell them.
They don’t remember what you try to teach them.
They remember what you are.

~~Jim Henson
from: “Wisdom from It’s Not Easy Being Green”

 


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