Sunday, December 15, 2013

Seeking Joy Every Day - December Sanity Challenge 2013

This month my goal for the December Sanity Challenge has been to seek out joy, especially in the small moments. The everyday moments. And honestly after a few days, you suddenly begin to see joy all around you. Today I want to share with you a photo essay of joy I've found over the past two weeks!


Joy is: Going to a local production of  "The Grinch" and seeing the wonderful talent of people in your community! 

 Joy is: Seeing the smiling faces of friends & children you absolutely adore in a local Christmas production! 

photo from: Southern Blonde
Joy is: Seeing your finished stacks of Christmas cards and actually being slightly sad you finished them! It's a joy to connect with others on a personal level with hand-written notes through snail mail. 

Joy is: Being old enough to look forward too and actually enjoy the Annual Family Christmas Potluck! 

Joy is: The annual Family Bingo Tournament at said potluck dinner! (And if you don't love bingo, you have to love those bright, vivid buttons!)

Joy is: Seeing little ones fascinated by their picture reflecting back to them from a smartphone (Oh technology, how I'm learning to love you!)

Joy is: Winning a brand new set of crayons at said bingo tournament! Is there anything better than the scent of new crayons?

Joy is: Seeing the local Sudan club drivers at your small town Christmas parade!

Joy is: Getting really excited about your small town Christmas parade even when it's only about 20 minutes long and it's raining!

Joy is: Being grateful for those who give their talent and time as volunteer firemen serving rural areas!

Joy is: Smiling faces and handmade signs!

Joy is: Little boys tossing tootsie rolls from the big shiny firetruck with sirens blaring down main street!

Joy is: Still getting a thrill about seeing Santa show up at the end of the parade! 

Joy is: A hot steaming mug of my great-grandma's Russian Tea.

Joy is: Seeing three snuggling kitties on your bed, as Cheryl said, a big 'ol pile of wuv!

Joy is: A really sweet companion on chilly winter nights.

Joy is: Seeing the contentedness of a 12 year old furry friend.

Joy is: Seeing your "Sammie" hamster run up to you in her cage every time you enter the room!

Joy is: Keeping a record of all the amazing things that bring you joy and peace and gratitude! I recommend this really fun and beautiful journal, illustrated by Molly Hahn.

*What is joy to you? Do you look for it every day?*


A message from our host Cheryl Harris: 

The holidays can be a beautiful time of family bonding, celebration and beauty. They can also be an overdoing, overspending, over stressing time of all flavors of excess. For the last 3 years, I’ve been delighted to host the December Sanity Retreat and the July Self-Care Retreat. This is our 6th retreat! It’s been wonderful for me to have an extra excuse to focus on self-care and rein in my natural tendency to need to bake (at least) 18 kinds of cookies.
I know how powerful it is for me to focus on self-care, and I imagine it’s similar for most of you, so as a gentle extra nudge, we’re doing 2 giveaways.

Giveaway #1: Let us hear your voice!
Prize: a $50 gift certificate) they are not sponsoring, I just wanted something with healthy gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, etc. options (US/Canada)

Comment on any of our hostesses’ posts on the Sanity Retreat, like this one. Leave me a comment on how you cultivate gratitude in your life, OR what you’re most grateful for on this week’s post HERE

Giveaway #2: make the challenge your own!

Blog on your own self-care plans, and a post will be chosen at random as the winner. If you don’t have a blog, contact the hostess of the week and they’ll post for you.
Prize: a box of fun things from me.

As always, self-care is whatever it means to you. So the December Sanity Challenge can be on whatever YOU need to work on to stay sane during the holiday season

Balance around food * Joyful movement * Sanity & stress management * Making space for art, expression, and spirituality * Connection with friends and family
Or whatever else speaks to you along those lines.

The challenge—post on what you plan to do to make your holidays sane, happy and healthy.  Make it specific!  Not just “I’ll get more sleep”, but “I’ll get at least 7 hours of sleep, 5 days a week”.  Not just “I won’t go crazy making desserts”, but “I’ll make a maximum of XX desserts, and space them out over XX time”.  You know what you need to do to keep this doable, and writing it down will help you get there!

I’m delighted to be joined by wonderful hostesses with like-minded blogs:
I hope you choose to join us, too.  Grab a badge and we’re good to go!
We’ll also be meeting up in our Facebook group for extra encouragement and support. You’re more than welcome to join us there.

Posts so far:
Cheryl's 30 days of gratitude:

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