By Samantha Grace
When I was a young girl, one of my favorite things to do the day after Christmas was compare gifts with my best friend. She was an only child and the only grandchild on her dad’s side of the family, so needless to say I usually felt jealous at the end of our show-and-tell.
I grew up in a working class family of five. Our parents managed to give us a good Christmas every year, but we couldn’t afford speed skates or that awesome leather jacket I wanted so badly. At the time, I was devastated. I was so sure that jacket was going to change my life for the better. Now I will never, never know. (Oh, the drama!!!)
Fast-forward many years, and I see the value in not always having everything you want. For one thing, there is joy in living in the moment and appreciating what you have. Then there can be great pleasure in longing for something with all your heart. You imagine what your life will be like once you have it. Maybe you make plans for how you’re going to get it. Perhaps it becomes your passion, something to look forward to.
I heard about a study done with employees working in a very high stress environment where they had to have blood tests done at the end of every day to make sure they hadn’t been exposed to dangerous chemicals. The experimental group was given something fun to look forward to at the end of the week – i.e. a day off work attending a baseball game with the boss. The control group just went about their regular workweek, the poor schmucks. Well, wouldn’t you know it? The blood samples of the experimental group showed lower levels of stress hormones than the control group. It seems that having something exciting or fun on the horizon is healthier for us.
So, if you didn’t get everything you wanted this year, take a moment to consider what you already have in your life. Here’s my list for 2012:
Good friends (even more than I started with in January 2012)
Closer connections with my fellow Lady Scribes thanks to the conferences I attended
Memories of a great family vacation
Three novels published
And here’s what I’m looking forward to so far this coming year:
Having our bathroom remodel finished
Annual Valley Fair trip with our kids
Attending the Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City
Attending RWA in Atlanta
Release day for my fourth book
Finishing two new books
Something I still really, really want:
I want to quit my day job (I don’t know if it will happen this year, but you can bet I’m dreaming about it!)
What about you? What great things do you already have? What are you looking forward to in 2013? What is something you still really, really want?