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If only we'd stop trying to be happy, we'd have a pretty good time.

– Edith Wharton

Happy new year, friends! Welcome to 2022. . . a new page, a new adventure.

Almost every New Year's Day, I fondly remember the last Calvin & Hobbes comic strip and the poignant way Bill Watterson illustrated how the end of one thing can be the beginning of something else. Calvin and his pet / stuffed tiger Hobbes are in the middle of a big white field with a sled. 


Calvin: Wow, it really snowed last night! Isn't it wonderful?
Hobbes: Everything familiar has disappeared! The world looks brand new!
Calvin: A new year. . . a fresh, clean start!
Hobbes: It's like having a big white sheet of paper to draw on!
Calvin: A day full of possibilities! It's a magical world, Hobbes, ol' buddy. . . let's go exploring!

Isn't that a great way to look at each new year, even each new day? That's what today's issue of Whimsy & Wisdom is all about (read more below). I hope you'll share it with friends who might appreciate the encouragement to see each day as a special occasion to celebrate. 

By the way, one of you has a little something extra to celebrate today: Mary Kieran, you won the December giveaway! :) I'll contact you privately to get your mailing address and I'll be making you a bookmark with the word you chose for 2022: ONWARD. (Good one!) As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I'm discontinuing the "Question of the Month" feature for a while, but I'll still do giveaways once in a while, so watch for those. 

Okay, let the celebrations begin! 

I’ve learned that it’s foolish to wait for special occasions to celebrate, or to expect external influences to make me feel good. Every single day, every moment that we take a breath, is a reason to celebrate. Turning this day or this hour or this moment into an occasion is something I need to decide to do. It’s something you can choose to do. 
(excerpt from my book Restore My Soul)

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

The beginning of a new year can be exciting, but it can also be a letdown after the busyness of holiday activities. Or it may bring on anxiety. We have great expectations and hopes and we want to do everything we can to bring about the positive outcomes we desire as soon as possible. There's a control issue there, and I often struggle with it. The problem is, I can miss out on the beauty of today when I'm too worried about tomorrow, and that's a pity because each day is precious and worth celebrating. 

I want to encourage you to find a way to turn this mid-winter Monday into a celebration, or pick another day this week, or celebrate every day this week, this month, this year! Keep it simple or make it fancy, but try to make it meaningful and memorable. And try to make a habit of celebrating the days that don't seem so special when you look at them on the calendar. I think if we all did this, even a little bit, it could change how we respond to the challenges of 2022. (Tip: Record your celebrations in a notebook or in your planner.)

Here are a few ideas you can borrow:

  • Something I'm doing: Instead of putting away my favourite Christmas dish that says "joy" on it, I'm going to use it throughout the year. Give yourself permission to use those special dishes and nice candles and pretty linens!
  • Buy your favourite cake, add candles, sing “This Is the Day” (or another happy song) and then blow out the candles. While this would be a fun activity for a family, go ahead and indulge even if you live alone. 
  • Dress up, even if you have nowhere to go. Wear your favourite shirt or socks or hat, even if no one else is going to see it.
  • Buy flowers or a coffee for someone who wouldn’t expect such a treat. Explain that every day is an occasion and encourage them to celebrate today in their own way.
  • Schedule in some time to pamper yourself, whether that's taking a much-needed nap, soaking in the tub, or going to a cafe / museum / show you've been thinking about.
  • If you have kids, invite them to come up with a way to celebrate today and, unless it's really impossible or beyond your budget, give it a shot!
  • Think about your favourite moment of the day so far, even if it’s something small, and then pause long enough to commit it to memory, thank God for it and bask in its joy.
If you're in the private Whimsy & Wisdom Facebook group (you can join at any time), I'll be creating a post later today (look for the graphic above) inviting you to share the different ways you decide to celebrate each day. I think it'll be fun to get ideas from each other and keep the party going! :)
whimsy & wisdom from the world wide web

If you ever feel like you are "too old" to do new things or achieve your goals, this is a great website to visit! It's full of stories of people who have grown bolder as they've grown older, as well as tips for embracing the possibilities in your life. 

My friend Karin Beery, a writer in Michigan, sets a book reading goal for herself every year. For 2022, she's hoping to read 75 books (wow!) and has come up with 30 different types to include, such as a friend's favourite book, a book with an animal on the cover, and a new book by an author she didn't previously like. If you'd like to mix up your TBR (to be read) pile this year, check Karin's list for ideas. 

We all have moments when we're tempted to slide into self-pity, but it's never a helpful response to life's challenges. Here are five tips for overcoming self-pity from author Michelle Ule.

EFFULGENCE

(n) a brilliant radiance

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better person.

– Benjamin Franklin

New to Whimsy & Wisdom, or missed a few editions? Access the archives HERE.

If you enjoyed this issue of Whimsy & Wisdom, please tell a friend about it!
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