Life Lesson: JOY

Yesterday, I read G’s blog on drinking more Italian wine and laughing…or was it laughing more and maybe having a drink of wine?  I always get those two confused.  Anyway, I went to bed committed to making laughter a priority during the next month.  Then I woke up and realized it’s December 1st and if Black Friday didn’t push you into the holiday tailspin then certainly the fact that December is actually upon us will.  As I hit snooze a familiar feeling of pre-holiday stress began to course through my body.  Pretty soon my mind was doing a mental checklist of all the things that needed to be tackled before December 25th.  I have cards to order, gifts to purchase, meals to organize, and the deciphering of the ever-changing plans of our three daughters.  Before I could drown in my own mental list I jumped out of bed because I realized that my youngest needed to be at school early and the dogs had an appointment to be groomed.

Once everyone was where they needed to be I settled in to get some things accomplished.  I decided to begin with the Christmas card.  After all, I didn’t even send one last year. Interesting that I would be concerned about a card since it turns out that the world is still spinning on its axis even without our 2016 Christmas card out there in the universe!  I know it’s shocking.  Last December, I, too, was convinced that the world might end if our Christmas card did not get mailed.  In fact, my hubby is still convinced that we have been taken off of everyone’s mailing list this year as a consequence of our epic fail last year.

I continued on my quest to make a photo card and get it ordered. I began by picking out a potential template for my card and the one that jumped out at me said, “JOY” in large letters. Yes! This was the message I wanted to send out with our card this year.

I started perusing the ten thousand photos, give or take a few, that we have taken this year and I found myself looking at photos, watching vacation videos and laughing.  Two hours later, I had many uploaded photos, and while none of them seemed “Christmas Card worthy” they did make me smile. So, why weren’t they “worthy” of our annual Christmas card?  Well, frankly none of us were looking our best and isn’t that what we want to send to our friends and family, our best photos?  I could practically hear my girls asking, “Why did you choose THAT PHOTO?  I look terrible!”

So, I got busy and found photos in which we all looked presentable and happy and I saved it as “Christmas 2017” and I walked away.

Something continued to nag me though. I couldn’t get anything else done and I felt like something was unfinished. Sure, I hadn’t actually ordered the card, but it was finished so what was bothering me? I went back and looked at the card again. The pictures were nice, the girls looked beautiful in all of them, our name was spelled correctly and then it hit me.

JOY!

Joy was missing from the photos.  So, I went back and looked at 2017. There was a lot of fun, happiness and laughter in those photos. Alex’s graduation, for example, brought so much joy and yet our family photo just doesn’t tell that story. However, there are photos from that day that speak volumes of joy.

Our family vacation was fabulous and we look great in our luau photo, but again it doesn’t tell the story I want to share at the end of 2017. I want our story to be one of love, laughter, joy, happiness and yes, there were tears, but ultimately there was so much JOY and that is what I want to share this Christmas.

It turns out our card wasn’t finished. I have gone back to the computer and while I haven’t shared the actual photo card with you I have shared some of the joy that I am talking about.

Here’s to a December full of laughter, joy, happiness, gratitude, giving, sharing, loving, laughter, joy and maybe even a little wine.

Sunshine & Sarcasm,

Lowi & G

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