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Find Joy
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Earlier this month, I shared a bit about my personal journey with the word ‘believe’ and what it offers to life and living on a day in day out basis.

This week’s topic has truthfully weighed on my mind for a few weeks. It stems of course from the seasonal magic, which seems to happen at this time of the year. An air filled with ‘happy’ is perhaps the best way I can personally describe it. A heightened awareness everyone seems to have with not only their actions, but the actions of others.

It is after all the season and spirit of giving which defines the Holiday Spirit.

If being totally honest, I try to live this way daily. ‘Try’ must be emphasized because some hurdles (i.e.: grumpy people) present more of the challenge to such a natural mind set.

It doesn’t always happen naturally, but I am happy to report not only is it a habit that anyone can adapt to but should. Quite simply, it’s a life changing philosophy.

Life is full of pessimists or the pessimist who opts to refer to themselves as ‘realists.’ Truth is even the most optimistic of souls, knows what the potential downside of any situation might be. The difference of course is that one chooses to dwell, while the other proceeds and tempts fate. Both feet in, with their head held high to the sky, almost daring the bad to step in their way. That’s the fun of being an optimist. The joy of taking on the challenge as the pessimist sits miserably on the sideline.

Personally, I like living as the guinea pig and hope that at some point they (the pessimist) decides to jump in themselves for a bit or two. Simply put I’m a glass half full person.

Professionally speaking I am jaded. I’ve sat at this desk too long, watched too many try and ‘work the angle’ of the news desk for self-serving potential. All that said, the cream does indeed rise to the top and professionally speaking it’s always fun to have the opportunity to highlight the ‘cream.’

I honestly did not realize this about myself until it was pointed out by a friend and then mimicked by another. Again, we all have those moments of doubt and disappointment. We are human after all. These are the moments that joy filled friends are not only a benefit but a kryptonite that tends to keep us from being glass half empty.

When I find myself drifting to that place of doom and gloom, I know which friends will pull me out. There’s always a ‘it could be worse’ or ‘on the bright side’ waiting to be revealed.

The fun thing about living this way is how easily joy is found.

Simple examples of this: when a car allows me to turn left across F Street from the westbound lane; watching my duo run to me after a day at school; a smile and good morning from a stranger. Yep, it truly is that simple. These things make me happy and I acknowledge them out loud, often.

So that’s the latest challenge I pose to our readers. As the holiday spirit and season wind down, are you prepared to take joy with you into 2015? It costs nothing, is easy to bestow on others and keeps the creases of your mouth pointed north.

Be warned, it is not always easy, it may prompt you to see some in your life as toxic, but don’t be discouraged. Those people cannot and will not be changed, in time they will adapt to who you choose to be. Some may fall to the wayside and others may step up, take your hand and en-Joy.

Trust me, it’s worth the leap and the company is undeniably worth the risk.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.