What Brings You JOY?

Inspiration Ahead

Have you ever paused to consider what specific things in life fill you with happiness?

I remember a time in Tuscany, Italy, when we explored an ancient small hill town. I looked around me at the cobblestone street, and the iconic attached stone homes stretching all the way up the hill, with a sliver of ocean peeking out from between the buildings at the top.  There were many pots of flowers hanging from balconies and by the front stoops, and laundry hanging outside some of the homes. I was so thrilled to be in a place that looked like many of the pictures and paintings I’ve been intrigued with all my life, that corny as it sounds, I actually stopped and applauded. And I was sharing this with the love of my life. I couldn’t imagine being any happier.

There are many other times in my life which have made my heart feel like it would burst. (See Chapter 11.) How about you? What if someone approached you and asked “What Brings You JOY?” You may have to take a few minutes to consider, as did most of the 350 people of all ages interviewed in this book. What do you think they said?

What People Are Saying

Immediately after purchasing 5 copies of this book, I regretted that I didn’t order more. It’s the perfect book for close friends’ birthdays, and also for aging parents and grown children coming into their own. As a bedside companion for those who are ailing, or as an extra something for someone celebrating a special event, or just because … because we can always use a little pick-me-up. It feels as though the contributors are sitting in my living room graciously sharing the special moments of their lives. There are so many ways to approach this book — opening directly to the chapter of musings from others in your age group, starting at the beginning, or flipping to a random page. It’s a perfect daily inspirational, but careful, once you get started, you’re unable to put it down. Absolutely the no-brainer, ideal, and affordable gift that allows me to spread joy to others. Don’t forget to buy one for yourself too!

Lincoln once said that most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Each of us really does have a great deal of control over our outlook, our disposition, and, in the end, our level of happiness. So why not “decide” to be a happy person and focus on the good things – the half-full glass?
Anything that draws us to the good things in life is invaluable simply because it makes us occupy our time with “the good stuff.” We all have things – in our daily lives, the news, myriad other sources – that can conspire to really bring us down. As such, reading a book whose central theme is joy is about the sanest way we can spend our time!

Carol Fradkin’s book cuts across a wide swath of the population – by age, by background, by profession, by geographical area – and finds a beautiful array of sources of joy to which we can all relate. It’s hard to read this book and not identify with these wonderful sources, and it’s impossible to read without the occasional ear-to-ear smile. Truly great stuff!

I received a copy of this book while in the hospital recovering from surgery. Even though I had a lot of support and had prepared myself for the time needed to heal, I was not prepared for the feeling of loneliness and anxiety I experienced. The question posed by this book, “What Brings You Joy?” caught my attention because I was not feeling very joyful at the time. Reading the things listed by others made me begin to reflect on what brings joy into my life. This simple exercise did so much to lift my spirits and I am sure contributed to making my rehab time successful. I am so grateful for the gift of this book and have bought it for others I thought would find joy from reading it.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Young Ones & Preteens

Chapter 2 – Teens

Chapter 3 – Twenties

Chapter 4 – Thirties

Chapter 5 – Forties

Chapter 6 – Fifties

Chapter 7 – Sixties

Chapter 8 – Seventies

Chapter 9 – Eighties

Chapter 10 – Nineties

Chapter 11 – What Brings ME Joy?

Chapter 12 – Now it’s your turn: What Brings YOU Joy?……231

About Carol

Carol Miller Fradkin grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and earned her BS at the University of Maryland. Carol has lived in Atlanta (twice), Baltimore (twice), southern California (twice), Chicago (3 times), Nashville TN, Rochester NY, and St. Louis. She’s held a variety of positions, including multiple volunteer leadership roles in non-profit organizations, but her longest career positions were as a flight attendant and the administrator of the non-profit BMT InfoNet (Blood & Marrow Transplant Information Network). These may seem like very diverse positions, but her passion for helping people, and especially helping people feel comfortable in unfamiliar situations, is a dominant theme. Carol and her husband Gary currently split their time between Nashville and Atlanta, and are extremely grateful for the experiences and relationships with which they’ve been blessed, due to moving and travel.

Carol has published two books. Her first is Moving Gracefully: A Guide to Relocating Yourself & Your Family; her second is What Brings You JOY?