Friday, October 23, 2015

Find Joy in November: A Challenge

I feel like things have gotten a little bit negative in my head lately.

Honestly, it's probably pretty understandable. This has been, by all accounts, a year that most resembles a tree attempting to withstand an avalanche. It began with my mother's battle with breast cancer, hit its mid-point with Jason and I becoming quite unexpectedly a one-income family, and because the universe has always been a fan of one-two punches, followed that up with my dad's sudden death. It just hasn't been exactly an easy year.

Lately, I feel like I've been letting the positives slip away.

I have been finding myself doing an awful lot of sitting around trying to figure out what's going to go wrong next. As someone who lives with anxiety, this is already something I am very prone to, but it's tipped over into a whole new world of worrying.

Who will be the next person to get sick? What's the next thing that will cost us more money than we can afford? Obviously, it's going to be something. I have had it beaten into my head several times over this year that we don't just get to have a good month - something terrible will no doubt follow.

As you can imagine, this is not a good place for my brain to live.

So I've decided I don't want to live there.

To that end, I'm giving myself (and anyone who'd like to sign up!) a challenge for the next month:

Find Joy in November

Here's my plan: On my instagram, I'm going to take a photo every day of something that makes me happy. Even if it's just a cup of tea or a well-written sentence in a favorite book. Just a photo, maybe a line or two, and the hashtag #FindJoyinNovember.

I'd like you to join me.

Just a photo, and a line or two. Or a few, if you'd like - a thousand if you want. Share it on Instagram, on Twitter, write a blog or a Facebook post. Do whatever you'd like! Just make it about a moment, big or small, that gives you real joy and happiness.

Once a week, I'll do a kind of linkup post. I'll showcase my favorite posts from the week and share what everyone has been finding their joy in this month. Anything posted under the #FindJoyinNovember is fair game.

While my challenge to myself will be to post on my Instagram account every day, that's not really my challenge for everyone else. Although I'd love to have someone post every day with me, just to help me keep motivated. But I want to see your weekly or even just occasional joys, too! As often as is comfortable.

Whatever you post, whether it's on Instagram or if something about the challenge sparks a blog post in you, let me know! I'd love to see what everyone else is finding their happiness in. Let me know!

I want to give myself something positive to think about every day, something to dwell on that isn't what might go wrong next. I'd love to dwell instead on my joy and on yours.

Share with your friends and see if they'd also be interested. Basically, if everyone could just flood me with images of happy things all November, that would be great. We could all use more happy things.

My first post will be on November 1st, and it will be here and include a recap of the challenge and the rules just to keep everyone fresh on it. Here's a shorter version of my idea, just for everyone to share around and start thinking about before things start.

#FindJoyinNovember Rules:
1. Comment on the introductory post on November 1st. Let me know where you'll be posting (Instagram, Twitter, Blog, etc) & your username or a link if it's a blog.

2. Take a photo of a moment of real joy or happiness, no matter how big or small. This can be daily, twice a week, weekly, whatever. Write a line, or two, or ten - it's up to you - about the moment and why you found such happiness in it. End with the hashtag #FindJoyinNovember

3. Post the photo and text into your chosen medium - blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook posts, whatever.

4. I will post a "roundup" once per week. If you've blogged on the topic, comment with your link. I'll pick 3 favorite posts or photos per week to share but of course will encourage everyone to look through the hashtag photos.

5. Share that you are participating around! Get friends involved! I like people!

6. Watch for a giveaway! I will post about it within the first two weeks of November, and it will be open to participants in the challenge! (Spoiler alert: It's almost certainly a book. I like books. I might go crazy and give away something else, though. I don't know. It's happened before.)


  1. What a cute idea! I'll SEE if I can join. Looking forward to tour pics.

  2. I'm interested! Will read the full details later and decide. Great idea!

  3. Ok. I'm definitely going to do this. I'll link up to your November 1st post with my October month in review letting my readers know that I'm doing this. I'm going to try to do one instagram picture per day along with you. I'm kunger1 on Instagram. What's your Instagram name?

  4. I'm in! I'll be doing this on Instagram. :)

  5. Lovely idea! Being intentional about joy certainly increases the odds that you'll find it.

  6. I'm so sorry for your loss! Mom's breast cancer battle and job loss happened to me this year too.
    I really love your idea. I hope you'll find lots of small and big blessings along the way :)



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