This little plaque hang on the wall of my bedroom:


I see it every day, and though I walk by it many times throughout the day, this does not mean I actually see it.  It is such a part of my room, of the wall, that I do not necessarily take it in.  It seems to me that JOY might be like that.  Oh, we recognize the big events that cause us to feel joyful; it’s the every day, small, seemingly insignificant ones that may slip by unnoticed.

While searching for quotes on or about joy, more often than not, the word happiness is in many of them.  So to dictionary.com I went to find out the differences between joy, happiness and happy.  Joy- (noun) a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.  Happiness- (noun) the state of being happy.  Happy- (adjective) feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.  As you can clearly see, all are interchangeable.  So my bedroom plaque could just as easily read find happiness in every journey.  It doesn’t have the same ring, though the meaning is the same.  The same goes for the quotes I came across.  Actually, there were hundreds, if not thousands, to read through and choose from.  I picked the following six to illustrate my point that joy and happiness are basically the same feeling. I think the words joy and happiness can be substituted for each other and the meaning of the quote remains essentially the same:

“Find out where joy resides, and give it a voice far beyond singing.  For to miss the joy is to miss all.”  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

“The only joy in the world is to begin.”  ~Cesare Paves

“The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.”  ~Victor Hugo

“So many conditions of happiness are available; more than enough for you to be happy right now.  You don’t have to run into the future in order to get more.”  ~Thich Nhat Hahn

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”  ~Christopher McCandless

“Joy is prayer; joy is strength.  Joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”  ~Mother Teresa

Joy and happiness are all around.  We have only to take the time to see what is already in front of us, how much we already have.  Is it easy?  Maybe not.  It may take effort to look beyond our challenges and difficulties and understand that, truly, things are pretty awesome.  And the best part is, we get to choose this.  It is up to you, it is up to me, to decide on JOY, to find JOY is every journey.


It seems like only yesterday we were welcoming 2015, and, yet, it is already 2016!  Seriously, where does the time go?  And why does it go so dang fast?  Such is the nature of life, I suppose…

My word for last year was YES!, and it served me well.  While I am certain I did not say YES! to every single opportunity or person or event that presented itself in my life, I like to think that I said YES! more often than not, and more often than I might have otherwise had I not chosen YES! as my word.  This year’s word, then, has a lot to live up to.  I’ve been thinking about it for the last couple of months.  I had another word in mind, but JOY kept popping up when I least expected it.  I finally realized that JOY was trying to get my attention and letting me know that it should be my word for 2016.  So JOY it is!

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And this beautiful quote by Marianne Williamson sums it up perfectly.

It seems that I am not the only one choosing JOY as my word this year.  My wonderful and amazing friend, Deb Kennedy, has also chosen it.  She has gone a step further and come up with a way for all of us to spread JOY even more:

“Join me on a new project!!!!
I shared my ‘word for the year’ (JOY) and my friend Barb commented ‘yeah! a JOY ride! Let’s do it!’ – and that really got my mind spinning!! So I came up with an idea to get everyone I know to participate in a *virtual JOYride*, where we focus on JOY and share it to encourage one another – just the way we would if we all piled into a huge old convertible with the top down, the music blaring, with smiles on our faces as we headed down the road of life on an adventure!

The goal is to ‘SEE the Joy, BE the Joy, SHARE the Joy!’

I’m launching it TODAY, January 1, 2016, and here’s how it works:
When you post photos of things that inspire you & make you grateful on social media, simply include the hashtag #JOYride2016 ! That’s it! It works on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr (and a bunch more I don’t even know about!) Let’s flood social media with JOY ♥

There’s no sign up, no cost, and it’s not to advertise, promote, market, get more traffic, or anything else. It’s just to SHARE THE JOY 😉 Join me… and please share this post!!! #JOYride2016”

Happy New Year!  May 2016 be the most joyous year EVER, for each and every one of us!