I’ve heard so many people say how horrible this past year has been but I can’t dismiss a whole year collectively.
Even during some of our hardest years, where there were multiple moves, job loss, death in the family, and losing EVERYTHING financially, we still had those little moments of joy to hold on to, in between what felt like waves of devastation, that was so overwhelming at times.
It’s all about perspective.
What are you focusing on this year?
*Take a look at the image above again.
What do you see?
Can you find anything good in the picture?
What has brought you joy this past year?
One of the best ways for me to reflect is to go through pictures on my computer or phone. I often find so many great memories that I had forgotten about. Reflect on the good. If you look for it, you will find it.
Loss is a reminder to appreciate the living.
There have been quite a few celebrities who passed away this past year that have connected with so many as a time stamp into their past. Or maybe you have lost a loved one this year and you just want to not deal with the heartache anymore. I get it. All of my grandparents are deceased, my mom, my only sibling, 1 of my 4 cousins, and 2 of my 4 aunts and uncles are gone. My immediate family tree is extremely small and has continued to shrink.
Life is a gift and it’s important to treat it that way and not take time or people for granted.
Be intentional. Don’t just have good intentions
I learned that the hard way years ago when my grandfather was in the hospital 4 hours away. I had intentions to find time in our busy schedule to visit him again but I didn’t make it a priority and he passed away before he got to meet his 2nd great-grandchild. That is a regret.
If someone or something is called to your mind, bring action to it. There is probably a reason that person has been on your heart. Maybe they need to hear from you and your encouragement is life-giving to them when they needed it the most.
You can still make memories if you are low on resources
If this year has been a struggle for you financially, or you want to attack debt, creativity is key. Many simple pleasures in life don’t cost a thing. When my husband was laid off, I found lots of free activities for our family. It’s doable. You just need to do a little research. Don’t allow lack of resources to steal your joy.
Gratitude is a mood booster
If I find myself getting down about something, gratitude is an uplifter. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed with life and focus on what we don’t have. Making a list of what you do have, puts things back into perspective. Many times I have to remind myself that someone else would love to have my “First World problems.”
Life isn’t only lived on your vacation dates.
Don’t wait for vacation to find moments of rest, a sense of adventure, or connection with the ones you love. Find joy in each day. Even if it’s as simple as drinking a cup of coffee with your favorite creamer, texting a friend, or taking a hike at a local park.
It’s time to break up with my relationship with stuff
This has been a struggle for me for a while. Maybe it’s because when you lose people, you tend to hold onto things because that’s all you have left from them. Maybe it’s because of those years of financial loss that made me hold onto things tighter because we couldn’t afford to replace it and we might need it one day. Maybe it’s because I’ve feared that God wouldn’t provide what I needed when I needed it. I’ve started facing what has intimidated me for so long and the momentum of progress feels good. I’m nowhere near where I need to be, but it feels good to know that I’ve started.
Mobility is a gift
Breaking my ankle was a gift in many ways. Don’t get me wrong, it was a pain physically and financially, but I learned a lot about myself and humanity during that time. I experienced a very small taste of what it would be like to travel as someone with mobility issues, which gave me a whole new appreciation for the simplest things because the simplest things were often challenging and exhausting. I experienced the help of strangers in big and small ways daily. We don’t realize how amazing our bodies are until we lose mobility.
My health is my responsibility
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a personal trainer and chef? But I don’t and you probably don’t either. I’ve neglected my health for the past few years and let the weight creep back on with unhealthy eating habits (my friend says I eat like a college student) It’s true. I do. I also have gotten out of the habit of exercise. It used to be a non-negotiable in my daily life, like brushing my teeth, but now it’s a habit that I need to make space for in my life again. Health is a gift. A visit to a hospital puts it into perspective quickly.
Maybe you’ve had some dreams on your heart that you have been waiting to start.
It’s time to start.
It’s risky…but it’s also too risky to stay the same and never reach the potential for what could have been.
Write it down.
Start with a baby step.
So what will you look for in the coming year?
In your relationships, your health, your faith, your finances, your outlook on life.
If you look for the negative, you will find it.
If you look for the positive, you will find it.