DAY 18: Joy of Food: Overcoming the Odds

What joy we can find in food grown, prepared and shared with love and passion. …and in inspiring stories of individuals who changed the fabric of their lives overcoming the odds of succeeding.

Waking to a rainy day, one in which to stay snug and warm inside, the PBS video below came into my life . Of course I simply wanted to share it with all of you as the Joy and Laughter Project continues through the month of December.

As I watched each segment telling stories of people who have not only overcome immense odds, but in addition turned them into lifelong service to their communities with devotion, resilience and generosity of spirit, I couldn’t help but smile.

This is what we should see on the daily news and in our social media for it is abundantly happening all over the world.

From Yannick, a man who lost his mobility at age 25, years later launching a barrier free very conscious restaurant called Contento; Kristen who came from homelessness to creating the family she never had growing up; Maria who lost her home and was helped by a group of veterans who had formed a collective to help rebuild homes in flooded Houston after Hurricane Harvey; Tony, a once severely depressed man who changed life in Harlem by setting up urban gardens; and Jared who was falsely imprisoned for 10 years for a crime he did not commit becoming an attorney and more.

Interwoven throughout all of these stories is Lidia’s Italian flare and passion for food born through her mother’s love of cooking, both having faced enormous obstacles in their lives. She tells a bit of her own story and connects with each one of these individuals through this love of food and the courage it takes to overcome the adversities of life.

You may even find some great new dishes to cook!


“In this hour-long Lidia Celebrates America special, Lidia travels from big cities to small pockets of rural America, both in person and virtually, to share the inspiring stories of a diverse group of resilient Americans who have overcome extraordinary odds in their own lives, found purpose in serving their communities, and turned their loss into inspiring accomplishments.”

About 31 Days of Joy & Laughter Project:

As elders with a long life behind us and not as much embodied life before us, and as humans on the planet Earth at this time, we are being faced with incredible challenges that compete to take our attention.

A couple of days ago I realized I no longer choose to have my attention taken by the fear, doom and gloom broadcast daily, whether on our smart phones news feed or while talking to others. I am weary of it all and need a higher vibration energy bath!.

It is not that I don’t want to know what is happening in the world, but instead the question I am posing to myself, and to you, every day is – where do we want to place our attention? We most always have a choice.

For the month of December I am placing attention on joy, laughter, creativity and acts of kindness as a experiment to see what unfolds. Seeking out and being aware of moments of joy sometimes hidden in the deep pockets and lining of each and every day that seem to get passed over without even looking back. They are always there.

Each day in December you will find a small nugget of joy, humor, creativity or small act of kindness that found me and pulled my attention which will be posted here. I invite you to join me and share your experiences and what you noticed so that we may spread it around! (Please use the “Comment” section below).

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You can also find all of the posts in the archives here:

Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, 12/17/21. Please feel free to share this post and link to WildlyFreeElder

Considering a move? Finding Home: Conscious Relocation Services by Gaye Abbott

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