Hello and Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a safe and fun holiday! There have been hundreds of posts and quotes and collages from wonderful and beautiful people celebrating and spreading wishes and blessings this New Year Season. I find it quite heartwarming and uplifting. It is encouraging to realize that no matter what we go through as individuals, families, friends, cities or even a nation, there is something about January 1st that is so refreshing. Realistically we understand it is just another day on the calendar of our lives. But idealistically it is a chance to re-evaluate and re-group. Affirm what we are doing right and tweak things maybe off the track a bit.
For me at this moment, what I most want to say today is THANK YOU!
Last January I started this blog. It was clumsy and rambling. At times, it still is. It had a different name, and probably even a different purpose. A few days ago I re-read my first post. I jumped into this new adventure full force. But it (Or I should say… I) had its ups and downs. In the beginning I wrote all the time. I was bursting with stories and pent up thoughts and opinions. The floodgates opened. The funny thing about floodgates though is eventually the water slows down to a trickle. As did my exploits and musings. I panicked a little. What would I say now? Who was listening anyway? And that is where my big THANK YOU comes in.
Because no matter what I wrote. No matter the grammar mistakes or rabbit trails, YOU have consistently supported me. From the moment I hit my very first ‘publish’ button, I have been amazed and tremendously grateful for the positive reinforcements. All the likes, shares, comments. Everyone who made a point to tell me in person or send me a text when something touched them or brought a smile. There are not adequate words to express what that meant to me. Seriously. I am beyond humbled and still blown away at times of the graciousness bestowed upon me. And it was those encouragements that kept me going.
I had weeks, even months-long dry spells. I avoided my computer. Binged watched stupid shows on Netflix. Found things to do to convince myself that I was too busy to write any more. But in the back of my mind I didn’t want to quit. Or fail. I was scared to continue and scared to move forward. Anyone else ever been there? I set deadlines that I missed. Imposed goals that I blew off. As if life didn’t intimate me enough, I managed to do it to myself.
And yet YOU were still out there. Asking me when I was writing again. Saying you missed it. Pushing me forward. Telling me to never give up. So the key to never giving up, is to never give up. It’s quite simple actually. One day at a time. In my case, one word at a time. So here I am, the start of 2017 continuing my journey. With some new ideas…
I have decided to take a leap of faith. I have created a Hope Boulevard website. (www.hopeboulevard.com). Now trust me when I say that I have no website building experience. It is simplistic and elementary in this infant stage. But to my surprise, the domain name was still available. That has to be a sign. At this point, it is just basically another forum to post my blog. But I did add one feature. Stepping Stones to Joy.
I want to use this section to provide tips, quotes, ideas to help each of us increase our happiness. One step at a time. I’m still working out the kinks, but I want it to be a place where you can go and find something positive and uplifting. Maybe humorous. Inspiration. HOPE. I welcome ideas or contributions.
And last but not least, I wanted to create a Virtual Blessing Jar.
A dear friend of mine had a few of us over to her house for a Blessing Jar event. She supplied mason jars and decorative supplies and we spent the evening creating a holder for our blessings. The idea is to start at the first of the year. Whenever something good or memorable happens, write it on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. At the end of the year all the pieces are dumped out and read. As a great reminder of all the joys, accomplishments and blessings.
I thought it would be a wonderful idea to have a virtual blessing jar where anyone who chooses can post a good thought, blessing, word of encouragement. So I have made a Facebook page. It is named Hope Boulevard, but it is a Virtual Blessing Jar. As many of you that want can be friends on the page. It is to be used exclusively to post positive things. We can check in whenever we need a emotional lift. Or to share our own blessings. I hope many of you will want to get on board!
Have I bitten off too much? Probably. Just like the 20 extra pounds I want to lose. Day 2 of the diet is fading with a half eaten donut on my table. I don’t know that I will succeed or be consistent. But I do know that I will try. Harder on some days then others, but still try. And I want you guys to try too.
Find something positive. Find something good. Look for ways to pay it forward. Seek opportunities to get outside of your struggles to help someone with theirs. Let’s all journey on Hope Boulevard together. Let’s all take those one small steps at a time towards our dreams and goals. Let’s name our blessings and share them.
I know this isn’t my typical blog entry. I hope I will be forgiven. But I wanted to share with you the vision I have to get out of my own way and attempt to do something just simple and good. And I want to let each of you know that all of this is possible because of YOU.
Thank you for being in my corner. I hope to be able to return the favor, today and many days going forward.