Finding Joy

finding Joy

Once December rolls around, it is easy to start thinking about closing out one year and starting fresh on another, and possibly start thinking about resolutions.

I could make an endless list of the questions I ask myself every single day.

How’s the next year going to completely rock compared to this one?

How am I going to finally organize my home office and tackle the bills?

How am I going to convince myself to finish the project(s) I’ve started?

How do people possibly limit themselves to one cookie or one cup of coffee?

My kids could make an even longer list of the questions I repeatedly ask them every day.

Now I’ve never been the type to set and stick to a New Year’s resolution.  Admittedly, that probably isn’t a very shocking disclosure.

But a few things always stick out in my mind when I start and end my day.

Usually this is only because I keep this stuff in the forefront of my mind with little reminders.

I typically tuck an index card on my bathroom mirror.  Notably, my little reminders are something I should probably tuck away when I have company over.  I am not 100% certain my little notes to try to keep myself on track are for public consumption, but I usually forget they’re even there.  And rambling on about them on the Internet probably dispels any notion that they might be top secret squirrel in nature. 

For me, reminders in my life, are an absolute necessity.  Otherwise, many moments in my life go something like this:

Me: “Did I remember to put my extra pair of shoes in the car?

My daughter (rolling her eyes and sighing): “That’s the third time you’ve asked me since we left the house.  Yep.  You remembered your extra shoes.

Me (with a big sigh of my own): “At least you only are here for a visit.  Your brother probably deals with this daily.

Life by its very nature is busy and hectic.  For me, it also can feel complicated to be a single mom facing an unpredictable chronic illness.  I often feel like I get off track.  I end up setting my dreams and goals to the side and only focus on checking off the urgent action items on my to-do list before my energy runs out.  Then I crash into bed with a book escaping the world entirely and then start this routine all over again the next day.

My reminders are a little way to gently remind myself that I want my choices each day to be about the things I really value in life: comfort, peace, order, joy, and love.

No New Years resolution.

No complicated scheme to follow.

Just an index card (or three) tacked to the mirror reminding me of what matters to me the most.

These are my little reminders of how to keep finding Joy again daily, and maybe stumble across a little bit more joy along the way, even when I feel like I’ve lost a little bit of me to the limits (i.e. time limits, physical limitations, energy limits, deadlines, memory limits, etc).

Trying to make daily choices that line up with what I value most is something I try to remember to do every day, not just at the start of a new year.  If I don’t and start slacking, those pesky limits get too big and overwhelming and I tend to let them rule my choices each day and replace all that I value with fear instead of joy.

Little index card reminders to focus on what I truly value the most (comfort, peace, order, joy, and love) keep me on track.

Remembering if I packed my extra pair of shoes, now that’s another story completely. 

How do you reset your sights as one year closes and another begins?  Do you like setting arbitrary New Year’s resolutions or do you have a different way of tackling change?

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