Year of Joy

Year of Joy: December

Better late than never! This pretty much sums me up. I’m late for almost everything, including writing my last Year of Joy post for 2016. But this time (and almost every time!), I have a good excuse. For the first eight days of January I was on vacation in Hawaii and then returned to work immediately after I got back. And of course my vacation is one thing that brought me joy in December and into January. So let’s get started.

  • Vacation in Maui! This was my first time in Hawaii and I loved it. We left at the end of December and returned in early January. Almost every day was beautiful. Sunny and temperatures in the high 20s Celsius, which is just right for me. Hawaiian culture is much more laid back than here in Canada, which was a nice change for me. I’m a bit intense and like to go, go, go – I wish I could be more laid back.
  • My brother’s wedding! Let’s not forget the reason we were in Maui! My brother and his fiancée got married on a beautiful day at a picturesque venue along the ocean. I’m so happy I was there for their special day.
  • My nephew Kyle’s birthday. Kyle is my oldest nephew. He will be graduating from high school this year and off to University. I can’t believe how time flies. One day he’s just a cute bald baby and the next he’s a high school graduate (with a full head of hair!).
  • My work AGM. After months of planning and preparation, and some long hours at the office, we successfully executed our Annual General Meeting in Banff. And I’m happy to say that we received lots of positive feedback both during and following the event, which always makes it more worthwhile. I believe strongly in teamwork. While every team must have a captain to lead them, each member of the team plays an important role. And I thank my colleagues for being team players and contributing to a successful event.
  • Weekend in the mountains. After our AGM I stayed in Banff for the weekend for some downtime. Enjoyed a massage and facial at the spa.
  • Among all this work busyness, I managed to complete another marketing course towards my certificate. I passed with flying colours! I only have one more course left in this certificate.
  • Zoo lights at the Calgary Zoo. Took advantage of a nice winter evening and walked around the zoo looking at the creative and bright lights.
  • Wine with a neighbour. I’m trying to get to know some of my neighbours better so I invited one gal over for wine one evening. Growing up in the country, we knew all our neighbours and were friends with them. After moving to the city I learned very quickly that it’s different here. Most people keep to themselves, which I find kind of sad. I try to be friendly and make new friends.
  • Volunteering at church. I usually go home to Manitoba for Christmas. This year I didn’t as we were leaving for Hawaii shortly after Christmas. Christmas can be a hard time for some people – those who are alone, and those who’ve recently lost a family member or friend. So this year I decided to volunteer at a local church. I love babies and kids, and since I have none of my own, I volunteered to play with them during one of the services. They were so cute and I had a fun time. I also volunteered as a table host at a Christmas lunch for people who had nowhere else to go for Christmas. I met some new people and enjoyed a delicious turkey lunch.
  • When you live far from your family, the holidays can be a hard time. So I’m always grateful when other people invite me to join their celebrations. I enjoyed a wonderful Christmas dinner with some new friends on Christmas day.
  • Getting out in the country, visiting farms and spending time with animals. Got to visit some friendly horses one day.
  • Getting my hair done. As I’ve said before, this brings me great joy – a fresh cut and colour.
  • And finally, another thing that brought me joy not only in December, but all year, was writing these Year of Joy posts. I’m so glad I took the plunge and decided to do this. Taking time to reflect on what has brought me joy each month has made me more grateful for the awesome people and amazing opportunities I have in my life. As we all know, not every day is sunshine and roses. Some days it’s a struggle to find something that has made me joyful, but there’s always at least one thing. I’m learning to count my blessings each and every day. And I encourage you to do the same. Take the Year of Joy challenge. You won’t regret it.

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