Tomorrow I turn 41. Last summer, I wrote about how turning 40 had been tough. I even commented that I hoped to wake up on my 41st birthday feeling and looking better than I have in years. That’s not going to happen. I’ve been constantly focused on the negative lately, but I have a plan to change that.
I don’t normally consider myself to be a pessimist, but the past several months have turned me into one. I have been dealing with some chronic pain and it has really worn me down. I haven’t been able to everything I want to do or even everything I should do, like major housecleaning and exercising. It turned out to be nothing serious and I’m extremely grateful for that, but first I had to spend months wondering, worrying, and playing the process of elimination game. I have a few weeks of physical therapy ahead of me and then I hope to be able to report back that I feel great.
Then there’s the weather. Here on the East Coast we have been dealing with a winter that is never ending. It has been colder and grayer and snowier than I ever remember. Technically, we have had winters with more snow, but it usually comes in the form of one or two huge storms. We have had little storm after little storm after little storm all winter. I can finally see our entire lawn for the first time since the first week of January! I have always kind of laughed at the whole idea of “Seasonal Affective Disorder,” but not anymore. I have been in a rotten mood for over two months and I think the lack of fresh, warm air and sunshine are to blame (along with chronic pain).
So my 41st birthday will arrive tomorrow and find me tired, uncomfortable, out of shape, and cranky. There’s not much I can do about the tired, uncomfortable, and out of shape parts. Today I am making my first PT appointment and it feels good to get that ball rolling. But I can do something about the cranky part and this is where you come in!
I really need to start focusing on the positive, looking on the bright side, finding the silver lining, seeing the glass half-full…you get the picture. Instead of focusing on the fact that I’m uncomfortable, I need to remind myself that I’m not seriously ill. Instead of stressing that my house is a mess, I can sit on the sofa and get caught up on that pile of laundry that needs folding. Instead of whining that it’s been raining for days, I can remind myself that it could be snow.
Starting tomorrow, I’m going to make a conscious effort everyday to focus on the things and the moments in my life that bring me joy. Whenever possible, I’m going to snap a photo and share it on Instagram and I hope you’ll follow along or even join me. My photos will likely be of simple things, like a cup of coffee, a good book, a Disney souvenir, or my children being cute. But it’s the little things that matter, if you really think about it.
I hope you will stop by Instagram from time to time and check out my photos. I’ll be using the hashtag #MyYearOfJoy if you want to join me. I can’t promise to post a photo every single day because there isn’t always a photo to go along with every positive thought, but I’ll try.
Please help me celebrate #MyYearOfJoy!