I think it’s fair to say that it’s easy to get lost in the idea where everything has to be serious all of the time, without exception. The news is serious, Facebook is serious, politics are serious and then our relationships can become overly focused on the serious stuff and not on the glue that makes any relationship last; communication and understanding.

Around the middle of each month, we have an event that we call the P & L (Profit & Loss) Potluck. This is exactly what it sounds like. Every team member brings in an assigned food item and we have a great lunch while we review our financial performance from the previous month and for the year to date. We have found that if we tie a theme to the meeting, then it stops becoming “just another meeting” and instead becomes an experience where learning and collegiality flourish. This month, the theme was built around picking your favorite celebrity chef and making one of their dishes. The winner of the contest, as voted on by the team, would get a gift card and the eternal honor of winning the PPN Celebrity Chef Competition.

Ever since I was a kid, I have always been a fan of the Muppets. (My concerns about Kermit and Miss Piggy aside….) Not only because of the great lessons they teach, but perhaps more importantly, by the joy that seems to permeate both the characters and the individuals who play the character. One of my favorite characters was The Swedish Chef. When I thought of the best celebrity chef I know, many ideas came to mind…. Guy Fieri (can’t sell the hair); Robert Irvine (my arms aren’t big enough); Bobby Flay (I will freely admit that I cannot beat Bobby Flay and wouldn’t even think to try….)

Then my pondering led me back to the Muppets. As you can see, I can pull off a relatively close impression of the chef and can even sell the lilting voice at times! “Es going to pop de popcorn!” I can also make a mean pot of Swedish meatballs, thanks to my good family friend Heather Searcy, so it was an honor to win the vote of best costume at today’s luncheon.

I don’t say all of this to blow my own horn. Instead, I would offer it up as a challenge to each and every one of us. What are you doing today to exude joy? These days it can seem especially dark at times and if each one of us would focus just a bit on being joyful, it could make a wonderful difference for everyone.

Make it a great week!