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On Monday I shared with you what I’m calling my word of the year – Joy. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought since hanging my Joy display about what in my life gives me Joy.  So I want to share those things with you, and then pose the thought to you to consider finding more Joy in your life.

My Joys

1. Family. We all have a family. Husbands, wives, children, Sister, Brother, Mother, Father. We all have one or more of these titles. I am lucky to enjoy so many of these aspects in my life, but to also have a close bond with them. My parents, my in laws – I truly feel I’ve found and been blessed with some of the best people to call family. But my kids and husband bring me the utmost Joy day in and day out.
Tip: Connect with your family – close or distant and allow being a member of a family to bring some joy into your life. You are part of something bigger.

2. Food. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but I found myself posting more about food here than other topics. I enjoy what I eat. The way flavors and textures meld together is magical to me. So when I prepare food for my family and friends, it does bring me great joy. I’ve always loved reading but have never considered writing a book until I thought about a cookbook. Having a dream that you can see happening, that is also cause for joy.
Tip: Look past calories, carbs, and weight. Sit down for a meal and really enjoy your food. Taste the flavors in what you’re eating, and take the time to truly enjoy it.

3. Shelter. This is something I think many of take for granted. We’ve moved so many times both in my childhood and married life. That I’ve begun to really understand the Joy that comes in having a roof over my head, and a place to call home. The whole reason I began Home Maid Simple, was to convey the joy that can be found no matter where your roof is.
Tip: is there a tip for this? No matter what enjoy the place you live, and when you move somewhere else, love it there too. Find joy in your surroundings.

4. Reading. There is a simple joy that comes in reading a good book. You can transport yourself to another place, another time when reading. It is a simple pleasure that my parents gave to me as a child, and I hope I am giving to my children. I believe there is no such thing as too many books…as the numerous boxes solely filled with books would attest to.
Tip: Make time for reading. Just do it. You will enjoy life more.

5. Optimism. I’m not sure if this is just another word for Joy, but I live my life with optimism. There is always the could have beens, the would have beens, and the should have beens – but I try to see past those. Instead focusing on the here the now and making the best of what I do have. I wish it was easy for more people to live an optimistic life, but I know it’s not that easy for most. So I find Joy and gratitude that I have this optimism.
Tip: Whatever may be going on in your life, try and find one small thing to be optimistic about. Slowly it will grow and you’ll find more and more to be optimistic about.

Are you actively seeking JOY in your life?
Will you start now?

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