For 40 consecutive days, I completed one item from the list of “40 Ways to Find Joy” and blogged about it here. To make things even more challenging (cuz that’s how I roll), I completed the list in numerical order. It was difficult to say the least, but not impossible.
I have my friend Khary Penebaker to thank for the nudge. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have learned about the list or originating article. A quick shout out and thanks to MeiMei Fox, the author of “40 Ways to Find Joy” and chief instigator of #40DaysOfJoy.
As an adult, it’s easy to get caught up being a “grown up” and not making time for “play.” As my friend Joe Sorge taught me in 2011, “play” is an important element to infuse into your work. It makes work more enjoyable and stimulates your creativity. Since then, I’ve intentionally incorporated play into everything I do. It’s made me a better solopreneur.
This challenge was no exception. I had a blast. If you joined me on this wild-eyed journey, I hope you did too.
Day 1: I played with kids.
Day 2: I jumped on a trampoline like a kid.
Day 3: I learned the Wop.
Day 4: I stepped out into nature.
Day 5: I donated to a crowdfunding campaign.
Day 6: I counted my blessings.
Day 7: I spent time with my dogs.
Day 8: I took a stroll down memory lane to re-experience some of my favorite travel moments.
Day 9: I nurtured myself with a little R&R.
Day 10: I put together a photo album featuring some of my favorite Halloween costumes.
Day 11: I got lost in my favorite books.
Day 12: I laughed and smiled on a day everything went haywire.
Day 13: I sang out loud during my hike.
Day 14: I hijacked my own weekly newsletter to connect authentically with friends and family.
Day 15: I recruited my favorite little mutt to dance with me.
Day 16: I sent random kindness to a complete stranger who was having a bad day.
Day 17: I listened to uplifting music played by my favorite YouTube sensation turned professional traveling musician.
Day 18: I volunteered to give a massage so the shih tzu got some shiatsu.
Day 19: I exercised on my “happiness” mat.
Day 20: I set a goal to write every day on my blog through the end of 2013.
Day 21: I prioritized a moment of silence for my uncle who recently died.
Day 22: I sent a personal “Thank You” note to someone who inspires me.
Day 24: I prepared and slowly ate a healthy meal.
Day 25: I wrote a blog post to help readers learn 10 things I wish I would have done before quitting my day job.
Day 26: I memorized a poem.
Day 27: I turned my errands into an adventure with the dogs.
Day 28: I went to bed 30 minutes early to make up for the “nap not taken”.
Day 29: I asked for help on a new project and thanked my sis for her undying support.
Day 30: I watched Serendipity for about the 100th time.
Day 32: I snuggled up in bed with my laptop.
Day 33: I got rid of stuff.
Day 34: I watched the sunset with my pup.
Day 35: I made a commitment to change a bad habit so now I’m chewing slowly when I eat.
Day 36: I created something.
Day 37: I ate vanilla custard topped with brownie chunks and mint (in lieu of a cupcake).
Day 38: I spent part of my evening by candlelight.
Day 39: I enjoyed a video of one of the BEST dance routines to “Singing in the Rain” that I WOULD HAVE performed if it had rained (#JustSayin).
Day 40: I reflected on one of my favorite prayers.
Learning the Wop dance: I still laugh at my Day 3 item of joy. I decided to learn a new dance for my “learn something new” item. It was hilarious because I thought it’d only take a couple hours total to learn the dance and edit the videos. I ended up recording more than a dozen takes in an 8-hour time frame. The byproduct of that effort was an entertaining before-and-after video and 3 days on the couch because it killed my quads to walk up and down the stairs.
Memorizing a poem: I haven’t had to memorize a poem since high school. So Day 26 was a bundle of joy for me. Of course, being the overachiever I am, I agreed to try and memorize a very lengthy poem. The context was so perfect for the occasion so I couldn’t pass on it when a friend recommended it.
After about 12 takes within 12 minutes, here’s a final recording of me reciting that excerpt I memorized from The Invitation by Oriah:
Writing my first blog post on Medium: Instead of helping only one person with one thing, I decided to help an infinite number of people with 10 things. So on Day 25, I wrote a blog post sharing 10 Things Every Solopreneur Should Do Before Quitting Your Day Job. It was pretty exciting for me because I had just unlocked the ability to post within Medium.
I wrote the post for the me in 2008 who wished she had her hands on this insight five years ago before kicking her day job to the curb. But as Steve Jobs said during his infamous Stanford Commencement address:
You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path.
What did you enjoy the most? I’d love to hear from you!
Photo credit: Lauren Manning