Choosing Joy – 1

  • Weekly Intention: my intention this week is to be productive and slow. I want to slow down in my interactions and try to stay focused on my deliverables.
  • This month’s intention is: Small Joys : Start small. Make a plan for the steps you want to take and give yourself a lot of grace. Take a handful of steps. You got this. I have started on this, capturing daily joys on insta and taking a few small steps like buying some of the things I wanted. Finding a way to set my table up etc.
  • One area where I will go deeper this week: I would like to find some way to do journaling and art.
  • What do I need to sit with this week?  understanding my feelings.
  • I am looking forward to: getting some work done and also having a 3-day weekend.
  • Focus on Core Desired Feelings (ease, release, equanimity, space, possibility): I am actively working on paying attention to what’s holding me back in these areas. Last week, I learned that I can’t always trust my thoughts. I was making something really big in my head but then when I did it, it was fun. So I can’t always trust what I think something will feel like. I am learning to pay attention to what’s getting in the way and finding ways to raise my awareness.
  • This week’s challenges: I have a lot of work I would like to get done, I would like to find a way to make it possible. To be both more efficient and more productive.
  • Top Goals: 
    • Work:  be productive. get at least the offsite and the new calendar and the write up for OC done.
    • Personal:  find a plan for morning pages, do some art – however small, continue on wellness, make a connection plan
    • Family: climb with J, make a decision with D and doctor, help N with CB, help J with G, be patient, spacious and kind.
  • This week, I want to remember: what matters most to me is to be kind and loving.

2022 – Plans and Projects

I had regular goals for my blog for the last few years and that worked well for me until 2020 when I just gave everything up. At this point, I am not yet sure how I feel about 2022 and the blog so I don’t want to prematurely commit to things. But here are a few things that are top of mind for me

  • Daily Joys: Posting daily on my instragram really helped me keep my word front and central this year. I am currently contemplating continuing that. We’ll see if I do.
  • Art: I really miss art. I will find a way to bring it back to my life and here.
  • Reflection: Monday and Sunday reflection posts helped me stay connected to my goals, keep track of my intentions, I will see if I can bring those back.
  • Nourish: Last year I did 100 days of radical wellness and it really really worked for me. I am thinking of doing a version of that again this year, bringing together all my goals around food, exercise, skincare, mental health, etc, it’s a really good focus for me.
  • Reading – I read a lot this year. I continued to read netgalley/edelweiss ARC books as well as audiobooks from the library and audible. I plan to continue this next year. I will continue tracking them on goodreads.

Like last year, I bailed around October which seems to be when I get tired and just don’t feel up to it anymore. So like last year, I give myself the caveat that all of these might happen, none of them might happen. I might repeat projects. I might do wildly different things. I am giving myself grace while trying to keep myself motivated.

Here’s to a wonderful 2022.  Here’s to doing more art. Here’s to making time to enjoy art. Here’s to learning new things. Here’s to practicing more. Here’s to reflecting. Being intentional. Nourishing Creating a positive cycle. Here’s to embracing joy.

UNRAVELING THE YEAR AHEAD – 2022

I want to start by saying that this is going to be a long post. These reflective posts are how I make sure to live my life intentionally. They matter to me and I love being able to look back on them in future years. I know that this might not be interesting to many (if not any) of you, so please feel free to skip it. If some of you find it interesting, all the better.

This particular exercise is following Susannah Conway’s Unraveling 2022 sheet. You can download it right here. I split the reflective questions looking back on 2021 in and the questions to help clarify goals/dreams for 2022 into two posts. This is part II. All questions are Susannah’s and are copyrighted to her.

Unravelling The Year Ahead 

It’s now most definitely time to look forward! I love how a new year holds so much possibility.  It’s a do-over, a blank slate, a new page to be filled with whatever we want. There’ll always be  the responsibilities and routines of our everyday, but that doesn’t mean we have to keep doing things in the same old way. Whether you wish to bring in big changes or do a bit of fine-tuning,  it’s all to play for in 2022.  

