Monday, November 9, 2015

... lately the weather has been so bi-polar and consequently so have I ...

As Katie and I have mentioned in our own ways, this calendar year has been a bit of a battle for both of us. My personal story has been riddled with body image issues (including weight gain/loss/over- and under- exercising and binge eating), job difficulty (there is a reason that my profession has the highest rate of burnout), feelings of failure, fear of missing out, doctor's visits, emotional labor, and loss. McHandsome has been undergoing professional certification and I have been enrolled in an intensive grad program. I've held teenager's hands as they've wept over their broken families, hugged parents as they have lost their children (who were my age, both murdered for no reason), hugged people my age as they discover they are losing (or have lost) their parents, and watched my aunt's family lose their business and livelihood in a freak flood. I've watched Alzheimer's take my maternal grandmother, slowly and surely.  McHandsome has buried multiple grandparents. Add in the typical late 20-something feelings of marital and reproductive inadequacy ... Yahtzee.

Things were heavy, my friends. Winter was rolling in and the sun hadn't been seen in weeks - literally or figuratively. Forget choosing joy - or looking for happiness - I was struggling to breathe. I was hiding in my car with my phone at 2am just to be in a spot where I could be alone and there were no expectations on me.

I've had periods where I was able to redirect myself to choose to find the positive - I have previously completed 100 Days of Happiness ... so my cynical little self decided that when Katie issued the challenge to #FindJoyinNovember I was jumping in with two feet and buying stuff for the goshdarned giftbasket.

Because you, my friends, are the real gift.

Moments like early Tuscon mornings, quiet country back-roads, perfect fall-leaf ferns, and fuzzy socks have reminded me that warmth can be found in November, and joy can be found in troubling times. 

Thank you for letting me tag along - and thank you for bearing with me as I start writing something other than legal documents again.

Thank you for reminding me to look for joy, even when I don't feel like it.

 You are slowly, yet surely, re-awakening my inner Penelope Garcia. 

And get tagging with #FindJoyinNovember on your social media outlet of choice!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Find Joy in November - Day 1

Did you see my post yesterday about #FindJoyinNovember, the project I'm doing with Katie from Stress and Stars? Interested in being included or participating?

I think we can handle that!

We're starting today, officially. The rules, from Katie's blog, with slight edits from me:

1. Comment here today or through the next week, letting me know where you'll be posting (Twitter, Instagram, your blog, Facebook - you could even TEXT me photos!). Leave me your username so I can follow along! 

2. Take a photo of a moment of real happiness, whether a big moment or a little one. Think - a moment with your children, a good cup of coffee, the perfect dinner, a pretty sky. I will be posting on my Instagram daily through the whole month (and my personal goal is to write more), but your posts can be as often as you like - daily, twice a week, weekly, three moments a month... whatever, it's all good

3. Write a line, or two, or ten - it's up to you - about the moment and why you found such happiness in it. End with the hashtag #FindJoyinNovember.

4. Post the photo and text into your chosen medium.

5. I will be looking through everything tagged #FindJoyinNovember (and everything linked here in the comments!) If you've blogged on the topic, please leave a comment with a link to the blog post itself. 

6. Once a week on Sunday, I'll post a "weekly recap" of our moments of joy. I'll pick 3 favorite posts or photos per week to share but of course will encourage everyone to look through the hashtag photos.

7. Share that you are participating around! Get friends involved! I like people!

8. Watch next Sunday for a giveaway! Katie and I are going in together to make a great giveaway prize. It'll be open to anyone who participates in the challenge or shares information about it around the internet. Check back next Sunday to see what the giveaway will be!
Formalities aside - time to begin!

My (first) moment of joy today:

The dogs I'm dog-sitting, enjoying the fall colors while I web-surf and nap.  They are such sweeties - and great cuddlers!