I have been over and over all the fantastic things I could do with the year 2017. I have written a list of all the possibilities. I have had hours of suffering created by something deep in me that likes to self-destruct over all the opportunities missed in 2016.

As I looked over my list and begged my heart to focus on the present, not the past, I decided to write yet another list. This list was one of accomplishments and moments I found to be breathtaking in 2016. My list is still growing as I think of new things I have been adding them. Moments like seeing my dad smile at me after each of his surgeries. Knowing that it was going to be hard for a while but that he was safe. I wrote down that I completed my first 6th-grade year with my oldest. As a parent, it is a rough year, as the teacher and the parent it felt imposable. I have so many wonderful moments that make up the year, and that is what has helped me find my goal for this next year.

I want to create joy in every opportunity. Instead of writing a to-do list I want to write an I-Did-It list. I want to watch the year add up to joy-filled moments created not painful things left undone. I no longer want to create my suffering and sacrifice my joy.

When I sit back and think about the ways I create my suffering and how I can create the joy instead, I come to one breathe filled thought. Choice, I get to choose to be, I get to choose to stay in the stagnant seated position or get up and move it around till life is flowing through me.

This year I choose to create joy. I choose to write down my accomplishments over looking at the things around me I have still yet to find valuable enough to put my hands too. Because isn’t that what we do with a list? I write things down that need to be done around my house or to my waistline, and then I settle into life. Math takes four hours, not two. I choose to make dinner over doing the dishes, or I choose to lay down after an eight-hour school day and let the kids eat cereal. I make these choices in the real moments of life, not the quiet ones that take place early in the morning when those beautiful babies are still sleeping. I make the real choices in the middle of an argument with my thirteen year old over whether or not what he said is funny or disrespectful.

I want to create joy and write a list of them down so come the end of 2017 I can look back at it and see real life adding up.

Now, I still have things that I want to accomplish, and they are also on pages beginning to form a descending line from most important to least, but this year I am going to work towards consistently keeping my focus on the choice to choose joy.

I want so desperately to breathe creation in and out. I know this may sound a little more on the hippy side of life, maybe its all the years lived in the Pesao, but I want to feel the energy that has been sent to me. I want to worship like the earth, and when I face the split in the road of stagnant suffering or moving joy, I will choose to shift my focus and move towards joy.

May you find that you too have a choice, that you and I are not alone, and together we can live in the ever-flowing movement of joy all around us.