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Today’s Joy

Wanna know where I found today’s joy?  It was in something unexpected, that I’ll admit started out as a chore.

I host scrapbooking challenges at both PDP and ESS, and I normally love creating things for them.  But the date kinda snuck up on me, and this afternoon I suddenly realized that I needed to have a wordart piece finished, uploaded, a layout built around it, and all of it posted by tomorrow.  ACK!  That’s more stress than fun.  And seeing how my focus is “personal joy”, stress is rather contrary to that in most every possible way.

With this stress hanging over my head I began looking through my photographs hoping for some inspiration to strike.  I find it nearly impossible to create anything worthwhile when it’s forced.  Muse is essential for me in the creative process.

Stumbling upon a series of images I took at the Forestry Farm Park and Zoo back in September, everything started rolling.  And soon I had created, not only a wordart, but an ENTIRE mini-kit.  Even better?  This mini-kit (unlike my first kit) is almost completely created using original elements.  Items created from scratch, by me.  Only a button and a bow were designed using CU products from other designers.  Not too shabby for my second kit.

I have to admit, I’m super excited about this one.  I really do think it’s beautiful.

With my first kit I had a lot of trepidation, and I was concerned about whether anyone would like it, download it, or use it.  This time?  I KNOW it’s a good kit.  I’m very proud of it…  and it all centers around my photography.  This kit was created with heart.  I can’t wait until tomorrow when I can share it with the world.  Until then?  We have to make due with one of the photos that inspired the kit.

Sika Deer

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Packing away the holidays…

Today, the wee girlie, Damon, and I packed away our holiday staples.  We put the ornaments and garlands  into Nana’s old tins.  Lily-Ann put on the lids, as her Daddy packed away the Yule tree.  All tucked away, safe and sound, for next year.

Often this is a process I find mundane and completely unenjoyable.  But I made the choice to find joy in it this year.  Instead of focusing on the fact that the holidays, which I so love, are done with for another year, I thought about all the fun we had.  Remembered all the people, the laughter, the food, the gifts, the special times we shared and the new memories we made.  And you know what?  It was actually a really nice time.

So far so good on this journey to joy.  🙂

tins full of holiday cheer

Nana's Tins

In the coming days I will be adding a new page to the blog.  One inviting you to take your own “joy journey”.  I hope you’ll add your name and commit to the challenge.  Let’s make life more joyful.

2011 is about personal joy.

For the last several days I’ve been trying to come up with the word.  You know, this idea that every year we should have a word that becomes our focus.  A word that will play into our decisions, and the way we move through the world.  I really was struggling.

I don’t make resolutions.  Resolutions are nice little throw away ideas that lack action.  They are the frosting on your cake, they are yummy, pretty, make you feel good when they’re in your mouth… but they don’t really do you any good.  And in the end can leave you feeling badly about yourself – just one more thing you didn’t follow through on.  Unnecessary fat on an otherwise perfectly yummy vegan cake.

So…  I liked this idea I’d been hearing about.  That rather than making resolutions, we should chose a word that we would strive towards in our daily lives.  I can do that.  I have completed project 365 (that’s right, tonights the last night, the blog will be taking a new turn in the new year… stick with me to find out where it’s going), so I know I can stay focused on an idea, and be mindful of it every day for an entire year.  But what I wanted to focus on just kept eluding me.

I’ve had a concept in mind…  a kinda vague idea.  Something I’ve struggled with personally for as long as I can remember, and that has driven me in a negative way for equally as long as it’s been present in my life.  But it’s not a word…  it’s a concept.

The idea that I am good enough.  It’s tough for me.  I have this need within myself to live up to the expectations of others.  I need approval.  So this is what I thought, perhaps, 2011 could be about…  learning that I am good enough.  That I don’t need to be what YOU think I should be.  That, ME, the me that I am when I’m all alone, when no-one is watching, is all I ever need to be.  That I am good enough, even when the news crew is filming, I am good enough.  That I don’t need to put on airs, that I don’t need to impress, that I just need to lay it out there…  THIS is who I am, and I am good enough.  I am accountable to me, to my daughter, and to my family, but that’s it.  I don’t need the approval of anyone else.

A good idea, right?

Yeah.  A good idea.

But it just wasn’t quite right.

So yesterday I take the idea to a trusted group of women, the MomWriters (women, writers, mothers, and allies)…  and ask them for a word.  One word that encompassed what I was trying to say.  Got lots of clever responses – as I suspected I might – but still, nothing that grabbed me and shook me and said WAKE UP GRRRL! THIS IS IT!

I’d kinda given up.  Figured lets just go with a concept.  After all, it’s the idea that counts.  It’s the concept.  It’s being mindful of one thing in your life in a way that you weren’t aware of it before.

I started browsing around online…  googling things like “no resolution”, “a word for 2011”, “no more resolutions”, etc…  didn’t find anything at all that was even remotely interesting.  In fact, I was about to turn off Firefox and go pop in a movie when a freaking explosion went off in my brain.

I don’t need to measure up to anyone’s standards, because 2011 is about PERSONAL JOY!

So there you have it.

It may not be one word, but it is exactly what I was looking for.  Exactly what I needed, what I think we all need.  So stick around with me.  The beginning of the week, and the beginning of the new year has something in store for us all – if you’re interested in joining me.

Happy New Year!

the wee girlie and I, holding a little purple paper heart

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