Seeking a Joyous Journey – “Seeking”

For this joyous journey post I am going to tell you another secret. I know I might be getting myself in trouble here giving you all my secrets too early and not have more to share later. But personally I don’t think that will ever happen. 🙂

I suspect that at least 95% of you are totally unaware of the tweaking I have been doing to the “Joyous Journey” project. I think I finally have the title in the header above where I want it. The word that I was seeking all long was in fact the word “Seeking”. That perfectly caps off my way I am approaching the subject of having a joyous journey during these retirement years.

Forgive me but I want to go off on a little tangent here to make my point. There are some brands of Christianity, maybe more that I fully realize that believe that Christianity is a very passive religion. I know, I was in one of them for more years than I want to realize. Their version of Christianity goes something like this: All you have to do is proclaim the right words and your getting to heaven is guaranteed. Just say the words which start off with “I believe…” and then go on with your life as you please. Then when you die you are automatically ushered to heaven.

I can’t tell you how wrong I think that practice is. Christianity is very much a active thing. You must take to heart the words of Jesus, and then spend every day of the rest or your life trying to put them into daily practice. Some days you might just succeed and other you might fail miserably, but you MUST keep trying.

Finally, getting back to the point of this post, having a joyous journey through life, especially in our senior years, means you are constantly seeking what gives you joy and discarding what doesn’t. You will never have a joyous journey any time in your life if you just sit back and wait for it to come to you. Doing nothing is an absolute guarantee that your joyous life will never happen. You will also never have a joyous journey if you make that goal all about you.

I can certainly attest that most of my joyous time in my senior years occured while I was serving others and I mean that quite literally. I spent eleven years of my retirement life volunteering at a local soup kitchen preparing and serving meals to those less fortunate than me. The friends I made there gave me a very joyous life.

You can’t just sit back and wait for a joyous life, you must continually seek it out.

Seeking a Joyous Journey -Rules

I am one of the many people who regularly watch NCIS on TV. There are so many NCIS’s now that I guess I need to expand that sentence. I’m talking about the one with Leroy Jethro Gibbs. One of the things I like about him is his rules. I don’t know how many rules he has, but his team seems to know them all.

When I was trying to find a format for this new project of RJsCorner I thought of Jethro and his rules, so I thought I would start my set of rules on having a joyous life in my senior years. 😉

If you have any suggestions on what to add, I am open to them.

In investigating sources for posts, I have come across more than I ever imagined. I think this topic could go on forever (ha). One of the top sources is a guy named Ernie Zelinski. He has written several books on the topic of finding joy in your life. He definitely knows how to enjoy life.

One is entitled

The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked — 21st Century.

Another is

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won’t Get from Your Financial Advisor.

As we go thorough this new series I’m sure you will come to appreciate Ernie as much as I do.

Let’s finish up this boring preparatory work by telling you I am giving each post in this topic a unique number. Since I hope to build up the joyful story one brick at a time, numbering the post will make them easier to refer to them in the future.

Next time I am going to give you the main secret to what I think allows us to accomplish a joyous journey in our lives. I know giving my secret out at the front end of the story is pretty unusual, but since I plan on referring to it many times to reinforce what I will be talking about, it just makes sense.

My Essence Statement – Who I Am

In a recent post, I declared myself as living a joyous life of a nuanced skeptic. This post will flesh out that description as to make you even more confused. 🙂 

Now in my old age, I am convinced that it takes almost a lifetime to determine just what your personal essence is.  We can all describe ourselves at various points in our lives but to find the essence of you is much more difficult. Maybe the difficult part is to do it in just a few words. I have been playing with the words above for several weeks now. Ever since I read a related post over at my friend Bob’s blog at Satisfying Retirement I have been struggling to find just the right words to describe my life.  I think this description pretty much sums it up for me.

Let’s go through my self-description word by word. As Bob pointed out there is a difference between happiness and joy. If I remember it right he proclaimed that happiness is a short temporary thing whereas joy is a state of being.  If you are really joyous it will get you through the darker periods that crush happiness.  I kinda like that definition so it heads up my essence statement.  The term“Essence Statement” is kind of provocative; I think I will use it often going forward. 🙃

Nuanced is a word that might not be familiar to all of you.  I had to look it up just to make sure it is precisely what I wanted. As you can see it is about shades of grey. That is looking at the small things to make a difference in the big things.  Unlike some of my more conservative friends, I am definitely not a black/white person. To me, everything is shades of grey.

Now on to the last word which is a skeptic. To me, being skeptical means that I question almost everything and try to think for myself in most situations that I encounter in life.  Many of those areas are when science and folklore/tradition collide. That kind of skepticism which is very natural to me, got me thrown out of a Luthern church because I didn’t believe what I was “supposed” to. But in most other areas of life skepticism, at least my version of it has made my life fuller.  I don’t criticize to tear things down, I criticize to make them better.

I lead a joyous life of a nuanced skeptic.

How about you; what is your essence statement?

Times Square Repenter..

When we were in NYC the last time we rented a hotel room very near Time Square. It was pretty expensive but since this was probably our last time there we deemed it worth the costs.  For those who don’t know it Saturday night in Times Square is all about partying. Thousands turn out to celebrate one thing or another. And then there are always a few to have a different agenda for that night.  That is the topic of the picture below.

I have seen this picture hundreds of time since it was taken in 2014 and almost every time I wonder what kind of a life the person at the center of the picture has? I always imagine he is really not that much unlike the Evangelicals who currently occupy the fringes of the Republican party. They seem to think, at least to me, that we should all go through life with a dark cloud over our heads since we are all such dreadful sinners. Life is not meant to be joyful or fun, it is meant to be lived in fear of the wrath of God.

I suspect this guy spends many Saturday nights trying to convince the Times Square revelers to feel guilty about their celebrations.  Yesterday’s post was about my disappointments in life. Sometimes they get me down but I imagine a life spent telling everyone that there is no joy in this world is much much much worse.

In light of yesterday’s post about disappointments, this guy totally disappointed me because far too many take him as the face of Christianity and that could not be further from the truth… how disappointing that he is spreading that message…

Times Square Repenter.jpg