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What gives you joy?

What energizes you?

Have you ever stopped to intentionally consider that and then schedule times to refuel?

Here in northwest Arkansas, we are blessed with many facets of the "best of both worlds." We have access to many beautiful natural resources for people who enjoy the outdoors. We also now have many cultural influences with museums, theaters, restaurants and shopping venues.

Not too long ago, in a busy store, I overheard a man say: "I go back to New York every month to get my batteries recharged... there's so much energy there."

Many people love New York. And many people do feel re-energized in social interaction, surrounded by people and activity.

Many other people love rural settings and feel energized by quiet and solitude, by going to the woods or the lake.

Neither is necessarily right or wrong and we must learn to respect each person's preference, even (or especially) when those people are members of our own family or household.

It seems that often people fall into one of two extremes -- those people who seek to constantly fulfill their joys and neglect their responsibilities or the more mundane side of life and those who work so constantly that they fail to refuel and re-energize and are joyless.

There was a term years ago -- Renaissance man -- that is now replaced with "polymath" meaning a person who is good at or knowledgeable about many different things. Too often we limit ourselves and "put all our eggs in one basket" so to speak by focusing on only one area of learning or interest. Parents may almost force young children into only one sport or area or learning without truly taking that child's unique interests into account.

A wise parent will expose their children to many different areas of learning -- nature, the arts, music, math, reading -- through field trips and visits to museums, plays, symphonies or band concerts, zoos. Not that one visit educates the child per se, but that it introduces them to various interests that may take seed and grow.

Maybe there is something you've not experienced that will bring you joy and give you a sense of being refueled, re-energized. It might be time to take a risk, to try something new.

People talk about "bucket lists." Make an achievable bucket list for your summer and for your child. Your outings do not need to be long or expensive. Within two hours of Benton County, there are many, many places to visit and events to encounter.

Try something new and find joy.

•••

Editor's note: Annette Beard, managing editor of The Times of Northeast Benton County, chosen the best small weekly newspaper in Arkansas for five years, is a native of Louisiana, who moved to northwest Arkansas in 1980 to work for the Benton County Daily Record. She has nine children, five sons-in-law, nine grandsons and three granddaughters. She can be reached at abeard@nwadg.com.

Editorial on 06/12/2019

Print Headline: What gives you joy?

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