How a Buffalo Chicken Wrap Made My Day

Bill StimpsonEditor’s Note: Introducing Following Your Joy’s first guest blogger! The honor goes to my favorite guy in the whole world—my husband, my cheerleader, my best friend, my soulmate, my live-in comedian, my fellow joy-follower, Bill Stimpson.

A new lesson for me is that gratitude and joy go hand-in-hand. Where there is joy, gratitude is always present. And when I come from a place of gratitude, joy will certainly follow. After seeing this idea in writing now, I feel a bit silly making such a simple announcement!

But until this past week, though, I never really understood it.

I don’t know that it’s possible to live a life that is joyful in all moments, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. Just like everyone else, I have those rough days, or sometimes rough stretches of days, when joy seems like a foreign concept. I recently had a particularly challenging week, culminating in a Friday that I thought would never end. However, it all changed in an instant, with a simple expression of gratitude.

An office getaway

That day, I needed to get away from the office for lunch. So along with a few of my co-workers, we went out and hit one of the local hotspots, specializing in all things chicken. Unfortunately, the place was completely packed, overbearingly loud, and filled with no fewer than 30 giant flat-screen TV’s…all providing the latest important updates in natural disasters, political turmoil, sports scandals, and, of course, wonderful products that would surely change my life in an instant. That atmosphere wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. Oh well, it still felt good to get away and I needed something to eat anyway.

After twenty or so minutes of strained conversation, our food finally arrived. I was starving and ready to dig right into my mouthwatering-looking chicken wrap. But, instead—in a stroke of good fortune—I paused and took a moment to acknowledge my food. I thought about each aspect of my lunch, where it all came from, and all the people that were involved in helping to create this meal for me. I felt especially grateful for the chicken that had, obviously, gone through the ultimate sacrifice so I could have a nice lunch.

Suddenly, my day seemed not so daunting. In fact, I felt amazingly better!

So while my coworkers were busy having a heated argument on the odds of the success of Tiger Woods’ marriage, I was having an amazing moment by myself. No one would have ever known.

A feeling of peace

The gratitude I had for my chicken wrap spread within me like wildfire. I became grateful for my coworkers, grateful for my job. Grateful for my health, for my beautiful and cozy townhome, for all the wonderful friends and family in my life, and on and on. And most of all, of course, I was grateful for the amazing life that I have with my soulmate, Michelle, and the incredibly rich life we have created for ourselves.

This immense gratitude then manifested into joy; joy that completely filled me. The irony of the situation didn’t escape me either: Amidst all the chaos, I, who had arrived at the restaurant in such a hopeless state of mind, appeared now to be the only soul in the entire place that felt at peace.

My day had completely changed in only a moment’s time. And believe me, a chicken wrap has never tasted so good!

When I got back to work, all the day’s challenges were still there. But in light of my new attitude, everything seemed more doable. I completed my work, and I looked forward to a refreshing weekend. Even the thought of coming back to work on Monday seemed okay.

Again, I took a moment for myself—this time I was grateful for my experience at lunch, which had unexpectedly made such a joyful impact on my day. But more than that, I was grateful for this new life lesson—one that I knew would serve me well in the future, when I might once again find that joy has temporarily eluded me.


Bill Stimpson is a life enthusiast, personal growth addict, and part-time writer. For Bill, humor is a priority and a day is never complete without at least one good belly laugh!

Where has a moment of gratitude in your life turned into a feeling of joy?

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10 Responses to “How a Buffalo Chicken Wrap Made My Day”

  • I’m with you! Gratitude and joy ARE synonymous, and I can’t think of a time when I had one without the other. I never thought of it this way! You’re always so good at tying things together and making life…simple. Thanks for contributing a great post! :)

  • Lisa Saline says:

    Bill, thank you for sharing your thoughts and how you overcame the chaos of the moment. I too can appreciate the “little things” and often times focusing on what we are grateful for can truly pull us through any situation we may not desire to be in. Thanks to you and Michelle for making a huge difference in the lives of others by “being” the joyful couple you are.

  • Robin says:

    YAY Bill! You go boy! Thank you for your wonderful blog and a great reminder/helpful hint.

  • Proof positive you can find an oasis… anywhere!

  • Isn’t it amazing…the power we have over our disposition?!? I choose joy and gratitude daily and like you wish to experience it in every moment. Who’s to say we can’t?

  • Char says:

    Woo Hoo!! Love that you shared this experience with everyone! We all have these days and so many of us get bogged down in the day and if we only take a moment as you did, it can all change! Thanks for reminding me that being grateful is so easy!!
    Love you!
    Auntie Char

  • Michele says:

    Great post, Bill! Now I know that I don’t need to look far to find joy on a day when I’m feeling hopeless. Just being thankful can help me get there. Your post is good timing for me, so thank you. I like that you shared the sentence, too, about how you felt it was a simple announcement. I’ve come to believe that simple isn’t easy. Thank you for the reminder.

  • Ann Koerner says:

    Great writing Bill. We all need reminders to approach life with a grateful attitude and to look for silver linings in anything!! It’s no small wonder that you and Michelle are together, what great joy you bring to each other and to all of us who are fortunate to be able to take part in your sharing!

  • Bill says:

    Thanks everyone for the nice comments! I appreciate the feedback and the added words of wisdom. May we all be blessed with an abundance of gratitude and joy!

  • Jane says:

    What a precious story Bill! I can just picture you zoning out and focusing into the heartbeat of another place…like really stopping to say grace. Hugs and thanks for you Bill!!!

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Michelle Stimpson: Editor/Writer

Michelle Stimpson Hi and thanks for visiting - so glad you're here! This blog is especially for cool people who want to experience joy and live a life of purpose. Welcome!

Here you'll find great stories that will inspire you and remind you that life is good, and there's an abundance of joy all around us. Simply put: When you follow the things in life that make you come alive and bring you joy...the magic begins to unfold.

Start by checking out the "Best Of" page and be sure to consider subscribing above. Thank you and cheers to joy!

Michelle Joy Stimpson
Executive Editor & Writer
Life Coach, LifeShine

Bill Stimpson: Partner-In-Crime

Bill Stimpson Hi! Not only will you see me “show up” in many of Michelle’s stories and posts here, but I also serve as Michelle’s editor, helping her clarify intentions and make her posts shine.

One of the great joys in my life is being involved with this blog! It’s a constant reminder for me to focus on the things that bring me joy. It also feels great to be sharing so many of these joys with you - in hopes that you, too, will find ways to focus on your own joyful experiences.

Here's to an abundance of joy in your life!

Bill Stimpson
Hubby & Associate Editor

The Parent Company

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