Friday, December 30, 2011

Finding JOY

2011 was one heck of a year for me. Probably not my  best.
  • I started the year out losing my job, and it went downhill from there.
  • In March there was my car accident.
  • It took me six months to find a job. A job I'm not overly thrilled to have.
  • I am really starting to feel old and grumpy. Seriously, my body is beginning to betray me, and I'm such a sourpuss all the time.
  • I've really suffered a bit of a setback to my self esteem this year...between being out of work, and starting to feel my age.
I haven't experienced much joy this year, or so it seems when I look back. It was just kind of a downer.

Seems kind of lame to say that I haven't experienced much joy when I have four beautiful children and one very loving husband who all bring me joy every day.

Let's see if I can turn this around.
  • I lost a job that I wasn't overly thrilled with at the time and got to enjoy six months off, with pay. (66% of my previous income, but hey! that's not horrible). That's more time I got to spend with those four gorgeous kids and that sexy man o' mine.
  • Totalled my little 5 passenger car, but got a 7 passenger mini van out of the deal--not bad.
  • I opened up my Etsy shop. I've only sold two items on there, but it's something I had been wanting to do, and being out of work for that long kind of gave me the impetus to do it.
  • I have a job. In this economy, that IS a blessing, and perhaps it's teaching me something, to have to endure the inconvenience of not really liking my job. Maybe it's teaching me about endurance.
I'm not sure what there is to say about those other two items. I'm not sure why I'm so irritable all the time. No, I take that back. I do know why...because I'm tired. That's just one of the perks of my schedule. I'm sure that my inactivity, which is due in part to being tired is the reason I'm feeling so old as well. I know what I need to do to remedy this situation...sleep better, eat better, get more exercise. Hopefully two out of three will make a difference. I'm not sure I'll be getting much more sleep until Jason and Justin start first grade and I can get a day job. But getting back in the saddle with eating better and exercising are part of my New Years resolutions.

SO ANYWAY, what am I trying to get at? Why has joy been so elusive for me this year? Maybe because I haven't been looking for it? Maybe because I have let the basics REALLY slide. Personal prayer and scripture study have really taken the back seat this year. My resolution last year--to dedicate the year to the Lord was pretty much a failure. I can't say I behaved in a very worthy manner most of the year.
I've been angry. How can joy abide in the presence of anger? Better question: Would anger abide if I was more focused on the basics--scriptures and prayer?  Would it abide if I took a little more time to seek out joy? To focus on my blessings? I think we all know the answer.

I heard the coolest thing from one of my visiting teachers this month. I have these plates on my wall that spell out the word JOY. She was admiring them, and mentioned a recent lesson in relief society on the subject of joy (I don't get to go to relief society these days, I'm in the nursery).
One of the cool things mentioned in the lesson was how joy is obtained: Jesus first, then Others and then Yourself.

J e s u s
O t h e r s
Y o u r s e l f

You've probably all seen that before, but it was the first time this was pointed out to me, and I LOVE IT!

So, I'm making this my word/theme/mantra for 2012.
I'm setting my priorities straight and seeking joy, and there's the formula-->Jesus, Others, Yourself.

Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2012 is better all around for everybody.



gigi said...

Good thoughts and a great theme for the coming new year!
Happy and Joyful new year, Mikki!

Laura said...

You're off to a good start, Mikki, because you can take what seems negative and turn it around to the positive! Wishing you a wonderful 2012. And you can add another "sold" item to your Etsy shop - I ordered one of your cute needle holders - love it!

Garden of Egan said...

Very beautiful thoughts.
It has been a tough year for you for sure, but with JOY as your mantra things are bound o look up.

Hugs and Happy New Year.

Connie said...

You looked at the bad and turned it around! 2012 should be a great year for all of us if we remember JOY!
Take care and enjoy that cute family of yours!

Nicole said...

awesome post mikki... here's to a great 2012, and finding JOY! :)

tammy said...

I love how you were able to see the positive. Let's hope 2012 is better for all of us!