  1. First, choose a word to guide you through the next 12 months. Pick a word that makes you feel  expanded. Encouraged. Inspired. There’s no right or wrong answer so go with your intuition. What’s your Word for 2022? My word is JOY.
  2. If you truly embodied your Word every day in 2022, what would you do differently? I focus on things that have the feeling of deep joy. Where I feel my soul dancing inside my body.
  3. What one thing could you do each day to anchor your Word into your routine? I think I might continue to document on insta.
  4. How does your Word make you feel? Deep contentment 
  5. Do you want any extra words to support your Word for 2022? Brainstorm here. Think about what  you need in the different areas of your life: home… work… relationships.. Health… self-care…  What would support your Word? Yes I want to hold on to ease, release, space, possibility and equanimity. Those are the ones I am thinking of at the moment.
  6. What are you looking forward to in 2022? Seeing my parents. Getting to visit colleges with David.
  7. What are you feeling apprehensive about? The possibility of COVID still raging. Work situation getting worse. Me not being able to hold on to the ease.
  8. What life lessons are you taking with you into 2022? Is this mine to carry? Can I hold this lightly? Can I let this go? I have my own back. Give people an opportunity to delight and not disappoint. The ground beneath me is not going anywhere. Thank you for everything, I have no complaints whatsoever.
  9. What area of your life do you most want to develop in 2022? Assuming i hold on to hwat i have, prolly art and nutrition are what i want to focus on the most.
  10. What part of yourself do you yearn to nurture in 2022? The part of me that’s unraveling right now. The ease and the peace.
  11. Fast-forward to December 2022. You’re sitting in a café, musing over the last 12 months.  Where do you want to be… … in your head? (work, dreams, goals) I want to be really thriving and loving my job. I want to feel a sense of belonging and clear ownership and value.
  12. … in your heart? (relationships, family, friends) i want everyone at home to feel good and healthy and happy. I want to see my family again and i would love to have 1-2 new close friends.
  13. … in your soul? (beliefs, practices, self-love) i want to continue feeling this ease and feeling of having my own back. I would love to keep this spaciousness.
  14. … in your physical world? (home, health, hobbies) i would love to have done some major progress in art and my ability and ease with drawing and painting. I would also love to have made a major shift in nutrition.

Everything is Possible 

  1. Okay, let’s take it up a notch. Use this page to describe what 2022 looks like in your ideal  world. Be specific! What are your dreams for love this year? Work? Play? Where are you hungry  for change? How do you want 2022 to FEEL? Use your answers from the previous pages to craft  your ideal vision for the next 12 months. What would saying YES to your life look and feel like? Write out everything your heart desires for this new year. Be bold.
    1. It would mean that I wake up and do my exercise and then my meditation, I continue to do cardio, strength and restorative work. 
    2. It would mean I tell my kids and husband how much i love them everyday and see the joy of our life together.
    3. It would mean I find value in the work I do and feel a strong sense of belonging and contribution at work.
    4. It would mean that I eat what feeds my body, take care of my skin, and do what feeds my brain and soul. 
    5. It would mean that I prioritize sleep.
    6. It would mean I spend time doing art. 
    7. IT would mean I see my friends in person.
    8. It would mean I look for and see and create daily joy in my life.
  2. Now let’s give those dreams and plans some shape. Use the grid to start plotting the details of 2022. Use words and pictures, dates and anniversaries. Include actual events and made-up dreams, too. Be playful. Doodle your heart out. Back in 2013, our January OLW assignment involved setting intentions and I really enjoyed that, so I thought maybe I can do that instead. 
  • January:  Small Joys : Start small. Make a plan for the steps you want to take and give yourself a lot of grace. Take a handful of steps. You got this.
  • February:  List the Joys:  See what’s bringing you joy this month. Make lists. Pay attention. See if you can find patterns. 
  • March:  Choose Joy:  This is usually your hardest month. No break, still too cold. It feels hard to make it through this month but you can. Choose joy. Look at your list from February.  Keep going. 
  • April: Joyful Leap: Time to go on adventures. See some colleges. Have deep conversations. See possibilities.
  • May: Deep Joys: Take some time. Be still. Listen to the whispers of your soul. Hug your people. Dig deep and see what brings you deep joy.
  • June:  Practice Joy: Breathe in the fresh air. Summer is here. Smell the water. Go outside. Sit in the sunshine. One more school year is over. Celebrate your life. 
  • July: Invite Joy: Create some adventure. Go places. Do things. Hug your people. Take chances.
  • August: Big Joys: Time to get organized again, transitions are coming. twelfth and eight grades. These are big big milestones. Hug your kids.  Get organized, plan, prepare and do what you need to do. Write down all your dreams. Make plans. 
  • September: Joyful Surrender: Time to root and surrender. This is a hard month for you. Transitions are rough. But you also turn 48. It’s magical to get to have another year. Remember the growth mindset. Let go of your preconceived ideas and embrace the possibilities. Choose to celebrate. Surrender to joy.
  • October: Seek Joy:  Find new joys. Reach out to others. Make new connections. Say yes to more things. Find some classes. Pickup a new hobby. Take a new step.
  • November:  Joy in Rest: It’s ok if you need to start slowing down. Give yourself grace. Year is almost over. Can you do one more thing, take one more step in the direction of your dreams? What do you still want this year? What didn’t you get to yet?
  • December:  Joyful Celebration:  You’ve come a long way. It’s time to celebrate. Honor. Be grateful. Thank 2022 for all that it gave you. Fully bask in how far you’ve come so you can bid it farewell. Celebrate all your joys.

