By Lane 9 Project Contributor Bernadette

There was an article that was published in USA Today in response to the recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Within the article there was this line, “We need to help people craft lives that are more meaningful and built on a firmer foundation than personal success.” What a radical concept, right? In the world of Strava, Instagram, YouTube viral videos, smart watches,  and smart scales, there is this competition. Even romance on a plane isn’t safe.

This one single line can be applied to all of the things in our lives we are striving for: to be thinner, stronger, prettier, be in a relationship.  Push, push, push. We are surrounded by images (and people) that tell us that if we achieve this one thing that everything will be perfect….and then it’s not and we are left more dejected than before.  We are constantly pushing ourselves without putting our own health, both physical and mental, first. Even elite athletes whom we assume take care of themselves and have everything are pushing rather than making physical and mental health a priority as witnessed through recent public admissions from Cat Bradly, Meb Keflezighi, and Amelia Boone.  If these beacons of success are struggling to find the balance, what does it mean for the rest of us mere mortals?

Thirteenth century poet Rumi said it best, “Only from the heart can you touch the sky.”  If we truly want to be successful humans, then we absolutely need to start finding our hearts and by extension, ourselves.  

A radical thought here: what if instead of chasing something we start chasing someone? Ourselves.  What if we started finding one single thing every single day that brings us joy and appreciate it for that moment? The sound of a baby’s laugh. The color of the sunrise. Find something that you normally wouldn’t pay attention to, let alone acknowledge, and allow it to bring you joy.  

Challenge yourself to find one thing that brings you joy every single day and write it on the calendar, right above the daily agenda.

A sunrise snapped on the way to work one morning–the day’s pocket of joy.

The sunrise was this amazing shade of orange.


The birds fighting over a french fry in the fountain.

In culmination of every week and every month, take a look at your calendar. Do you remember that moment? Can you feel the joy that it brought you? What if these moments started to get strung together bit by bit as if you were building a joy quilt to wrap yourself in, enabling you to find the kind of joy you can hold on to.

Bernadette is an outdoor enthusiast.  Her eating disorder nor her asthma stop her from pushing herself.  She recently became a certified yoga instructor through Vetoga which helped her heal from her trauma induced eating disorder.

National Eating Disorder Association Helpline: 800–931–2236

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