There is always joy.

Find joy. I preach this to myself daily. Enjoy where you are at. I am striving to enjoy every moment of my solo days. I am trying not to think about being lonely and think about the opportunity that is in front of me. No phase is perfect and if I dwell on the negative, I stay in that place. So, find joy where you are at.

As I was sitting alone on Christmas Eve, I could have been sad and miserable, I could have ate too much junk food, felt guilty about it and buried my shame and loneliness is sappy movies but I didn’t. I thought about it. NO! Don’t do it. So, I put on some happy Christmas music, I poured a nice glass of wine and danced around my home, cleaning and preparing for the coming week with the small boy. I could have gone to bed sad and lonely, but I choose a different path. I went to bed with a joyful heart, feeling accomplished.

We make choices. Choices to live right. Choices to take chances. Choices to move forward. I think a lot of times, we try to choose to be happy. I don’t think happy is a choice you can make. You either are happy or you are not. You can make choices to change your situations, but you can’t just force yourself to be happy.

It is okay to have sad moments, we just need to remember to wipe our tears and pull ourselves out of it. It’s hard, but it is our choice to stay there or to make a change. I have spent a lot of time missing the good because I was allowing the bad to weigh me down. I was choosing to let the negative takeover instead of looking for the positive. I was making a choice to let the dark around me win.

Have you ever done that? 3 negatives, 2 positives but all you do is focus on those negatives? Yes, me too. It is easier to let the negatives win but it is not easier living in that negative place. It is dark and lonely and crushing. Why do we let that happen?

I think it is because somewhere along the way someone or something convinced us the we didn’t deserve any better. We stopped believing in our worth. We don’t deserve to be treated right. We don’t deserve to live our best life. We are not enough. Nothing should have that power over you. Nothing should determine what you deserve but you. So, I am making a choice. I choose joy! I can’t choose happiness, that is not where I am at in life, but I can choose joy.

Let’s look at the problem with striving to be happy vs. choosing to find joy. Happy is a feeling. You either are happy or you are not. Joy is something you can find. It is a state of mind. You can be unhappy with your circumstances but find joy in the moment. If I spend my life striving for happiness, I feel like I will be disappointed over and over again. A death, a loss, a disappointment will crush that happiness and I will have lost. I’ll be right back where I started. If I let go of the unrealistic search for happiness, accept my current circumstances and look for joy, I will always find it somewhere.

I was not happy that I was spending Christmas Eve alone, but I found joy in treating myself to a nice glass of wine and my spotless house. I am not happy that I am 45 and single, but I find joy in the new friendships I am finding and the adventures I am having. I was not happy when my Dad died but I found joy looking through photos and memories with my family.

There is always joy to be found and with joy comes happiness. So, choose joy every chance you get. Find joy in a great meal. Find joy in the smile of a child. Find joy in a clean home. Find joy in an accomplishment at work. Find joy in the laughter of a friend. In the dark moments, find the bright spot. There will always be one. Focus your energy there and you will find joy.

So, I choose to find joy. I will search to the corners of the earth but I will find joy. It is always there, I might need to get out my flashlight to find it, but I will find joy. I hope you do to. And remember, no matter how hard the search is, in the midst of chaos, sparkle. Don’t like life dull your shines

Much Love,

The Manicured Mom

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