Air

  1. List 3 unhelpful beliefs about yourself you’re ready to release 
    1. I am not worthy
    2. I am not strong
    3. I am ugly.
  2. List 3 duties or commitments you feel ready to let go of in 2022 
    1. Things that are not mine to do at work.
    2. Going places I don’t want to go.
    3. Saying yes to things that don’t bring me joy.
  3. List 3 skills you’d like to learn or improve in 2022 
    1. Art. Drawing and painting.
    2. Beautiful writing, lettering.
    3. Meditation.
  4. List 3 books you intend to read this year: I will read hundreds.
  5. How could you bring more calm into your life (and head) this year? I will continue to meditate. I will make a list of what matters most each day and do those 3 things first.

Water

  1. List 3 things about yourself you positively love 
    1. I am dependable.
    2. I get things done.
    3. I am kind.
  2. List 3 ways you could be kinder to your body this year 
    1. I can eat more nutritious food.
    2. I can put moisturizing cream on more regularly. 
    3. I can floss more regularly. 
  3. List 3 ways you could connect with loved ones in 2022 
    1. I can go back to a weekly phone call with K.
    2. I can make a weekly coffee date with L.
    3. I can call one friend a week.
  4. List 3 people you could extend compassion to 
    1. Jake
    2. Myself + the kids.
    3. Maybe C at work?
  5. How could you bring more love into your life this year? This year I can choose one person each day that I really want to prioritize and do something for. This will help me to purposely lean on showing them how much i love them.

Fire

  1. List 3 interests/hobbies you would like to explore more in 2022 
    1. art
    2. lettering
    3. Online classes
  2. List 3 ways you could feed your imagination this year 
    1. Watch more documentaries?
    2. Listen to music more often
    3. Go on artist’s dates
  3. List 3 ways you could bring more passion into your world this year 
    1. Do art
    2. Volunteer for causes that matter to me
    3. Love my people
  4. List 3 dreams you would like to manifest this year (personal or professional) 
    1. Get really good at painting/drawing
    2. Find peace with nutrition
    3. Really fully settle into my job
  5. How could you bring more creative energy into your life this year? Doing some sort of regular practice is what works the very best.

Earth

  1. List 3 ways you could bring more mindfulness to your mornings 
    1. Exercise + meditation
    2. Skin cream 
    3. Some art or journaling
  2. List 3 ways you could bring more mindfulness to your evenings (I added this because I want to do both mornings and evenings.) 
    1. Diffuser for a few minutes + foot cream
    2. Floss
    3. Write joys (insta)
  3. List 3 ways you could cherish your home this year
    1. Clean up the garage
    2. Let things be what they are
    3. Enjoy the backyard.
  4. List 3 ways you could connect more deeply with nature in 2022 
    1. Go on hiking/climbing trips
    2. Toes in sand/water
    3. Sit outside as much as possible.
  5. List 3 places in your city, town or neighbourhood you want to explore 
    1. The city more 
    2. California colleges
    3. Maybe get to go to the kids’ school again.
  6. How could you bring a sense of groundedness into your life this year? Continue to meditate and do restorative yoga. Journal. Stay present. Regularly release, hold lightly and don’t pickup what’s not yours to carry.
  7. Using your favourite tarot or oracle deck, draw one card for the overall theme of the upcoming year and then a card for each month of 2022. I don’t like to do this so as well as the monthly above, I will list a bunch of things I can do this year.
    1. Joy of calm: journaling, meditation, candles, sitting outside, music, restorative yoga. stretching.
    2. Joy of the outdoors: Hiking, Climbing, water, sand, adventures. 
    3. Joy of healthy living: food that serves my body, exercise, more water, walking, sleep, floss, skincare.
    4. Joy of routine: morning and evening routines. Intentionally planning my day.
    5. Joy of being active: stretching, strength, yoga, biking, climbing
    6. Joy of art: draw, paint, photography, hand lettering, writing.
    7. Joy of storytelling: week in the life, story albums, december daily, OLW
    8. Joy of family: visiting colleges, vacation, shared adventures
    9. Joy of connection: emails/calls with friends, weekly dates
    10. Seeing Joy: write what went right, celebrate, make joy lists, joy list, gratitudes
    11. Joy of learning new things: podcasts, new classes, nonfiction books
    12. Practicing Joy: dance, sing, listen to music, celebrations, try new things, pay attention.

