By Amy McCollom
It has been a pretty rough year, I have to admit. Like most people, I will be glad to say goodbye to the year 2020. As tough and trying as it has been, there was always a little bit of good that came out of every single day. Some days I had to look a little harder to find it than others, I admit.
As I look forth at the new year ahead, I hope and pray that I can reach in my pocket and feel the little pieces of good that I save from each day, and maybe there will be just enough to sew together a little warmth for my heart on lonely days ahead when I can’t find any good in them at all. We have to find the good, no matter how small, and hold onto it for another day. For happiness doesn’t come in large quantities, but in small bits and moments that we must catch in our hand.
Here are some little scraps of memories and glitters of happiness that I gleaned from 2020.
1. This year I learned that people from all walks of life will pull together for a purpose and cause, will spend their time and talents making masks at their sewing machines, and will donate them to those in need, out of the goodness of their hearts. People are still good.
2. Australia, though ravaged by wild bush fires, has a strong heritage and knows how to rebuild and replant, and cares for the animals that live there. I want to go there someday and see this fascinating place and meet these vibrant strong people.
3. I love my home. No matter if it is big or small, wherever I am living, I am happy to make it mine. I can be content playing games with my kids, enjoying my dog, napping with my cat, or simply listening to music. Your house and what is in it does not make you happy. You decide if you are happy, and you just be that.
4. It is fun to be around children. They think fresh thoughts, free thoughts without ropes and chains of life. Get a child to talk about themself and you will learn a lot about what is inside of them. It keeps your magic alive.
5. When bored, do something with your hands. Draw, paint, write, play an instrument, sew. Get your hands moving, and your brain will follow. It doesn’t matter what they do, just get them moving. Works like magic.
6. A lot of people died this year. People I knew were there, and then they weren’t. It felt like they left spiderwebs where their lives had been. But the Bible says that life here is only like a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow…yet we put so much trust in this life. Oh to live our life as if it were a vapor. How much freer we would be if we would do that. I want to live light on my feet, trusting in the one thing that I know for sure; that God loves me and I love Him.
7. Reading is an excellent way to learn anything you want to know. Books are still available, and they never run out of batteries. The feel of a book in your hands makes one feel powerful, for the information is truly at your fingertips. The most powerful book of them all is the Bible.
8. Just sitting outside and spending time outdoors is under-rated. Nature is very healing. I lie in the grass, and I feel the Earth cradle me, I hear the wind blow, and it welcomes me. The trees wave their boughs, and the branches reach out to me. All of nature is aware of me, yet I have ignored so much of it. Like a shy child, it has been there all along, just smiling at me.
9. Every single day is a chance for something good to happen. For a hug to happen. For a smile to happen. For a happy word to pass from my lips. Every day when I wake up I have a mission to complete, and maybe as great of one as an astronaut or a college professor or a surgeon….maybe my mission is to lighten someone’s burden to speak to their soul. I cannot let a single day of my life go wasted.
10. I looked around and I wasn’t happy. I had everything I had asked for. A bigger house, more clothes than I could hang up, more shoes than I could wear in a week, more jewelry than I have a place for, food in the cupboard, children, pets, two televisions, a set of drums. But at that moment, I wasn’t jumping for joy, overwhelmingly happy. Why not? Did I need more? Heavens no! If anything, I needed less! Perhaps that was the answer. When more doesn’t make you happy, try having less. With “stuff” comes commitment and responsibility, and that can be stressful. But with less “stuff” goes less commitment and responsibility. And less stress. Less stuff would also free up more time for me to complete my mission every day. In other words, less is the new more. I like that.
I hope these tips will give you some ideas for a great start to the new year. May you and your family be blessed and have a happy new year.