As we approach the summer solstice – a perfect moment to stop and look around – Kathy Feest takes some time to reflect on this annual event and what it means to be a part of The Joy Club, which provides a space for members to discover and explore what truly brings them joy…
Summer is coming! The date is fixed… 21st June this year to be precise. The summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere occurs annually between June 20th to 22nd because of the difference between our Gregorian calendar system and how long it takes Earth to orbit the Sun – about 365.242199 days to be precise. The day that’s known as the summer solstice is the longest day of the year – and, of course, the shortest night. Double yay!
When it arrives it certainly gives us reason to cheer. The gloom of the early dark nights of winter are past. On that day, one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt toward the sun. Literally translated, solstice means to stand still and this offers us an excellent prompt to remind ourselves to stop for a moment and acknowledge the goodness that flows through our lives like liquid sunshine.
On New Year’s Eve we’re often encouraged to set out a few goals, the summer solstice offers us the opportunity to see how we’re doing. Fine, I’d say! We all belong to The Joy Club for a start and how clever of us to do so. As we stride out – either metaphorically or physically – into the sun that day we ought to have a smile on our face. We belong to a group that soaks up all our collective joy and has fashioned us into a club! How is that for excellent?
My life would be so different without The Joy Club! I am a long standing member of this online activities club and consider myself lucky to be a part of this thousands-strong community.
The Joy Club’s Founder CEO, Hannah Thomson, was inspired to start The Joy Club by her Granny Jean, for whom retirement was the most joyful chapter of her life. When Hannah lost Granny Jean to dementia, she wanted to pay tribute to her by bringing her sense of joy, adventure and passion for meeting new people to as many others as possible. Hannah clearly adored her active and adventurous Granny Jean and this love was etched into every decision that eventually became The Joy Club community.
Hannah’s mission became to provide other retired people with access to the things that would bring them happiness in their retirement.
And The Joy Club sure has worked for me! I’ve been a member since the early days and have written many articles that I’ve been able to share with the community. In addition, I’ve run workshops over the years and met many of my fellow members virtually. During my ‘Empower hour’ sessions, we remind ourselves of our own strengths and share life experiences with one another. What’s more, I’ve been a part of the Member Steering Group and discovered how the ‘engine room’ of The Joy Club functions.
All of their hard work has recently been recognised in several different ways, which I consider to be something to shout about. They are too unassuming to bang their own drum, but – as a fan of this club – I can do a bit of that on their behalf.
Impact Fifty recently named them as one of the top fifty most meaningful companies to work for in the UK. They received this accolade alongside the likes of much bigger and longer established companies such as MIND, UNICEF and Patagonia. In order to be considered, the employees are asked to write testimonials that share what it’s like to work where they do. To receive this award is a brilliant achievement by an exceptional team. We club members are in good hands!
They also recently won a Global Business Tech Award – being named as the HealthTech Company of the Year. This reflects the work The Joy Club does to help support the wellbeing of all of us through access to physical exercise, intellectual stimulation and social connection.
How good is that? We members know that we’re are in good hands, but isn’t it nice that others are noticing that too?
As I write, this inspiring group is up for yet another award! They have been shortlisted in two categories for this year’s Hustle Awards; Hannah has been shortlisted for Founder of the Year and the whole team is up for Social Impact Heroes of the Year. Watch this space!
While the Solstice gives us an opportunity to reflect on our good fortune, it is also a great time to recognise those that got us to where we are. Beside the Joy Club employees, who else in your life deserves your thanks and appreciation? Perhaps as the sun rises on us all on the 21st June, we might shout out and let them know. In the meantime, may I thank each and every one of you for being members of our club. Without each other, we wouldn’t have a club. Without the amazing team that brought us all together we wouldn’t have our club either! So Yay! Double Yay!
The solstice is also a great time to honour where we’ve been, recognise our own personal achievements and think about where we’d still like to go. If you’d like to delve further into those areas along with other members, please join us for my Summer Solstice workshop on 28th June. All you need is a pen some paper and a heart full of joy that is longing to be expressed!
Enjoy the summer and see you soon!
Kathy Feest has a wealth of experience with writing, leadership and personal development mentoring. Kathy fulfilled her dream at the age of 41 and earned her first University degree; she went on to complete a PhD in Medical Education. She regularly runs self-development workshops at The Joy Club so keep your eyes on our events calendar for one of her next live sessions.