Bad Girl, Good Business

Route 66 Installment #55: JOY or OY!?

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What is a true joy for me?

What results in frustration rather than elation?

As we head into the final month of 2022, these are two questions you should ask yourself.

Last month, I focused on “gratitude” and how we can examine the people, things, and situations for which we’re the most thankful.

But joy is different from gratitude. It’s that beautiful feeling when we do, think, or experience something that makes us happy.

It doesn’t have to be something huge.

In fact, I keep a list in Google Docs of “100 Things That Make Me Happy,” which includes weird and wonderful tidbits like:

  • A really good Tito’s martini with bleu cheese olives and Dole canned pineapple in its own juice (but not consumed together)
  • Listening to The English Beat singing “Tenderness”
  • When my apartment (especially my closet)  is clean and organized
  • Writing — especially things like this that may help other people too

Of course, I have some big stuff on my list too, but as with gratitude, the tiny moments and things are essential. Whenever I’m down, I look at my list and do one of those activities or seek out the types of people who bring joy.

Very scary (and unjoyful) stats

A whopping 45 percent of people say they haven’t been happy since 2020, and 25 percent have forgotten what true happiness feels like!

Yikes! Not even extra olives can fix that.

If you can’t dig yourself out of a deep funk, seek professional help.

But, if you’re just having one of those temporary and nasty “Is That All There Is?” moments, shake it off and find your joy. (Please don’t watch the Peggy Lee video below if you feel blue! Look at the baby instead.)

In closing (or actually opening the holiday season and the onset of 2023…)

If you’re among the 25 percent who can’t remember what happiness feels like, I strongly recommend creating your own “100” list. Or, perhaps you can just start with 25 or 50.

Let me know if you need help with the categories or inspiration to get started — my “happy hour” consulting comes with a free copy of our book. 

You might find that the simple act of creating the list may make you a little more joyous!


Joyous links. Researching and sharing obscure facts also makes me happy!

BGGB.OkeyDokey-fred 7 happy habits as we age
BGGB_ShakingHands Bring joy to others
BGGB_Thumbs-Down-fred Seasonal depression and how to “cure” it
BGGB_Pointer Developing “happy habits”



  1. I am so rarely depressed that when joy left my life every so often a fw months ago, i started therapy. Which makes a diff.

  2. I have been blessed with happiness! For the occasional blue day, I seek out something to do for someone else. Ironically, many in my family suffer with moderate to severe depression, so there are always people in need!

  3. I am generally very happy, for which I’m grateful. Keeping busy keeps the blues at bay and good sleep does too. Writing in a journal for 36 years has also helped as does writing in general, come to think of it!


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