In the fall of this year I’ll be turning 50. I’m truly looking forward to it. I don’t have the stamina or energy I did when I was 25, but I’ve gained wisdom and perspective that has made life much more enjoyable.
Part of that wisdom is recognizing that I experience a high level of joy observing those I love doing what they love. I took my significant other, Tony, and my stepkids to iFly. It’s an indoor skydiving place in Minnetonka.
Tony, my stepsons and son-in-law experienced the flying. I watched with my grandson Oliver and my daughter. Seeing the looks of pure joy and excitement on their faces was exhilarating for me. Watching Oliver in awe of seeing his dad flying “like Iron Man,” as Oliver said, filled me with what I call a dorky level of joy.
It’s not that the sensation of joy from seeing those I love enjoying themselves is new to me; it’s that I realized I was at that turning point in life where I’m getting more joy out of providing experiences for those I love, over doing something myself. I truly don’t think I would have enjoyed flying more than seeing four people I love having fun doing it.
This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop creating experiences for myself. For me it means I’m going to make a point to be present for the fun experiences in the lives of those I love.
Kids are great at showing us that joy is contagious. It’s almost impossible to not at least smile when you hear the laughter of children.
Local media maven Natalie Webster specializes in experiences that often push her outside of her comfort zone, and helps others stretch themselves, too.