Wow! 2021 is coming to a close, and it has been a phenomenal year. I am thankful for many things–the health of my family and friends, new additions to the family, my health, peace of mind, temperance, and for the confidence to step out on faith and finally start Garden of Growth. This year has renewed my love for creativity. I am excited about what 2022 has in store.
This Christmas was the first time my family has gathered since 2019, and we had a wonderful time. I have not laughed that loud in a long time, and it was just what I needed. The holidays have been different for me since my Granny passed, but she gave me a message early Christmas Eve morning.
Choose Happiness 💐
When I first heard it, I just kept working. I finished getting my things together to head to my parents, and while I was driving, I heard it again. I decided to sit with this message and explore what Granny wanted me to do. I’ve mentioned how much my grandmother enjoyed writing. She would write me notes and place them everywhere—the gifts she gave, the articles she clipped, even the little bookmarks she collected and passed along to me. All of these beautiful messages shared a common theme: “Choose Happiness.”
I always thought happiness was being content with what you have—meaning your needs are met and possibly a little extra. I started my journey of introspection and realized happiness looks different based on where you are in life. When life changes, your outlook on happiness changes. Think of it as cleaning out your closet. You find clothes you never wore, clothes you wore often, and clothes you’re not even sure how they made it into the house. That’s what it’s like with emotional reactions. You have some that you no longer need, some that are comforting and keep you safe, and some that you had to use for survival.
The key to choosing happiness is deciding to either keep or release. I have experienced many different seasons, and each season has been a lesson that leads me to the next one. So while on that drive, I had to ask myself—”What can I leave behind to enjoy this holiday season? What can I give away so that I open my mind to new memories?”
I decided to give sadness a rest. Sadness is that cardigan that never goes out of style, it’s a staple in the closet, and no matter how many stores you search—nobody has a better cardigan. Sadness is a part of life. It is a natural emotion, and if you’ve ever watched the movie “Inside Out,”—you know that you cannot turn it off. You have to find the balance and choose happiness, even when it doesn’t seem possible.
I would love nothing more than to call my Granny and hear her lovely voice, or go to my grandparents’ house and sit on the couch with her and listen to her tell me stories or watch her cook in the kitchen. Sometimes I find myself tearing up at the thought of these moments being memories, and for a moment in time, my world pauses. The “pause” is where I stayed for a long time, and the “pause” is where I found myself a few days ago. It was there that I decided to do what she asked and “choose happiness.” I have said many times that life is worth living. You have to choose it. You have to make a conscious decision to allow sadness to be there, but you get to decide how long you wear the outfit.
2022 is a new chapter that you can start in any way you want. I plan on taking my 2021 lessons and expanding my wardrobe. I will keep the cardigan that I wore to keep me safe–I wrapped my favorite memories in it, and I might put it on from time to time. There is nothing wrong with that, but I will do my best to remember to take it off—to choose happiness like my Granny asked and live my life filled with all the love I have always had inside.
The New Year is fastly approaching, and while making those resolutions—give yourself some praise. You made it through another year—stronger and smarter than you were before and preparing to choose happiness every step of the way.
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This is good 😊 ❤️It. Keep growing 😘
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