The Wrap-Up 

  • 2022 will be the year I finally settle into the ease.
  • I will nourish myself with food that helps my body and soul.
  • I will make more time for art, people i love, exercise.   
  • I will recharge my batteries by resting and doing yoga.
  • This year I will open my heart to possibilities.
  • I will pay more attention to how my body feels. What i am picking up.
  • I will learn more about how to draw. 
  • I will release my attachment to outcomes, knowing what’s coming, anything that’s not mine. 
  • I wish for 2022 to feel easeful and joyful.
  • This year I will say NO to things that are not mine. 
  • This year I will say YES to experiencing more joy and to being here now.
  • What is your secret wish for 2022? Declare it here! That I continue to live in this space of ease and really lean into joy and possibility.

I wholeheartedly believe that everything is possible in 2022!

As always, I mention many of these same thoughts from last year and here, here, and here. I am pretty sure these themes have been in my life in some way or another for many years. I know that they will likely still be around in 2022 and 2022 and onward. What I’d like to do this year is to make a dent. To move things forward a little bit. Every forward step I take moves me in the right direction and that’s all I can ask for.

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine stepping into the shoes of you from December 2022, one year from now. You are one year older and one year wiser and you’ve lived every day of 2022 fully and completely. You have a message of encouragement about 2022. There’s stuff you want to share… stuff you’re eager to tell yourself. When you’re ready, open your eyes, pick up your pen, and write a letter from your future self, starting with Dear Karen: I am so proud of you. Keep going, you got this!

2022 – Core Desired Feelings

As with all the previous years, I knew I wanted to pick my core desired feelings this year, too. If you want to know more about core desired feelings, please go to my post from 2016 and you can see the links there.

This is the first year in a long time that I knew what I wanted going into the year and I didn’t actually do the exercise. 2021 was a very hard year for me that ended up being an extremely transformative year around a lot of inner work. I had some really really tough moments this year both personally and professionally. I think it ended up being hard enough that I finally had to do what I needed to do to get help and do my own work.

I had a major, random breakthrough in the middle of summer as I was reading a book by Tara Brach with this quote:

Thank you for everything. I have no complaints whatsoever.

I think I was already on the path but that quote is the point I viscerally remember everything changing. I added this quote to my calendar for a daily reminder (it’s still there.) I found a therapist, I extended my coaching at work, I started doing more restorative yoga. I visualized releasing things again and again. As I lay on the ground doing the yoga, I imagined balloons coming out of my body and into the sky with my worries on them. It worked every time.

I added some major questions to ask myself:

  • is this mine to carry?
  • can i hold this lightly?

There was an OLW class around affirmations, I set a bunch and here are the few that really stuck with me:

  • I have all the time I need.
  • I am exactly where in supposed to be.
  • I choose joy.

I added meditation to my routine. The first time I had a long session, I had this profound realization that brought tears to my eyes:

  • I have my own back.
  • The ground beneath me is not going anywhere.

These might seem simple to you but they are things I wanted to believe since I was born but never managed to and now I was finding myself connecting with them viscerally.

And then during a recent conversation with my coach, I realized that lowering my expectations, or in fact not having any was very liberating and it gave the people in my life an opportunity to delight me and not disappoint me. And it allowed me to live my life in a non-transactional way. Opportunities for delight is how I want my life to feel.

So walking into this year, I knew exactly what I wanted to hold on to. What core desired feelings I had. I chose: ease, release, space, equanimity and possibility.

I mentioned before that there’s a pattern to my words: I always pick something around peacefulness, something around being brave, something around being kind, something around being open, and then maybe a few new ones. So even in this year, I didn’t really break the trend except maybe with brave but possibility can cover that. And my word this year Joy feels brave to me.

