I was going to stay home last night (like I do most New Year’s Eve nights) and attempt to write something profound and inspiring for you to read.
Instead, I’d only just managed to get my firecracker of a son off to sleep and, feeling incredibly tired but equally grateful all I really wanted to do (for the first time in a long time) was celebrate.
The offer of a babysitter and the promise of fireworks and friendly conversation down the road was too good not to pass up, so I did and now I sit here today with only one thing to share…
Of all the things I’ve written down in anticipation of a new year, joy is the word that inspires me most. It’s the thing I’ve been lucky enough to find in 2016, it’s how I left 2016 feeling and it’s the only thing I want to feel in 2017.
Here’s to appreciating more of the joys in your life.
For me, it was the life-altering, mind blowing joy of bringing my baby home for the first time and knowing that even though this person has me wrapped around his little finger for life, waking at all hours of the night, questioning my ability to parent (and at times, my sanity) his little smile, laugh, hug and angelic little sleeping face brings me so much JOY.
The confidence-boosting joy of reconnecting with my style again with a new haircut, a sweep of red-orange lippy and fancy new PJ’s. It can be oh-so easy to forget how good it feels to treat yourself and yet to know that I can is to remind myself that I am indeed worth it, both before and after baby.
Then there was the zen-like joy of slowing life down to a gentle stroll and realising that for the sake of my body and mind I shouldn’t have been sprinting anyway. Ailments cannot be brushed aside and so to be kinder to my body is to let go of any misguided need to do it all.
Last but by no means least is the full-hearted joy of discovering that new friendships can be found as I get older, post-baby and with way less time to mingle. I don’t know how I’ve come to know and like so many new people but I think it has a lot to do with accepting help and wisdom in all its forms and receiving friendship and a kindred spirit in return.
And so before you think, ‘joy, well that’s an easy thing to achieve right?!’ Try finding joy at 3am when your baby won’t sleep or you’re at the front of a very long queue with a card that won’t work!
It takes an effort to re-train your mind to find joy in the mundane everyday grind of life but it is there and you can find it. And if you can’t, at least find the time to add it in. Like 10 minutes before bed in the pages of a good book or 5 minutes of uninhibited dancing to your favourite tune (with or without child on hip).
Joy can and should be found and appreciated in whatever way you can find it this year, next year and every year you want to feel it.
Here’s to a more joy-filled 2017!