009 | Chasing Joy

Hindsight 20/20 will never have the same meaning for me. As we look to turn the calendar to 2021, how will you frame adventure through the lens of joy and connection.

We are sitting on one of the most bittersweet days of the century.   While I know we all want to flip the calendar and expect some magical force to take away all that was in 2020.  I also know that in dark times in life the fairy godmother doesn’t just appear and make everything right.  It takes work and sitting in what a friend of mine calls “the dirty diaper” of reality, acknowledging and working through the stuff that will help you climb to new heights. 

I asked each of my kids and husband this past week “what was something you learned in 2020?” Their direct answers were:

  1. Trying homeschooling
  2. To not touch stuff in stores, be cautious, and wash your hands
  3. Don’t just eat snacks
  4. RV life is appealing
  5. You can enjoy the chaos and need a break from it at the same time.  Life is not binary
  6. Keep things simple 

Hindsight 20/20 (pun intended) If I knew at the beginning of the year what I know now, this would be the advice I give to my January self:

  • progress over perfection
  • trust your gut
  • Just because you can do hard things doesn’t mean you should
  • Ask for help
  • Recalibrate expectations

Like many I have made it a practice each year to do a Year in Review and work through a framework to create an intention for the upcoming year.  While this had typically been a professional practice that I used at work to frame goals and objectives for the upcoming year, in 2018 I decided to use the same practice for life.  I had been learning about and exploring the customer loyalty metric using Net Promoter Score, which is a rating on how likely customers recommend your products or services to their friends, family, and colleagues.  In short, I was wondering how our family rated our experiences and which would they recommend to their friends and other family members.  This simple thought led me to the Joy Index: could I measure our family joy?  (DM me on instagram if you want the deep dive version)

The Joy index was used for everything from Money and spending habits, to kids goals, and minimizing the clutter around the house.  It stems from a minimalist mindset.  

The pillars if the framework allows us to evaluate and get clear about what joy is for each of us, how to give it and how to source it.  After each 1:1 or family activity we would rate our joy.  We analyzed the things that rated the highest for the most members of the family.

What will BRING me the most joy?

  • One month I tackled my closet: Do I LOVE this?  Does it fit? Do I look and feel good in it? Have I used it? Why do I have this?  I sorted things, tried things on, asked my kids to share their honest thoughts with me.  The practice was cleansing and helped me let go of things I held on to for no apparent reason.  I simply sorted the items that weren’t serving me well into a laundry basket and left it in the closet for a while.

How can I use what I have to GIVE Joy?  

  • Was there someone else who would find joy in these items?  I offered things to some friends and family members. Many items were gratefully accepted and genuinely appreciated.  I also considered donating items to thrifts stores, or exploring if there were ways to reuse items into new sources of joy.  
  • I also consider the skills and talents that I could give to bring others joy.  I quickly learned that this required some balance.  I could give away all my joy if I wasn’t careful.  


If these things weren’t bringing me joy, how could I SOURCE Joy?

  • What are the missing pieces that we need to obtain.  Who or what dow we need to fill the capacity constraints. 
  • Ordinary Sherpa was designed as a community to help be a way to source aspects of your joy.  We are here to help crowd source and fill in pieces to help you achieve joy in 2021 and beyond.
  • If travel is a desired part of your joy story in 2021 and beyond see a resource at the end of this episode to help source affordable airfare around the world.  

 We were constantly sorting, trying things on, and asking my kids and husband to share their honest thoughts with me. In order to get to sourcing joy, I needed to continually practice and learn what brought each member in my family joy. 

The trends we began to see, were that the items that rated highest didn’t necessarily cost much.  They weren’t things, they were adventures. They were time, attention, and required intentionality.  We needed to create the conditions for these opportunities to exist in our family life.   

SOURCING TRAVEL: a resource I have used to source desired and affordable airfare around the world is Scott’s Cheap Flights sourced regularly to your email inbox. I encourage you to try the free membership

I have been a premium user of Scott’s Cheap flights for a while.  Living in NE Wisconsin, I choose Green Bay, Appleton, and Milwaukee airports as my preferred airports.  Because of this I was able to get RT flights from Green Bay to Anchorage for $196.  Typically these flights are between $400-500.  It was well worth my annual $49 investment to have these customized alerts.  Scott’s Cheap Flights has an exciting announcements coming, so I’d encourage you to try the free membership and see if would be a source to help you experience travel joy! scottscheapflights.yuy8ab.net/BmLWJ

THANK YOU.  Every listener, podcast class cohort, anyone who has left a review, followed on instagram or clicked the subscribe button! I did not know that a podcast was going to be a part of my 2020 story, but you have helped to shape something that has been inspiring for me and so many others.  I am grateful to have you join me on this journey.  

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