Here’s what I came up with this year and what they each mean to me:

  • Ease: This is the peaceful word of this year. I have been feeling full of ease towards the end of this year as a combination of not picking up what’s not mine to carry and holding things lightly and doing a lot of work to release. I want to continue to feel this ease. I want to feel light and move through the world with ease.
  • Release: This might be like ease but mostly it’s a prerequisite for me. Surrender and release are really words I’ve kept close this year and they have been profound for my healing. I would like to keep them close.
  • Equanimity: This is my word around kindness this year. Equanimity means mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation. Emotional stability. I think this will result in unwavering kindness.
  • Space: This is the enough/spacious word of this year. I have space to do what i want, to be what i want, i am loved, everything is enough as is. I have my own back. The universe has my back too. All is well. There is enough time and space for all I want.
  • Possibility: And this is for hope. For taking chances. For wild and magic. For being open to what can be. For being brave with my life. For taking chances. For joy.

So there we are. I guess we still have a trend. Ease and Release are my peaceful words, space is about being open, possibility is about being brave and equanimity is about being kind.

I love all of these. Most importantly, I can immediately connect with the feeling I get when I say these words. I feel full. I feel content knowing these are the words I want for myself. They feel exciting and loving.

Here’s to a joyful year of releasing, feeling ease and space and approaching the world with equanimity and possibility.

2022 – Year of Joy

It all started with a doormat.

Well, in actuality, it started with a birthday present that was cute but one that I would never use. My sweet husband bought me a t-shirt and when we went back to the store to return it, I couldn’t find anything at all that I liked. Just as I was about to give up and return the item, my eyes fell on this doormat. It was the last one left and I grabbed it.

The next morning, I walked out to drive my son to the school bus and my heart lifted when I saw the doormat.

I felt Joy.

That was back in September and the doormat is still outside and I have felt that joy every single time I leave the house. I feel it right now, looking at the picture above.

I know it’s weird, I can’t explain it either but I have bought at least seventeen other rainbow items since. Containers, baskets, little lights, hanging hearts, bracelets, I bought them all. They all give me endless joy.

As soon as I felt that uplift in my soul, I knew I had to pick joy for my word for 2022. But I also felt a huge resistance, I couldn’t explain it.

So I went on a search. Here are all the words I considered:

  • delight
  • yellow
  • light
  • laugh
  • spark
  • build
  • cheer
  • play
  • grow
  • celebrate
  • Awake
  • Alive
  • open
  • shift
  • possibility
  • joy
  • restore

I also had words that were close to my heart this year that felt more comfortable to choose. Words like ease, release, space. Each of these seemed more plausible than joy. There was just something off about Joy, it felt too much. Too audacious.

I spent days looking up synonyms. I talked about it with both my coach and my therapist. I was really curious as to why I was both resisting it and also reluctant to let it go. I’d never had this type of a reaction to a word before. I felt like it was mocking me.

As I tried on different words, I’d close my eyes and capture the feeling that I had when I stepped out to the doormat and the only word that kept feeling right was “joy” nothing else would do.

There’s this quote I’d seen before on pinterest that I loved:

“I wish to live a life that causes my soul to dance inside my body”

This is exactly how I felt when I stepped out on that doormat (yes, I know, a doormat?!) I felt my soul lift with joy.

So after weeks of trying to find alternatives, and even googling why I was resisting it, I decided this was going to be my year of Joy. A part of me is deeply resisting it but a bigger part of me is unwilling to let it go. So I will consider this the year to be curious about it.

I looked up a lot of different things about this word and here are some things I’ve found that really resonate with me:

Joy and happiness are wonderful feelings to experience, but are very different. Joy is more consistent and is cultivated internally. It comes when you make peace with who you are, why you are and how you are, whereas happiness tends to be externally triggered and is based on other people, things, places, thoughts and events.

And here’s something that really explains how I felt with the doormat (and continue to feel)

Joy is much simpler and more immediate. Psychologists define joy as an intense momentary experience of positive emotion. It can be measured through direct physical expression. So the feeling of smiling, laughter, and wanting to jump up and down. We get that feeling when something gives us a spark of joy. So in sum, to make it simple, happiness is something that we measure over time. Joy is about feeling good in the moment, and it’s really about these small and simple moments.

