“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style” –  Maya Angelou

Thank you for stopping by.  My name is Joy Turingan, author and amateur photographer behind Joyous Serendipity. My husband, Ralph, and I immigrated from the Philippines in 1987 to pursue advanced degrees in Marine Biology.  We now call Florida home.  We recently celebrated our thirty-first wedding anniversary and are empty nesters.  We have two daughters, Erin and Megan, and a grandson, Zeke.

In 2014, after 13 years in the classroom, I left and taught for a virtual school.  It was a tough transition. Work-life balance was non-existent, often spending 60 plus hours working on most weeks.  It took over a year for things to settle down.  I had to learn how to right the ship to keep my sanity and return to a happy home life.  

On December 20, we welcomed our first grandson.  He came wrapped as a blessing at a time when we faced challenges that threatened the core of our family structure. At the time, I leaned on my faith, friends and the love for this young angel to patch the cracks of our family dynamics.  The birth of a child softens the jagged edges of strained relationships.  I believe that grandchildren unlocks a special place in our hearts reserved for them alone.  It brings out a love so strong you can smile and cry at the same time from pure joy.  Zeke was the prescription I needed to heal my broken heart due to broken promises.

Now in my middle age, I am on a journey towards minimalism and decluttering my life of material stuff and toxic relationships.  Through this “cleansing”, I intend to gain more time and peace in my heart and enjoy time with family, serve others and grow in my faith.  I have hesitantly embraced the changes that mid life has sprung on my body including hormonal changes due to menopause.  With this came a different set of challenges that I have met head on with a shift to a low-carb diet and intermittent fasting.  At 47, I started running long distances.  I have ran 7 marathons and 23 half marathons in the past 5 years.  As long as my knees will allow, I will continue to train and eventually meet our running goal of running in all 50 states or in all 7 continents whichever comes first.

Frances Lear said:  “I believe the second half of one’s life is meant to be better than the first half. The first half is finding out how you do it. And the second half is enjoying it.” 

I am two years into the second half of my life and I intend to enjoy it!  I will continue to enjoy what I loved most in the first half.  I enjoyed traveling and experiencing new and endemic cuisine.  I enjoyed crafting, occasional gardening and decorating.  I also love fashion and make up!  I knitted, painted furniture, cooked and ran.  On the top of the list of things I can live without is folding laundry!

In the next half, I want to share the lessons I learned and teach others how to make wiser financial decisions, cope with work and life changes, rise up from failed business ventures, overcome health issues, strengthen your faith, and be better at parenting.  I hope that sharing my stories of past events or current ones, you will be able to live your best life whether you are in the first or second half of your life.