I’ve been in a slump, a writing slump, and it does not make me happy. On New Years Eve my friend Joanne had us write down something we want to do more of in 2016 and mine was “writing and blogging.” So here I am, ready to get out of this slump and start writing again.
In 2013 I experienced what for me was a devastating heartbreak. It took me a good several months to get out of that darkness. In 2014 I had a calling to start this blog and to write. I titled my blog, Say YES to Life! because I wanted to say yes to all of life’s opportunities that might meet me and I didn’t want to let them pass me by. Writing about my heartbreak was extremely cathartic and really helped me look inside and see how I had grown and changed because of it. Also in 2014 I met this guy, a guy who now is the most special person in my life. From time to time I have mentioned him in my blog and time has gone on and we have gotten more and more busy with life and I have all but stopped blogging. While on a plane ride back to Chicago on New Year’s Day I took some time to think about why I hadn’t been writing as much. Is it because we are out of town so much? Is it that I don’t have anything to write about unless I’m writing about sadness and heartbreak? I finally came to a conclusion, although I acknowledge my love and happiness all the time to my boyfriend, my friends, my family, through photos on Facebook and Instagram, there is one thing holding me back from writing about my happiness- my own superstition.
You could say I’m sort of a superstitious person. I definitely “knock on wood” and make a wish when the clock hits “11:11” and I have this feeling that talking about bad things like cancer might make someone in my life get it or talking about my happiness might make it go away. While I realize that this is a bit silly, I’ve realized that not acknowledging things has sometimes left me in the dust. For example, I would never tell my ex how I felt about him for fear that he would leave me and well, he left me anyway. I’m happy to say I have come a long way from that feeling and I am in a WAY better, mutually fulfilling, caring relationship now, so love is expressed all the time. But until now, until New Year’s Day, I had never faced this superstition of not talking about something for fear it would end. Back during that dark period of my life my co-worker said to me, “But everything can end at anytime.” She’s right, people do pass away, people do fall out of love and get divorced, people do move away, and so on. Everything does eventually end, and those endings are going to happen whether I write about the happiness while it is happening or not. So why not celebrate it while you have it, right?!!
Wow do I have a great life! So many people comment on how happy I look on Facebook and that they wish they had my life. Listen, you could have my life but y’all chose to have kids. My dear friend Lesley used to have a doctor who did not have children and would say, “You can have kids or you can have everything else.” Ha ha ha, I still laugh at that all the time. I try not to post fake happiness on Facebook. You all know what I’m talking about. I like to post real, fun, living life, laughing, joyous moments in my life. I like to post happiness.
Certainly years ago I thought I wanted to have children and I was bound and determined to do it. Then I saw my brother and all my friends have kids and as I turned from 34 to 35 to 36 that desire went out the door. I love your kids, but I’m happy to go home without them 🙂 If you had asked me at 30 what I thought my life would look like at 39, it wouldn’t have been traveling once or twice a month. I probably would have said, “with a kid or two.” But my life looks very different than that now and I couldn’t be happier for it. So if your life isn’t what you think it should be, or what you have hoped it would be, let go of that and celebrate everything that your life is. If you ask me now what my life will look like in the future, I’m pretty sure it will be loving my nieces and nephews and having “everything else.”
Back in 2013 I did this Instagram challenge called #100happydays. The gist of it is that you take a photo of what made you happy that day and you do this for 100 days. What I found is that some days it was really obvious like, I won the lottery, well I didn’t but you know what I mean. I think my favorite day though was the day I cut into an avocado for dinner and it was the perfect ripeness.
It actually sent some serotonin to my brain. At that moment I realized that noticing the small things on a daily basis is something that brings you the greatest joy. Sure, I was happy when I’d get packages in the mail of things I bought or when I’d be out with friends and had a glass of wine. Those bring happiness too, but there is something about the little things which can pass us by if we don’t make an effort to take notice. So maybe in 2016 you’d like to do the #100happydays challenge.
Two years ago I lost one of my dearest friends at the age of 38. When I think about my life and I think about her, I just want to experience so much and do what makes me happy. Lesley lived a very happy life and she was doing what made her happy. She had just made a huge move to New York City, something that made her very happy. We had just taken a huge trip the previous summer to Africa with our friends Cary and Charlie, something that made us happy. Like I said before, things end and they can end at any moment, so in 2016 why don’t you do more of what makes you happy. Take a moment and write down ten things that make you happy and that you would like to do more of this year. Writing makes me happy, so I’m charged with doing more of it this year. Singing makes me happy so you’re going to see more Friday Flashback Songs! Traveling makes me happy, so when I can, I’m going to explore new places and revisit some old favorites. I’m going to eat more avocado because it makes me happy. It’s a goal of mine to make the time to see so many of my loving friends because loving and laughing with them makes me happy. Whatever it is for you, do more of what makes you happy in 2016!
Right now, I love this song. It was played in the dressing room on Saturday and again today during yoga. “Hold My Hand” by Jess Glynne.
I’m ready for this, there’s no denying
I’m ready for this, you stop me falling
I’m ready for this, I need you all in
I’m ready for this, so darling, hold my hand
So here it is, 2016 and I’m ready to acknowledge and write about happiness and love and laughter and all the wonderful opportunities that cross my path this year, without fear that they will end!!! Everything ends eventually, so we have to capture the moments and cherish the time and experiences we have while we’re all here. Happy New Year and remember, do more of what makes you happy!