I'm not talking about the song Ode to Joy by: Beethoven. Joy was my Word Of The Year for 2016! When I originally choose that word I knew Joy might be hard to come by. As 2016 had my Girls' Graduating from High School, which I realize is a Joyful occasion, but as a Mother, it's a sad reminder your kids are growing up! Especially when it's your youngest! Plus our best friends were moving out of the Country. It had the potential to be a year of sadness, so I thought I'd better seek out Joy! But I had no idea just how challenging this year would turn out to be.
My Loving Husband, bought me a "Joy Journal" for Christmas last year! And I determined to find something every single day of the entire year that brings me Joy & document it. So on all 365 days (after tomorrow) of this year I have written down something that I find Joy in. There are big and Wonderful things, as well as little, simple things! Some days I had to look harder than others to find something, anything, to put in my Joy Journal! No one could have predicted just how much we would need a little Joy this year! With it's terrible election season, and heartbreaking outcome. Along with the number of great musicians, and beloved celebrities we have lost this year! (Doesn't it seem like more this year, than ever?!) We've also had personal tragedy, loosing my sweet Mother in Law. She was our kids' last remaining Grand Parent. Yes, 2016 was a heartbreaking year all around! Making Joy hard to find!
But find it I did. My greatest Joy in life is my Family! And how we stick together when times get hard. All my kids were able to be home for Christmas. I loved it. My Home and Heart Full! We took a walk up to the park & took this fun shot with my new Selfie Stick! :) Here in Arizona, this is as close to snow as we get! One thing I've learned this year is that Joy isn't what happens to, or around, you. It's something you Choose! And sometimes you have to look hard to find it. The key to Joy is found in Gratitude. No matter what kind of situation you may find yourself in, if you can find something, anything, to be Thankful for, you will find Joy! I have tried to cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude, looking for something, no matter how small, or hard it may be, everyday this entire year. Things like my Girls' are thriving in life after High School! Our friends are loving life in Aruba! My Year of Joy! And I hope you have found some Joy this year as well. And that we all remember to be Thankful, always. For in that, you may find Joy. Happy New Year to you and yours. And here's hoping 2017 is a little easier! :)