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Finding My Joy Every Day

By Lori Perkins

I was thinking how joyful I am this year as I prepared for Thanksgiving with old friends, making two pies (pumpkin and apple) and getting ready to celebrate our years of friendship.

I am living the life I always wanted – a life of words, getting people published for the first time which brings me so much joy, finding my tribe--something I never thought I would ever do, because it is so hard to open yourself up to so many people at once.

I LOVE what I do. I have no regret there. I do wish I had more money to do more of what I do, but I know that too much money and fame can make you an asshole, and I now know the answer to that age-old question - I’d rather be happy than rich.

After surviving cancer during COVID, my life is much simpler, and I like that too. I used to work 12 to 16 hours day, with little time for me. Now, I add a “Lori” list to my days and make sure I always do something for myself.

I think about the phrase “find your joy” every day, and have spent a lot of time figuring out how to make myself happy. I don’t know why I didn’t do that earlier in my life – because I think I let everyone else’s needs be more important than my own – but now I can stop and find my joy.

I used to say, “I make the coffee, I drink the coffee, but I have no time to smell the coffee.” Now I make time to smell the coffee every day. For real. And it’s damn good coffee too.

I love where I live in New York City in a safe neighborhood where I can park my car and look out the window at the Hudson River.

I LOVE my friends. I have the most amazing people in my life and the good fortune to have chosen the right people to call my friends. And somehow I have managed to keep them in my life for decades and to be there for them. I truly feel sorry for people who grow older and don’t have real friends – people who have your backs and tell you they love you. I tell my friends, both male and female, that I love them all the time. And I mean it. And that brings me incredible joy.

One of my degrees is in art history – I had hoped to write about art for a living, but that field was too who-you-know for me to really break in – so I just did journalism. For many years being a single mom and running a book publishing company took me away from being able to go to museums and follow art trends, but during covid I signed up for every free lecture every museum in America offered – I am not kidding – MOMA, the Met, Whitney, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Smithsonian – and I listened and watched free lectures that just thrilled me. The art history field has transformed into one that looks at art through a whole new cultural perspective, and I have been delighted to be back in the fold.

And I go to museums again. My doctors are near the Metropolitan Museum of Art and I am a member too, and I have been six times this year!

Finding my joy!

I go to bed on time and sleep eight hours. I used to say I would sleep when I’m dead, but I almost died from working too much, and now I love sleep and being rested. Sleep gives me joy.

I keep a list of things that make me happy – from two minutes to hours, and when the blues start to creep around me, I look at that list and am usually able to remind myself that I am capable of finding my own joy and that there is always joy, and that joy is limitless.

Find your joy everyday. Rinse and repeat!


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