“Each New Year is an opportunity to make the choice to be joyful, content, and live life with a smile…no matter what your circumstances.”  -Pamela Lutrell

This is the first time I can remember being relieved to see a new year begin.  2018 was full of stress and challenges for our family.   My son-in-law faced a life threatening illness, and there were medical issues with grandchildren and my husband.  My new day job began last May and has been a huge blessing, yet added stress and challenges as I learned a new company and how they do business.  My own shoulder injury came with pain and a disappointing delay in my workouts which I was receiving so much benefit from.   All were challenges, yet new opportunities to learn ways to navigate life without losing my focus on joy and contentment overall.

I am not going to lie to you and pretend that I went through each day of 2018 with a smile on my face, or with peace in my heart.  But, when I felt depression attempting to move in, I was more aware of it, and did all I needed to do (lots of prayer) to make sure it did not stick around.  I constantly remind myself that life is short, and there is no time to waste with regrets or excessive worries.  A huge part of my own health is to look at all going on with optimistic eyes.

So, with hope in my heart that 2019 will be a little calmer, I am selecting these areas to focus on as I begin a new year:


I work all day as a communications professional for a university, and come home to work on the blog at night.  With so much of my time consumed by work, I find I am often thinking and planning about work….rather than experiencing the moment I am in.  So, this year, I want to enjoy the moments…be present…and not mentally somewhere else.  Time is short and I do not want to miss out on anything happening around me.



Before my shoulder injury, I was on the move all day with my Fit Bit in charge.  But the injury set me down for a time.  It is past time to get up and move more again.  I need to show up with my Fit Bit on my arm and get up from my desk during the day.  It is past time to get back in the game and make sure the gym is every day and moving goes on throughout each day.


I am well aware that sugar needs to leave my life and I am confident that this is the year.  I know all about the special diets, but bottom line, I know what to do and how to do it….and it just needs to be done! I tend to go through stressful times with bad eating habits, so this has just simply got to stop.  It is up to me…no one else.


I really believe something that keeps me younger (feeling 40, right?) is I am constantly required to learn and stretch myself for both of my jobs.  The world of communications changes daily and there is always something new to learn.  However, I want to learn even more…mental health and engagement in the world around us does keep us feeling younger with strong minds.


This will probably be on my New Year’s list the rest of my life, but with five grandchildren at the moment, I do want to be purposeful in teaching values, manners, and tips for life.  Recently I told my five year old grandson, the most powerful sentences in his life will be

I am Thankful.

I forgive you.

I love you.

He looked at me and said, “How do you know that?”  I just laughed and said…well, I am old and have learned it through a long life.

So, as you begin a New Year, what is on your mind?  What would you like to focus on in 2019?  Please share, and as we look to beginning 2019, make sure on your list is to


Note:  Today’s looks were some of my favorites from 2018.  This week we will begin to tackle the ideas some of you gave me in THIS POST.  I am always open to hear what you want to see discussed on the blog.  I AM SO THANKFUL FOR YOU ALL…YOU ARE THE KINDEST AUDIENCE AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE!!

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