Joy can be a difficult thing to find at times with all the trials and tribulations of life. Some of my most joyful moments have come on the back end of great sorrow, disappointment, and difficulty. I don’t know if you can have one without the other. To truly understand joy, you must understand some degree of suffering to appreciate joy.
1) When the Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series – The Los Angeles Dodgers are by far my favorite sports team in the world. I worked at a baseball camp in my teens that was co-owned by one of the coaches so I got to meet a lot of players, not to mention I absolutely loved baseball. We have had many disappointing seasons, so when we win, it is a moment of pure joy. Winning the World Series in 2020 during the pandemic lifted my spirit for weeks!
2) Thinking about the birth of my children – My children have been the guiding light of my adult life. I felt kind of lost in the adult world until they came along. I learned what it truly means to love unconditionally, to not be selfish, and to become a true leader. I still think about those moments sometimes and it was a huge moment in my life.
3) When I make a difference in one of my student’s lives – The day to day business of the classroom does not always give students or teachers a chance to show appreciation, so when it does happen organically, it can be overwhelming. I had a young lady last year who was on a individual education plan for a learning disability. She never really said much to me and I wasn’t entirely sure how she felt about me, until Senior Sunset. Our assistant principal was recording messages to be played on the speakers, positive affirmations for teachers and fellow students, and this young lady told the world how I was her favorite teacher of all time. It absolutely blew my mind. If you would like more heartwarming tales from the classroom, check out the books below. Chicken Soup for the Teacher’s Soul has pulled me back from the brink many days working with children. It has sit next to my desk for 18 years of teaching. The Art of Teaching Children is a memoire by Philip Done chronicling the lessons of a lifetime working in the classroom. Check them out if you have a moment!
4) Overcoming physical and mental limitations – Sometimes it seems like the game is over. No matter what you do, you will never get past that hurdle in your way. It could be a mental hurdle, or a physical one, a relationship issue, or just a mental block to do things you know you need to do. I have a very resilient spirit and I absolutely refuse to give up on things, this has enabled me to overcome many limitations that seemed impossible by just sticking with things, being the last one standing and above all, never giving up. I highly recommend David Goggins bestselling book (below), Can’t Hurt Me, if you are looking for some help in this area. Very unconventional in his methods, but very real in its impact.
5) Skiing and Snowboarding with my kids – I probably spend too much money on skiing and snowboarding as we are an hour and half from the nearest mountain, but it is almost a religious experience for me. Packing the car, waking the kids up early, rocking out until we get to our destination, watching the kids ski, enjoying the silence of falling snow, just seems to put me at peace. I remember that life is a beautiful if brief moment in time and should be appreciated for its fullness. Getting massive adrenaline rushes doesn’t hurt either 🙂 I am aspiring to take my daughter skiing in the summer to Valle Nevajo in Chili for her senior trip as our ski pass is good there! Since it is not quite winter yet, these two books can tide us over until then (along with youtube skiing/boarding videos).
Thanks for reading: Savoring Life’s Sweet Moments: 5 Things That Never Fail to Make Me Smile on Bunchiesblog! Feel free to comment below: what gives you joy? I look forward to reading everyone’s answers! Check out some of my other recent articles!