We all piled into our (smokin’ hot) minivan, and slowly pulled out of the driveway. Suitcases were packed, shoes were tied, and we were making our way down the road for another family adventure at Disney World. We’d been talking about it for weeks, and the day had finally come.
As we pulled out of the neighborhood, my seven-year-old looked around thoughtfully. “Hey, mom. Where are we going?”
“Um…today’s the day we go to Disney, son,” I answered, half confused because the whole reason I had him pack a bag was for this very trip.
“What?!” he exclaimed, and his eyes lit up. “That’s today?!”
My youngest son lives his life in a perpetual state of surprise. If I had a nickel for every time I heard him say “That’s today?!” in excited wonder, I’d be a rich woman. He is a full-on, in the moment kind of kid.
I love this about him.
Once upon a time, I shared this trait with him, though adulthood has taken the surprise out of most things. But still, a glass half full kind of girl, I spend many days just waiting for something exciting to happen. In fact, every time I open my email, or check the mail, I feel a sense of impending joy. I’m just sure there will be something exciting there for me to see.
Usually there’s nothing but bills and junk mail, but I do like the excitement.
As we head into 2016, I’m choosing to embrace the optimism that swims through my soul. I want to live life a little more like my son, blissfully surprised by each new day. And so I’ve written down a few goals to help me believe big things this coming year.
1.) Smile Often, Laugh More
I find that the more I allow my face to reflect joy and excitement, the more I begin to feel it deep down in my soul. Sometimes smiles are forced, other times they come involuntarily. But every time I smile, I feel myself relaxing into the moment.
I believe 2016 to be a year of embracing the little moments of life.
2.) Look for the Good Things
There’s plenty in this world to leave us feeling downtrodden and discouraged. Open up any daily news app, and you will be instantly riddled with the destruction and heartache that plagues mankind.
But there’s also so much good happening in this world.
There is beauty springing up from the ashes of evil. I once heard a story about how blue bonnets tend to spring up in the rockiest of soil. The vivid blue flowers that blanket much of Texas in the springtime are known for thriving in the most unlikely of places.
I want to not only look for the blue bonnets of this world, I want to be one.
3.) Expect Good Things
I don’t ever want to lose the feeling that something good is waiting around life’s bend. Despite rejection and disappointment, I will purpose in my heart to anticipate the good things over the bad things.
And I will probably still get a flutter of excitement every time I open my email.
4.) Don’t Over-schedule Life
Part of the reason my son can be so beautifully delighted by life is because he lives in the moment. He’s never really certain what is to come next.
That’s obviously the great privilege of childhood, but just because we’re adults doesn’t mean we need to be ruined by responsibility.
In 2016, I plan to build in chunks of free space in my days – moments that aren’t so over-scheduled they leave no room for surprise. This is a year for spontaneity.
5.) Believe Big
I have two books coming out next year. Part of me is absolutely terrified, and the other part is so giddy with excitement she has trouble sleeping.
I refuse to give in to the voice in my head that says these books might flop. I won’t give that negativity the time of day. Instead, I’m choosing to believe that big things are in store for those little book babies of mine.
Likewise, I’m looking at my family and I’m believing that big things are in store for us, because belief leads to action.
As we head confidently into the new year, I’m choosing to embrace 2016 as a year of big belief. Will you join me? What big things are you looking forward to in the coming year?