Tag Archives: joy

Pity Party

We all go there sometimes, with or without hats, streamers, and blow horns. We may have been invited by a disappointment, or we may not even know how we ended up there in the first place, hog-tied and teary eyed. Pity parties are the parties that everyone has gone to at least once. And if you have only attended once, count yourself especially special. We have a million things that make us happy. We have things in our lives that make our hearts smile, people in our lives that are there when everyone else goes to their own pity party and ignores the invite to ours. That’s okay.

That doesn’t mean they’re any less of a friend any more than it means we’re any less of a friend when we can’t step out of our own muck to join in theirs. Which is why reflection, during times of joy, is particularly useful and powerful for all of us. If thinking about what we don’t have can get us into our own pity-party, then maybe thinking about what we do have can get us into our own celebration of gratitude – which is typically much healthier, not to mention good for our spirits.

I spent too much time over the holidays indulging in my own pity party. I even pulled others in, and blocked some out completely. It’s easy for the guilt-ridden part of me to focus on that, to drown in my own stupid selfishness. But now that I’m done with that party and my sunshine has shone its rays across the horizon of life again, I find that I have no interest in going back. Sure, the raccoon bagged red eyes were a beautiful site. The hunched over zombie crawl of going through the motions has its haunting attraction. But maybe it was a little ungrateful and self-indulgent of me to be that version of myself. I don’t have Cancer. I have two amazing kids. I have some of the sweetest friendships, a man who loves me even through my obnoxious moments, and a dog who revolves her days around the comings and goings of her two-legged mommy. Sure, I’ve experienced lots of death & heartbreak. I’m 40.

Still, I have 100 New Years Resolutions, and only one year to make it happen. 365 days of self-pity-free openness to life. That should cover all 100 resolutions. I’m so far from perfect, and I’m not so rose-colored as to think that I won’t struggle with this mission. But like anything else worthwhile and life-changing, I’m taking it one day at a time. My wish is that everyone takes time this year to reflect on the good, take inventory of the blessings, to reach out to those who struggle more than ourselves, and journey toward that ever-changing silver lining. Pity parties after all are so 2016. 2017 is about JOYful gratitude.

Focus on What You Want

We all need downtime, and we should all make room for that in our lives. What that downtime looks like, is not the same for everyone, or every time. I love writing, but sometimes the juices aren’t flowing in the direction that they should, and writing becomes a burden rather than a pleasure. Downtime is not the time for burdens.

In similar news, I started the week meeting with a bunch of my favorite women at a Reiki gathering. I received and shared so much during this gathering that I could write a novel. One of the topics we discussed was how we were all in transition periods of our lives. Some of us knew where we were headed. Others of us did not. What my dear friend Carolyn suggested was that we all ‘Focus on What We Want’, even if we didn’t know what that really looks like. We know what it ‘feels’ like, and that’s where we could zoom in, and experience the emotion. I can do that so easily that I can almost ‘taste’ my dreams!!

When you really think about it, it’s easy for us all to get so wrapped up in the self-pity trap that we forget how to focus on those things for which we are grateful. We forget the blessings, or at least choose to focus on the pitfalls instead, and we do this even though we KNOW better, because we are silly humans. I get it. It’s not always easy to focus on the rainbow above you when you’re stuck drowning int he quicksand below you. We must clear it away. We must clear away the muck before we can shine the gold that is our intended purpose – the life that brings us joy.

My friend and fellow blogger Karen wrote today a very vulnerable post about a crossroads she experienced many years ago after her father passed. She wrote about losing her joy, about how she went through the motions of life, and rather than experiencing joy or zest, she had wanted to end her life at that pivotal time because without joy, life is not worth living. I’ve been there too. Sometimes because of death, other times divorce, and still other times because of financial setbacks over which I had little control.

But joy is fleeting. We cannot feel it all of the time. If we NEVER feel it, then we are depressed. If we sometimes feel it, then I think that means we’re okay, that we have balance in our lives. Still, I can’t think of any reason not to focus on JOY. I think we all should focus on joy from time to time. The more we focus on something, the more likely we are to attain that.

So get out there and Focus On What You Want, but don’t forget to savor and feel gratitude for what you already have.