A year comes and goes. 2016 has flown by in a flurry of fun and activities and work and responsibilities. The kids have sprouted up and I have felt the shift of our parenting and family culture changing with kids growing in independence and maturity. Which honestly, is mostly just plain fun.
I turned 40. It felt good and natural and comfortable. I can use 40 as an excuse to care less about what other people think and embrace the person I know myself to be. Or to put it more accurately, embrace the person I am discovering myself to be.
The past year did bring many thoughts about how to spend my time. A beginning of a rediscovering of myself now that I have time to spend in whatever way I chose. (Mama’s of young ones, I know this seems like a dream but it happens quickly!) I admit to using a bulk of that time in binge-watching Netflix and generally wasting time. But I am feeling a shift, a desire to learn and grow and explore. Who am I now that my kids aren’t taking up every extra minute of my spare time? What things inspire me? What do I want to do?
I chose a word for last year. But I didn’t really pay much attention to it. I didn’t really live very intentionally last year, mostly just letting events happen as life washed over me. And that’s okay. I obviously needed that, a year to exist and enjoy without putting too much deep meaning and thought into it as I am usually prone to do. There is a good lesson in taking one day at a time without picking everything apart and worrying about every motive, outcome, or long-term consequence to every choice I make.
However, the past few weeks have been challenging me as the word JOY has been coming up again and again. I have fallen into habits of complaining and being easily irritated and frustrated lately. I told a friend “everyone is irritating me!” Not cool. I have also been very judgmental lately. I have been quick to see the negative, and assume the worst. I am not a naturally joyful person. I am a combination of Eyore and Rabbit – which does not a joyful person make. In fact, that combination makes an irritating person. And I don’t like that about myself.
I don’t know why I struggle to be joyful. And by joyful, I don’t mean fake happy, or always laughing, or irritatingly positive. I mean peacefully and purposely the kind of person that lives present in the moment, wants what is best for others, and builds up. The kind of joy that smiles and sees the best instead of picking apart the negative. The kind of joy that is comfortable and confident in the person that I am and what I have to offer the people around me. I don’t know why that kind of joy is a struggle for me, but it is, and I would like to
I don’t know how to “find” joy, but I feel in my bones that this is my word for the year. I feel strongly that God has something to teach me in this area this year.
I struggle with the idea of blogging. It seems self-indulgent and self-important. And yet, I like to document my thoughts, I like to read through my past blog posts and remember what I was learning. I like to write and I would like to make more time to write. Writing might be something that brings me joy. But really, what do I have to say that hasn’t been said already? See, my Eyore and Rabbit thoughts right there!
A new year lays fresh before me. I think I am ready to stretch and grow and maybe even practice some disciplines. I am hoping to process some of the journey through writing in a way that will edify and uplift.
So, help me out. What books or resources do you have for me on the topic of Joy?