My year of yes in 2018 was a year of doing things that scared the hell out of me. And I’m proud of myself for getting through it. I pitched creative projects more often than I ever have in my life. I went places and did things that I never imagined I would have the courage to do. I met amazing people who inspire me and raise my spirits and sense of hope. I kicked rejection to the curb after some serious self-doubt every single day. I’ve built up a powerful immunity to rejection that I know is going to serve me well. It was hard-won and not easy, but I’m glad I dedicated myself to it. Sure, rejection still hurts but the sting isn’t quite as strong and it doesn’t last as long. And for that, I’m grateful.
And if I’m honest with myself, I also did a lot of things that I didn’t necessarily want to do or need to do in 2018. There was definitely some time wasted saying yes that I wish I could get back. Some of the things I did I absolutely didn’t enjoy. I did run myself a little ragged, which is my natural tendency. I don’t rest easily nor often. It’s against my nature. I wish it weren’t but this is the raw material of me I have to work with, and so I work it.
Some time in November, my friend, Ashley Semrick, put up a post on Instagram in which she asked people to send her their favorite words. Mine: brilliant and joyous. And as soon as I articulated that second word—joyous—I started seeing joy everywhere from the grocery store to outdoor advertisements. It was everywhere I looked. Now, you could argue that the last couple months of the year are all about the joy of the holidays. And that’s true but I also think there’s something more. I think that word kept showing up persistently for me as a sign. Joy is a filter I can use in this coming year to do what my friend, John Bucher, calls focusing on the great rather than being distracted by the good.
My best days are ahead of me. They’re ahead of you, too. I’m proud of the work I’ve done up to this point; I’ve gotten so much further in life than I ever dared to dream possible not that long ago. And. And. In 2019, I’m going to press my luck on the joy meter even further. If something (or someone) doesn’t bring me joy, then I can’t focus my time or energy or talent there. We have a very short amount of time on this very strange third rock from the sun, and that time has to be used wisely, now more so than ever.
So that’s the promise I’m making to myself in this new year: to look for, seek out, create, and celebrate joy. I’ll be talking about the joys of my life, big and small, right here on this blog, and on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. I’m looking forward to this journey of joy more than I’ve ever looked forward to any journey before. My hope is that I will find what I seek, and that by this time next year I’ll be a little less tired and that my life will have more joy. That’s the goal.
What are you looking forward to in 2019? Happy New Year!