I really like new year resolutions but I haven’t actually made any this year – well not yet anyway.
I started to panic around January 1st that I didn’t have the time to set aside to get things nailed down, then I remembered it wasn’t actually a fixed deadline!
I’m usually really good at sitting down and writing out my bullet point list of things I hope to achieve in any given year – last year was particularly successful. I’ve learnt to make my goals S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely)…it really does work.
So why no resolutions this year?
I actually intended to do my list as per usual but then I started thinking about this blog, more specifically why I started writing.
My tagline for this blog is parenting and finding joy in life after Stillbirth. Sometimes I wonder if the Stillbirth element sounds offputting, a little miserable even, but then I remember it’s my blog and it’s my truth (and reality) about finding joy in life after loss – it speaks to any loss really (we’ve all lost something or someone).
Today my life is in a pretty happy place with a lovely family, great friends and my writing. However, like everyone, I am the sum of my experiences – the death of my son (followed by the disintegration of my relationship and any stability I had at a fairly young age) has had a lasting effect on my adult life, and subsequent relationships/parenting.
I have found so much happiness within my family but joy is something slightly different:
Joy is the spark.
Joy is the burst of laughter.
Joy is the exhilaration.
Joy is in the rush of life.
Joy is something you have to look for sometimes – whatever your circumstances.
If happiness comes from the love of your relationships, children, work or surroundings then I think joy comes from your actions and experiences.
Losing my son when I was only 21 made me fearful and fragile. As I rebuilt and returned to happiness in my new life I found I had to make the effort to capture the sort of joy that comes from actions and experience. I had to learn to recognise these moments for what they were and build them back into my life.
A while ago I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin – everyone who reads this book seems to love it – the account of a woman’s personal search for greater happiness in her everyday life. As Gretchen herself says ‘the days are long, but the years are short’. My thoughts exactly. I took a great deal from reading about Gretchen’s experience and as my thoughts turned to resolutions one thing in particular sprung to mind; I felt really inspired by the way Gretchen tackles a different aspect of her search each month for the year of the project.
As I mentioned earlier, I do like to make S.M.A.R.T goals and this method (of planning monthly goals for the year) fits very well.
So that’s where Joy and Pops is heading this year – I’m making it all about the actions and experience of finding joy in 2015.
My next post will detail exactly how that will look but hopefully it will have a positive effect on my life and also put a few ideas out there for others.
Here’s to a very happy 2015!