This past year sure was a bumpy one. I’m thankful to be sitting here today with so many blessings. We have good health, reliable~ish transportation, and financial stability. I know, right now you’re probably thinking I’m just a “sunshine and roses” kind of girl. Really, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. This was a very tough year for me emotionally and physically, and I admit I didn’t always handle the lows as well as I wish I had. It took many frustrating, tearful, and overwhelming experiences to teach me these 6 things I’m now doing in order to live more joyfully. I know these would help you too!
6 Ways to Live More Joyfully
Enjoy Being Where You Are
Feeling discontent robs me of my happiness. I start to get restless. I seek out new opportunities in hopes that a change will make my life better, as if my true happiness lies in a job or an event or another person. The moment I start to notice all the things I have, I realize how blessed I am. I open myself up to live more joyfully when I shove aside discontentment.
Share the Load
It’s hard to enjoy yourself when you feel overwhelmed, isn’t it? Over the last 4 years of my marriage I’ve learned to let go of my need to control and instead let my husband take the reins. When we moms try and take on too much, we’re really not giving our husbands much credit. Husbands can follow a dinner recipe, load the washing machine, and get the kids ready for school just as well as their wives can. A while back I read the book The 5 Love Languages, and it has really helped me to communicate (rather than nag) and listen to my husband. I highly recommend it!
Approach Life with an Open Mind
I had a principal once whose mantra still sticks with me today: “We can do hard things.” With his empowering attitude, he motivated the teachers and students in our school to find faith in themselves and to push themselves farther than they thought they could go. Last year, I found myself making excuses for things that seemed too hard. Making excuses only gave me permission to give up. This year I’m going to try things I didn’t think I could do and celebrate every win. I know there will be many!
Treasure the Small Moments
There are 4 young people in my home who won’t be little forever so I’m storing up pictures and memories. Every kiss, every cuddle, every call for Mommy. I’m telling them stories of when they were “little” (which was not long ago!), saying yes to every story book they want read and every song they want to sing. My children mean the world to me and I want them to know that. Plus, they are 4 more reasons to live more joyfully everyday.
Be Proud of Who You Are
This life lesson comes from playing the compare game: Putting my own strengths and accomplishments on a balance scale against those of others and finding self-worth in whether or not I come out looking better. Well, that’s a bunch of nonsense. I have a husband who loves me with or without a great bikini body. I’m one lucky girl! My coworkers are kind. My friends are loyal. The people I’m closest to stand behind me 100%.
It’s such an exhilarating feeling to go totally out on a limb doing something, and then watch it turn out better than you anticipated. Last year I was pleasantly surprised by a DIY post I wrote that went viral (on a small scale, but it still made my day!). That’s what I want to see more of from now on. Not everything works out though, and that’s ok. I did another project last year that was a total flop. Every new venture brings with it the chance to do something amazing, or learn from what didn’t work. The difference between joyful and unhappy people is their attitude when the results aren’t great.
I hope the new year brings you plenty of opportunities to grow and challenge yourself to be more and do more than you thought possible!