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Greater Joy Blog


Posted on March 6, 2011

Since my cruise in 2009, I have been on a total of 21 trips out of state in 21 months.  It seems the Cruise started it all and now I can’t get enough travel.  The most condensed stretch included 5 trips in less than 7 weeks.  Some business and some pleasure but ALL trips had an element of leisure mixed in… otherwise, why do it?

I’m not sure that I can say that all these trips are the answer to a quest to find joy and happiness.  What I can say is that I feel most relaxed and content when I am staring at something serene and beautiful.  I can also say that NOT having a planned trip in the near future leaves me feeling anxious… restless… perhaps even confined.

I find that travel to and from my destination is the least desirable part of any trip and I tend to look for ways to shorten the pain of that (i.e. direct flights or short layovers).   I also tend to look for flights where I don’t have to get up at 4am to head out.  I suffer through the flights with humorous podcasts of “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”, or by sleeping on the plane.  Once I arrive, it’s all good from there.

Everybody looks for different things in a vacation.   For example, “M” wants to learn new things and discover local cultures.  She also likes to have quiet time to read.   My youngest brother typically wants to be DOING something or GOING somewhere when we travel together.  It’s all about the journey, right?  As for me, I tend to want to sit and soak.  Anything that is visually appealing I can sit and stare at for hours.  Anything where I can relax and think (or optionally NOT think) is ideal.  BTW, I also put a lot of emphasis on good food.

Whenever one trip comes to an end, I need to have another one planned and ready to go or I start to become anxious again.  Right now I have two trips planned and booked, so I am in a pretty good mood.

» Filed Under Thought | 407 Comments


Posted on April 4, 2009

Start with a competitive sport that requires simultaneous offense and defense, tap into a primal instinct to kill or be killed and then add the threat of physical pain for failure.   The physical demands are actually far less than that of basketball or football. But the mental factors leave me gasping for breath at the end of each round.


So, I guess it’s not an exaggeration to say that it’s “so much of a rush it literally takes your breath away”.  Clearly it’s not from the physical exertion.  I mean, physically I probably covered no more than 40 yards over a span 10 minutes.   No possible way that could make me break a sweat, let alone leave me panting.  Adam nailed it when he said that it must just be from adrenaline rush.  So if the rush leaves me gasping for breath, how much fun am I having?  Certainly more than an average Saturday.


I also think this is the first time I’ve played with a group of people like this.  We are talking about some of the smartest people I know.  I think that raises the stakes a bit.  I usually count on people doing something stupid but with this group, no dice.   Man I had so much fun today, and with the people I most enjoy having fun with.  Six hours later I am still not coming down from the high.

» Filed Under BMJ | 554 Comments


Posted on July 30, 2008

I don’t know a word that has the same emotional connotation.  Is it negative or positive?  To me it has a “bitter-sweet” quality which makes it difficult to endure yet hard to resist. 

I have been talking with GC about going back to our home state someday and driving around to the houses we used to live in as kids (unfortunately there are several).  I expect it would be a very nostalgic trip.  It would probably be all four of us going, if NC was interested.  While it would be a lot of driving, I’m sure it would spark some early childhood memories which would probably make for excellent conversation (hands down, my favorite part of our trips).

I hope it comes to pass.


» Filed Under Thought | 320 Comments


Posted on July 25, 2008

is a drivers license

» Filed Under BMJ | 325 Comments

Looking in the wrong place

Posted on May 17, 2008

I am learning that I’ve been seeking the result and not the source.  If I were to feed my family as a coal miner, would I dig through the ground looking for food? or would I dig for coal. 

Is that the problem?  I’m not sure I am motivated to look for coal, but I want the result.  How do I change that thinking?

» Filed Under Thought | 426 Comments


Posted on May 3, 2008

In a letter to friends and family…

I wanted to let everyone know that “M” graduated today with her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.  Her modesty would not allow her to make a big deal of her accomplishment by sending out announcements, however, I know many of you have emotionally invested in her journey and would appreciate knowing of her achievement.

This milestone in “M”s life not only represents several years of academic effort, it also represents the fulfillment of a dream she has had since childhood.  As many of you probably know, “M” has always known that she would one day be an elementary school teacher.  This knowledge has been with her since she was 7 years old and anyone that has seen her teach can understand why.  “M”s passion for children comes straight from her heart and is evident in every lesson she shares.  She has an amazing ability to command the kid’s attention and respect without them ever questioning her appreciation for them as individuals.  The comments of admiration that she frequently receives from her current and former students, is a perfect reflection of her heart for each one of them.   Teaching is truly what “M” was created to do.

Our entire family is very proud of “M” and her accomplishment today.  Her effort to graduate with highest honors (summa cum laude) reflects her true commitment to being the best teacher she can possibly be.   Though to me “M” has always been a teacher, I am very excited to see what will happen as she makes this her career.  Please pray that she will receive the right position where she can apply her talents in the most effective way.

Thanks to all of you who have supported “M” in her journey.

With utmost gratitude for your love and support,

» Filed Under BMJ | 405 Comments


Posted on April 28, 2008

Typically, we are willing to put in a lot of effort or endure a lot of tribulation to get to the prize, to win the race, to experience the joy.  But when the payoff is not evident, we can find ourselves asking if it’s worth the effort.

So, what makes THIS race worth running?  We jokingly say, “It beats the alternative”.  I agree, but is that the best answer we can come up with?  Where is the Joy in that? I’d like to think there is a better prize to be had.  And not just at the end, but along the way.

Some days we get a pleasant reminder.  I like those days.

» Filed Under PTM | 411 Comments


Posted on April 26, 2008

Perhaps she will never know just how happy her words made me.

Want to know a secret?


Ever since I was a little girl, I made a declaration to the world that I did not care what I looked like. I wore whatever clothes were comfortable, did my hair any way I felt like (often not at all), and never, ever wore makeup. As far as I was concerned, it didn’t matter at all to me whether I looked like a monster or a maiden. This I told the world. And they believed me.


But I lied.


Because I know that when I get home from art class, and I look in the mirror and see I have yellow paint in my hair, a smudge of green on my nose, and various smears of colors all over my shirt and arms, I secretly know I look positively beautiful.

- my girl (unknown date)

» Filed Under BMJ, PTM | 399 Comments

And so it begins…

Posted on April 26, 2008

I purchased the domain almost 5 years ago with the idea that I wanted to explore what it was in life that brings people joy.  The obvious intent, to bring greater joy closer to home. 

The story of how I got to that place is as long as the journey itself, but I suspect I will share pieces of it in due time.

So, if the quest began so long ago, why start the blog now?  

INSPIRTION! (in something my daughter wrote).

» Filed Under Thought | 69 Comments