Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011's Motto: Joy is a Choice

So I've been mulling a lot, wondering how I want to enter this new year. I keep reading posts of women and families who have chosen a word or phrase to sort of guide them through the year ahead. Words like simplicity, focus, be present, live fully.
But I'll make a confession here: I sort of want to be that person with the family mission statement and the written out goals and that very focused purpose for myself and for my family, but I never seem to do it. I'm too wishy washy. The other part of my confession is that I am in almost constant struggle with anxiety and depression. ( That said, it is mostly under control but my reality is that those are part of the weight of my life and often the filter through which I view the world.) I have come to terms with it just being a part of me, part of my chemical makeup, part of my psyche. There are some good things. It sometimes keeps me grounded as I tend to be impulsive. It gives me great empathy for others who struggle. But it can also make me very negative and feeling lost or hopeless. And it can overwhelm me and keep me from doing things I want to do and feeling in ways I want to feel. It puts up little walls where my dreams and goals should be and it tells me I am weak, disorganized, poor and untalented.

Wow. That was harder to type that I thought it would be. I don't like that I sometimes feel this way about myself. I want to rise above that, and often do. I saw this poster over at Whatever yesterday and I really want it, because it's true (and it makes me laugh.) Awesomeness IS a choice and every circumstance presents us with the option to put on our rosey glasses or pull our hats down over our eyes. We can look at our days with thankfulness for God's blessings in our lives or not. We CAN view the world and the people around us with grace and generosity and we can do the same for ourselves. So today I am deciding to be joyful in everything. I am choosing to look purposefully for the happiness and beauty around me and to not be dragged down by the monkeys on my back. It may not always come naturally and sometimes I am sure it won't come easily, but I can do it because I choose to.

So I choose joy for the easy things like Ellerie writing her name.
I choose joy for the big things like a happy marriage, warm home and healthy family.
I choose joy for the little things like Gigi snuggled at my feet
and I choose joy in the more difficult things for me like seeing beauty in cold, gray winter and staying positive and hopeful about the little dreams and plans for the future still in my head.

I know I won't always feel happy and sunny and that's okay for me. Still, I look forward to a more purposeful contentment. My life is good. I don't want to ever lose that forrest for the shadows of trees. I want to see the silver linings and remember that my cup is really more than half full. Here's to a joyous new year! So far, so good. ;-)


Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

Perfect! I often stuggle with the same things. But at the same time I'm telling my family that happiness is a choice and I need to remember my own reminders : )

I had a conversation very similar to this with my Littlest last night. She is overwhelmed with anxiety and no matter what I said, nothing was a solution to the problems she was facing. She wouldn't get out of bed this morning. Your words fit perfectly, perhaps I need to share this with her as back-up today.

Jen said...

Warm home, healthy family, a happy marriage - there are millions of people right now who would do anything to have just ONE of those. We seldom realize just how lucky we are, and how joyful we should be.
It is so easy to focus on everything that is going wrong - everything we don't have. Gratitude helps us live with joy, and I'm making a concentrated effort to live with gratitude.

Scented Sweetpeas said...

Fab post, if you were happy all the time you probably wouldn't realise just how joyous those simple things can make us :-) You are human and i hope you have more ups than downs for 2011 :-) I have yet to meet a person that isn't sometimes down. x

Live a Unique Life said...

Thank you so much for sharing....I struggle with the same feelings and am constantly in prayer to rise above it! Its nice to know that many of us are fighting the same battle....may God help us be victorious!

Shauna at The Reed Life said...

yes! you are so generous! thank you for sharing your personal struggles and victories! this is so inspiring to me! thank you thank you thank you for sharing yourself.

beemahoney said...

keep on keepin on - you ARE awesome Liss

Dana - Old Red Barn Co. said...

I'm not a big resolution type of girl just because the calender flips to a new year. I mean, what about a new week? So we'd have 52 reasons to have a fresh start. A resolution 52 times a year? Or a new month. 12 resolutions and fresh starts a year? Please. Who wants to be that girl anyway. Not me. I like you even more than I already did because you honestly aren't.

You are open and honest. And watchful and analytic. And choosing joy.

That's just good stuff any day of the year.

Thanks for being real in this shiny happy world of blogland. I appreciate it.

Melissa Crowe said...

Show me a girl who feels cheerful all the time, and I will show you a crazy person. For reals.

And so long as you're making lists of your joys, there's this: I straight up love you and I barely even know you. That's pretty cool. ;-)

beemahoney said...

oh and Liss? GG is looking huge - I think she's growing for sure

Nicola (Which Name?) said...

You rock for writing that. What a compliment to us that you did and what a good thing to put out there for yourself. Shed it. Depression and anxiety are very real, but one can choose joy in the sense that one can choose to do things to relieve or shed some of the things that make you feel low. I think you are extremely talented. I think you are super funny...your sense of humor has gotten you through some bumps in the road, don't you think?
We do have so much to be grateful for, don't we?
Nicola, who chose a word and now feels like a lame idiot, because 1) I came up with that on my own, yet now it seems "everyone is doing it" and 2) Everyone who isn't doing it is shunning words and resolutions as uncool. So I am either unoriginal or uncool. LOL