Forty-one years ago, I knew in my bones that how I felt – in my body skin soul – was NOT how I was meant to feel. And there’s no way I can explain how I knew it. Just did. Forty-one years ago, it was clear that how my life is now is what it was created to be. Happy, fulfilled, of use.
My challenge, which I knew without being able to put words to it, was just that – I totally lack any sense of the language to describe my deepest desires & greatest beliefs. Turns out, wasn’t just that I didn’t have the language to describe life unfolding around & within me; I did have words – they were the WRONG words. They were opposite from my reality.
It is weird to have what looks like a life with a degree of recognition – at US HealthCare, at Prudential HealthCare, at BISYS Financial Services, at Delaware Valley High School, even to a certain degree at Bryn Athyn Church School – & know that success was stumbled into, rather than strategized. Back then – up until a year or so ago – I wasn’t capable of taking strategic action – I had the desire, but lacked the basic tools, the core infrastructure on which to build INTENTIONAL success.
Even the conferences & workshops I’ve attended over the past 3+ years – it was instinct, not any great thought process, that lead me to going to each. I trusted my intuition, which did not steer me wrong. Not in the events I attended from 2014-16, not in the ones I skipped last year to focus available resources on an event that made no sense for me to attend – the International Association of Gerontology & Geriatrics 21st Quadrennial World Congress (IAGG). Felt like the right thing to do, in spite of the distance/time/expense – and it was!
It was all instinct, intuition. Until around noon on 07/27/17, as the conference was breaking up. Literally. As I sat at one of the tall tables, grabbing one last gab with a new friend, crews were taking it all down, getting ready to prep for the next Moscone Center event. Elizabeth & I were comparing our feelings about the end of the conference – for the first time, it hit me that, unlike the previous events, instead of feeling changed, transformed in some new way, I simply felt WHOLE, myself.
Since the conference, I found Bert & John Jacobs’ Life Is Good. Through that book, simply written from tender hearts in a uniquely them colloquial style, I found Steve Gross. Through Steve, I found my/our (John & mine) truest True North calling.
On 10/24, I wrote to Steve, asking for names of organizations adapting the techniques he’s developed as a joyologist to infuse fun & glee into every possible nook & cranny of the too-often stressed-out lives of children with acute or chronic trauma, their loved ones, care partners, staffs of care facilities.
Write & it shall be given. I have not heard from Steve, but related energies were clearly released, because on 10/26 I discovered that Jolene Brackey was actually venturing outside the MidWest to the East Coast (RARE!) & was giving the opening keynote address at the Northern Virginia Dementia Care Consortium’s 11/10/17 Caregiver Conference south of Alexandria, VA. Theme & her presentation – Creating Moments of Joy! And through Jolene I connected with Ron Culberson, whose book Do It Well. Make It Fun basically recaps in simple, easy-to-follow language, the gist of my decades long quest.
Looking at how my life has snow balled over the past twenty days leaves me breathless. Learning about Bert & John’s reason for working & functioning as a company, about Steve’s work with the Life Is Good Kids Foundation switched my internal life-scanning mechanism from instinctive to intentional.
Am 65+ & my days are finally targeted (!) at a specific end – how to evolve two playfulness coaches to joyologists, finding ways & means of infusing small moments of fun & glee into every possible nook & crannie of the lives of oldsters elders ancients, their loved ones, care partners & staffs at care facilities, from continuous care retirement communities to own-home settings, from mature adult day care to nursing homes.
And I feel the JOY that I knew at twenty-four was the way I – we – am created to feel. Unbridled, heart-felt, wildly grateful JOY! It comes with the coolest, deja vu-ish sense of home coming, like I felt this before, which is why I knew things weren’t right all those years ago, but has somehow gotten off track. A been-there, felt-that feeling that releases me to see that my family WAS functional ’cause life IS funky, weird & massively confusing; that the qualities that left me awash in arrrggghhhh were the very ones that evolved into a great & grand never-ending source of enlightenment, refreshed awareness, ultimately – that word again – JOY!
Took me forty-one years to say, but here goes – enough with the reading to figure out who I am & what I’m here to DO. Time to get cracking with doing it, with knuckling down & figuring out just what a playfulness coach does & giving it form, function. It starts with FINISHING what I started – making Cyber Access for the Technically Timid (CATT) more than a clever business card, contact The Foundation for a Better Life about REALLY developing my Values Visions Dreams project (a build off dream management).
Golly – this is how it feels to finally be set upside right, to have the words to get from Point A to Point B & so on. Some might find that dull. I find it the very basis of defining what calls to be done, then doing it. Radical stuff – or so it would have been to me, forty-one years ago, taught as I was to shun the standard as “bourgeoisie,” painfully plodding. Yeah, baby – bring it on!
GASP! The gal who once feared goal-setting because it guaranteed I’d never meet them is settin’ herself time-specific tasks.
First up – get back on track. I know what works in my life & what doesn’t. Be intentional. The magical transformation spell begins with s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g it out, then following through to getting it DONE.
How well will I do on this first GOAL? Will check back next week & let y’all know!
Loving how this feels, snow balling in today’s 75 degrees (F) temps!!