FEATURED IMAGE DESCRIPTION: The author, France Theriault, poses in front of art work. She has dark glasses and an orange sweater. She is smiling at the camera.


There was a time in my life post-concussion when JOY was only a mirage, an optical illusion.

When you are challenged by physical discomforts and emotional distress, JOY isn’t even in your radar.

You are only surviving.

You are wondering when life will be better.

You are wondering if one day you will be open to embrace life once again.

It took me many years to get out of the funk, to be free of the paralyzing fears, pains and cognitive impairments which came after surviving a tragic cycling accident that resulted in a concussion.

It took me lots of courage, determination, trust and compassion to reinvent myself.

Once I started to make steady improvements I began to wonder how to invite JOY in my life.

One day I decided to create a JOY LIST.

It wasn’t an easy task.

I really had to search and brainstorm ideas about this topic.

What brought me JOY pre-injury wasn’t very helpful and accessible to me at this point.

I wanted to find simple and small moments of JOY I would be able to create and recreate by myself.

Here are some of the things that I came up with:

✨Listening to music

✨Green tea and dark chocolate

✨Laying down in the dark


✨Nature walk

✨Phone call with a loved one

✨Art exploration

✨Reading a book

✨Wearing a comfy sweater

✨Being held

✨Taking care of my plants

✨Sunshine on my face

✨Glass of wine

✨Walking on the beach

✨Taking pictures

✨Being in the presence of beauty

JOY and I are fabulous friends now, and I am so grateful I have found it again.

I am curious: what is something that brings you JOY?

For my TBI friends, how are you embracing your life? Is JOY part of the story? With the holiday season fast approaching, we may have mixed feelings as we anticipate the time that lies ahead. I encourage you to listen to yourself and seek what you need.You are allowed to create something new this year! My wish for you is to invite and create some joyful moments today, tomorrow and onwards.

Let’s be open to miracles!

Follow France on Instagram @Standingbyyourside65 where she shares stories and insights about living a beautiful life and meaningful life 9 years after having a mild Traumatic Brain Injury from a cycling accident.