I was reading a book by a therapist a few weeks ago and I highlighted this passage that really resonated with me and reminded me what might be possible with this word if I can choose to hold it close:

Our attention is like a spotlight. We have control of that spotlight, but we cannot control the actors who come on stage. We cannot control how long they spend there, what they say, or when they leave. What we get to do is focus that spotlight on one or two of them at a time. If we settle our focus on the anxious thoughts that tell stories of worst-case scenarios and images of you not coping, they get the chance to feed back to the brain that all is not well. When you shift the spotlight of your attention to other thoughts on the stage that offer a different story, they will have their influence on your bodily reaction too. While you are focusing on them, the other thoughts may not leave the stage. They may stick around, waiting for the spotlight again. But without it, they have less power over your emotional state.

So maybe it’s time to put the spotlight on Joy for 2022.

And I love that just like my words from the last few years, it has the potential to be quiet and loud, passive and active.

  • Creating Joy: This is about actively taking action to have more joy in my life. Like the rainbows. Like going on adventures. Like putting on loud music and singing. Like sitting outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Going after what I know gives me joy.
  • Seeing the Joy: This is the passive version. The one that’s about the spotlight. Noticing it. Looking for it. Making sure to shine the spotlight on it.
  • Choosing Joy: This is about choosing the joyful option. Changing my perspective. It’s both active and passive since I am actively changing my perspective but not changing the situation.
  • Inviting Joy: This is quietly active. Gently inviting joy into my life. Taking small steps. Practicing gratitude.
  • Practicing Joy: This is like inviting, too, but it’s more about taking action. Doing small things. Getting more and more familiar with the feeling of joy inside my body.
  • Curious Joy: And maybe this is the most interesting one. This is my year to be more and more curious about what brings me joy. I haven’t always been a joyous person. At least it’s not how I see myself. But maybe 2022 will change that. The goal here is paying attention and finding things that give me joy and doing them.

I really liked the lists I’ve made in the years past year so here are a few other aspects of joy for me (some new, some repeats.):

  1. Shine the spotlight on joy: Settle your focus on joy. Spend your attention and time there as much as you can. Assume the joyous perspective. Choose the light every single time.
  2. Is this mine to carry? Ask yourself this each time before you pick something up. Don’t get on the rollercoaster. If it’s not mine, I will not pick it up. I can love my people and I can offer to help, but I will not pickup what’s not mine to carry.
  3. Surrender and Release: Let things go. Now you know you can. Visualize the balloons. Let them all go. They are not serving you.
  4. Can I hold this lightly? This is a recent question that’s really starting to serve me. Just like remembering what not to carry, I am trying to get clear what I can hold lightly. Does this really, deeply matter to me? Does it need to be held so tightly?
  5. I have my own back. I have what I need. I am grateful to the people who love me and share my life and I am grateful for all I have and at the same time, when I remember that I have my own back, I feel stronger and more solid in the world.
  6. Reset your expectations: Try to set expectations as low as possible. People don’t owe you anything. It’s wonderful when it happens but it’s not expected. Life is not transactional. Give people an opportunity to delight and not disappoint you.
  7. The ground beneath me is not going anywhere: Things are solid. The ground is not moving. Especially when I choose not to get on the roller coaster.
  8. Be Generous: Make room for others. Expand. Tell them why they are amazing. Praise. Donate. Be generous. Nothing is ever too much trouble and there’s always time.
  9. Stronger: You have what it takes. You are getting stronger every single day and I am so proud of you. Just keep at it. Give yourself grace and keep going. Try a tiny bit harder. 
  10. Yes You Can: You are amazing. You have proven again and again that you can do anything you set your mind to. So have faith in yourself. Work hard. Work smart. Do it for you. Do what you decide you want to. Keep at it. You can do it. Yes you can.

I started making a list of things that I know bring me joy. Here’s what’s on there so far: (I’ll try to keep this list growing throughout 2022)

  • Playing loud music
  • Talking all day with a friend
  • First sip of coffee
  • Dipping my toes in the sea/water
  • Watching planes land
  • Laughing
  • Helping someone else
  • Seeing the people I love get their wishes
  • Playing games with Nathaniel
  • Warm shower after a workout
  • Delicious food
  • Company and deep conversations
  • An excellent book
  • A good friend
  • Conquering a hard climb
  • Color
  • Fresh air
  • Art
  • Purpose, reflection
  • Rainbows
  • Christmas
  • Twinkle Lights
  • Journaling
  • Sunshine
  • Learning something new
  • Hugging my people tightly
  • A funny movie
  • A perfectly ripe banana
  • Watermelon
  • Hearing the people I love laugh (hearing anyone laugh)

So there we go. Here’s to a 2022 full of JOY.