The days before Christmas ushered in the anxiety that I feel almost always at that time of year. Would they like their gifts? Will everyone be happy? How will I get everything done? Couple my worries with my penchant for procrastination and by December 23rd I was a big ball of anti-holiday spirit.
Cady found me in the kitchen bent over grocery and to-do lists. “How can I help?”
“I don’t know. There’s just so much that needs to be done.”
“Well tell me what needs to be done.”
I ran down the list of all the things I wanted to make and all the chores that needed to be completed.
“Well you start the fudge and I’ll do the chocolate chip cookies. Then I’ll fold the laundry while you go to the grocery store.”
I stared at her dumbfounded. “Um… Okay.”
So I divided my list between me and her and we got to work. And she helped. Like really, REALLY helped.
At one point I looked up and saw her busy across the kitchen. My heart swelled. In that instant I was at once back in the kitchen helping my mom and also 20 years in the future standing side by side with Cady as we poured over recipe books together and planned out our holiday meals. Filled with joy, I turned back to the fudge I was making with a smile on my face.
Joy is not always easy to find. Sometimes it lurks in the corners of the small moments waiting for you to come look for it. As moms, we are often immersed in the busy and overlook the opportunity to find these snippets and recognize them for what they are.
This year the Happy Mamas are encouraging you to find your joy. To stop and look around for it. To recognize it when it appears.
I think this challenge fits in perfectly with my word for the year, care, and my mission to love more openly in 2015. How do I plan to do this? Well, I’ll tell you.
1. Stop. I get so rushed that I forget to stop and look around. I miss a lot because of this habit.
2. Be intentional. Some days are just hard. Bad things happen. Frustrations lie around every corner. It is easy, for me, to get bogged down in all of the badness. This year I want to be intentional about seeking out ways to find joy in daily life.
3. Care more. I want to care about others, people I know and people I don’t know. I want to care more about my family, my friends, and myself.
4. Be brave. Opening yourself up is so scary. At least it is for me. I want to be brave enough to take a chance on being hurt. I’m sure I’ll share more about this later.
5. Share. I’ve already told you that I believe “love begets love”. Share your joy. I know some people get all snarky or “you are making me crazy with your constant perkiness”. Do it anyway. Joy and happiness spread, and I promise you that even the snarky people would be way more happy about catching your joy than anything else that might be going around.
6. Join the Happy Mama Movement! If you have a blog, write a post about what makes you happy and share it with us. We would love to read it. You can start right now.
What makes you happy?