At the beginning of this year, we launched What Would Wu Wear, and one of my first posts was about the #OnlyJoy mantra that got me through a difficult time.
I had simply resolved that, despite the temptation I was feeling to have my own pity party, it wouldn’t do me any good. Therefore, I went with what the little voice in my head was telling me to do: I let in #OnlyJoy.
There was a lot going on around me that I couldn’t control, but I could control how I reacted to those events. I opted for #OnlyJoy.
I stayed busy, exercised, socialized, and, most importantly, started a new chapter in my life. Now, whether those things were the cause or the effect of #OnlyJoy, I don’t know. I just know that it made my path easier, so I’m sticking with it.
As we head into the busy, stressful holiday season, it’s time to recommit myself to #OnlyJoy. I encourage you to join me.
I should say, #OnlyJoy isn’t about forced merriment, nor is it about consumerism or living up to other people’s expectations of the holidays. It’s about taking in the positives of the season – the parties, the nip in the air, the great clothes, the amazing food – and filtering out whatever you consider to be the negatives – the traffic, the crowds, the stress, etc.
For my part, holiday stress used to be all about Thanksgiving. That’s because my father was one of seven offspring, and many of them lived close enough to join us for the big day. Consequently, when I was little, my sister, brother and I were put to work, both in the run-up to the holiday and on the day of.
Even though my parents were the children of Chinese immigrants, our family went all in on the traditional Thanksgiving fare: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, etc.
For many years, those were the foods I associated with hard work. But, since I took my #OnlyJoy vow, I’m choosing to see Thanksgiving for what it is: a time to hit “pause” and spend a few days with the people I care about.
The food – and the work that goes into it – will still happen. But I’ve got plenty of help to spread the labor around. And, besides, the crowd is a bit smaller now, for better or worse.
Because life is full of little trade-offs, the joy of the holidays comes with some stress. But what a gift it is to have others to spend the holidays with. If the price for their love and companionship is a little effort now and then, you won’t find me complaining about it.
I’m also grateful to everybody who has joined the W4 community this year. To everyone who has read our posts, left comments, and generally made this past year such a glorious experience, thank you for joining me on this journey.
And, today and every day, I wish you #OnlyJoy.