Finding Joy in the Minutia

... or even the humungous things

I was with my daughter yesterday, and we were talking about distractions.  How people distract themselves from their purpose in life.

Which is kind of a gnarly topic in and of itself.  Do we have to have a specific purpose?  Can we have many purposes, or are we distracting ourselves if we have more than one?

I don’t know.

What I do know is that over the years I have spent mental energy trying to find my purpose.  Is it to help people.  Yes.  Is it to be there to help guide my kids?  Yes.  Is it to be a decent wife (albeit definitely not perfect)?  Yes.

But what about me?  What drives me, and again what drives my athletes that I work with?  Goals are always nice to achieve, but we all know that the end of the rainbow is just the end of a rainbow.  There are always more rainbows to chase, and more goals to set along our lives.  What are we getting out of all this?  Are we even stopping to look at that rainbow?

Joy.  Those little moments that make you say ‘yummmm’.

Those bits of joy come along every day, but most of us only are looking at the big picture, or the end of the rainbow.  Months of training where we spend our nose to the grindstone, and not once every really lifting our heads up to notice where we have been, and where we are now.  No time to celebrate those little moments of ‘joy’ that at the end of our life accumulate into a life of happiness/satisfaction.

I’ve come to realize that I’m the other type of athlete.  Don’t get me wrong,  as I definitely have goals and dreams, but those goals and dreams I know aren’t what are going to make me happy and satisfied.  It’s all the small moments that keep me training, and smiling.  Here are just a few of those moments I find in my life of training or coaching:

  • When my training partner Caroline nags me to try again and push myself more to the point I reach a PR.  It’s not the number that I like, but the fact that I did try, and that she is becoming a good coach as she’s learned how to manage me.
  • When I get to go riding outside with friends, no matter what the goal or where we are it is being with them that make training a joy.  Same holds true for trail races full of mud and people to have brunch with afterwards.
  • Seeing my hard work with athletes at the gym pay off when I see them smile.  When I see them learning how to stop and celebrate all the small steps to achieve whatever their goals are at that given moment.
  • Stopping in the middle of the day and just soaking up ten minutes in the sun and  meditating brings me joy.
  • Seeing an athlete develop confidence in not just their sport, but in also themselves.  Seeing them happy makes me happy.
  • And finally getting the time to finally vacuum under my bed and re-arrange my bedroom.

It is the little things that bring joy in life.  So please find them!