Tag Archives: widower

JoyReturns 1st Annual Virtual Conference

How to chase the mid-winter blues bye-bye?

Attend a conference, your own conference. I wish I could say this was my idea but I stole it from Chris Brogan.   

Here are a compilation of my favorite Ted and Tedx Talks.

None pertain to joy but if you act upon the ideas in these talks you will find or create joy in your life or the lives of others. Every speech pertains to you no matter what age or what nasty life event you have or are experiencing.

There is a break after every session so you can review notes or rewind to rewatch part of a speech. So grab a pen and notebook and start the conference when your schedule permits.

One day we will all gather in a warm location, wearing bikini’s and speedo’s and sipping tropical drinks with umbrellas in them and listen to speakers live and not via Memorex (Does that even still exist?).

Hungry? Here are some recipes for your conference:

Cherry Cheesecake Tarts: How To Get Out Of The Doghouse

Easy Heath Bar Cookies

Feta, Beans and Champagne – Oh My!


Opening Prayer: How Great Thou Art by Elvis | Jordainaires | Imperials

How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Sinek


Small Ripples Make Big Waves by Abby Kohut


The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown


5 Ways to Listen Better by Julian Treasure


Connected, but Alone by Sherry Turkle


The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain


How To Sleep by Jessa Gamble


Should you live for your resume…or your eulogy? by David Brooks


Closing Remarks: A Pep Talk by Kid President

Music by the BeeGee’sYou Should Be Dancing.  You will understand why I picked this song after you watch Kid President’s pep talk.


Recommended Reading: 

Start With Why, How Great Leaders Inspire Action – Simon Sinek

Daring Greatly – Brene Brown

Connected by Erin Davis (a nice compliment to Sherry Turkle’s speech.)

Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome – Robby Novak and Brad Montague

The Impact Equation, Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise?  by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Official Conference Quote: 

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

(emphasis mine)

Official Conference Poem: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Official Conference Scripture: 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

I hope you enjoyed attending the JoyReturns 1st Annual Virtual Conference.

Please let me know what you thought about the speakers. Who would you like to see next year?

Disclaimer: None of these links are affiliate links, so I do not earn any money when you click on them. I have not been paid by anyone for posting links to the talks or the books.

Valentine’s Day: The Elephant In The Room This Week

Let’s just name and claim the elephant in the room this week –


Valentines Day. 

A rough day for those fresh in their grief.

For the rest of us it can still be rough if ambushed by the grief monster.

I no longer have a rough time with Valentine’s day because I decided years ago to stay home away from all the festivities, as this lessens the chances of an ambush. Would I stay home if I were dating? No, not unless I was cooking a romantic dinner for two.

Wherever you are at in your grief the best thing to do to get through Valentine’s Day is to make a plan.

Do only what you feel up to doing.

If people want to take you out to lunch see if that can be done on Friday or Sunday and avoid the chaotic restaurants on Saturday.

May Valentine’s Day be filled with joy even in the midst of your grief. Sometimes the anticipation of a holiday is worse than the holiday itself.

Here is a video I got in my email yesterday. May it be of comfort to you this week and always.


“Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t cure.”

Movin’ & Groovin’ Monday: Katrina And The Waves

Welcome to a new series: “Movin’ and Groovin’ Monday.”  Each week you will find a snappy little video that will get you up and moving. Here is the link to last week’s video and post which inspired me to create this series.  Get ready for a “religious” experience of the 60’s kind. 

Grieving? Don’t Make This Mistake

During my first year of widowhood, I spent most weekends on the couch so I had enough energy to get through the next work week.  That was a mistake. While rest is necessary so is moving.  I would put a load of laundry in the washer and it would take me 3 hours to get up enough energy and desire to go put it in the dryer. Even if you dance only 5 minutes a day – DANCE! You will feel better. Then dance a little more each day and eventually you will be “Walking On Sunshine.”

In Transition? Don’t Make This Mistake

The one thing us job seekers are good at doing is negative self talk (a.k.a NST). I know it is easier to say quit doing it than it is to do it. Just when you get the NST eliminated, friends or family step in and bombard you with negative comments or ask you all sorts of questions about your job search.

So to you my fellow job seekers I say, listen to the up tempo music and “shake your groove thing.” It will help keep the NST down. Play an uptempo cd on your way to an interview to fill your mind with positive thoughts. When you get out of your car – strike a power pose and tell yourself “I WILL rock this interview.” Remember, you too will soon be “Walking On Sunshine.”


Here is this weeks video – enjoy! May you walk on sunshine all week.

Weekend Wisdom: Biblical Strength

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

Psalm 28:7

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.

Psalm 29:11

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:26


So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

1 Thessalonians 3:13


But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

2 Thessalonians 3:3

If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:11

Weekend Wisdom: Strength

The sun shines not on us but in us.

John Muir

You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.

Marcus Aurelius


Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.

Marcus Aurelius


Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.

Hermann Hesse

Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.

Napoleon Hill 


It’s Friday which means another video.

May this video from Steven Curtis Chapman speak to you as it did me.  Thank you to Sarah blogger at “The Noontimes | Faith Reflections” for sharing this video on December 5th.

May you realize how much God loves you, and may you be so overwhelmed by it that you are speechless. You can find the lyrics below the video.

Words fall like drops of rain
My lips are like clouds
I say so many things
Trying to figure you out
But as mercy opens my eyes
My words are stolen away
With this breathtaking view of your graceAnd I am speechless I’m astonished and amazed
I am silenced by your wondrous grace
You have saved me
You have raised me from the grave
And I am speechless in your presence now
I’m astounded as I consider how
You have shown us
A love that leaves us speechlessSo what kind of love could this be
That would trade heaven’s throne for a cross
And to think you still celebrate
Over finding just one who was lost
And to know you rejoice over us
The God of this whole universe
It’s a story that’s too great for words

Oh how great is the love
The father has lavished upon us
That we should be called
The sons and the daughters of god

We are speechless so amazed
We stand in awe of your grace
We stand in awe of your mercy
You have saved us
We stand in awe of your love
From the grave
We are speechless

We are speechless in your presence now
We stand in awe of your cross
We’re astounded as we consider how
We stand in awe of your power
You have shown us
A love that leaves us speechless
We are speechless

I am speechless

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