Gifting Yourself Moments of Joy

2024! A new year full of new possibilities, even as we are faced with horrific images and stories about violence and strife on this beautiful planet we gratefully inhabit. Even for the most optimistic of us, it can be challenging to remain hopeful and optimistic. Many of us find ourselves in conversations where we are trying to encourage others to see bright spots in the world and to recognize that many people are doing admirable things in the face of adversity. “How do we keep going?” This is a question people often ask me, and as 2024 begins, I invite you to consider a new commitment. I invite you to gift yourself moments of joy each and every day.

During an especially stressful time in 2023, I experimented with this commitment and honestly, the initial results were not great. Relying on what many people throughout my life have labeled as stubbornness, and I have reframed as determination, I kept trying to build joyful moments into my day. I learned a lot in this experiment, and here are some of the highlights…

… Experiencing moments of joy is a choice, and the uplifting effects of that choice can last for several minutes and sometimes, even for several hours.

… Connecting with Nature is an excellent source of joy, and here are some of the things that instilled joy and a sense of wonder in me – looking up at the sky, or watching the changing shapes of clouds for a minute or two, or studying the formation of the branches of a tree, or listening to birds chirping, or staring at the moon and her sister stars at night.

… Moving to music always made a big difference in my frame-of-mind.

… Lighting a candle, even if I had only a minute or two, and staring at the flame felt soothing and made me smile every time.

… Focusing on the many people for whom and to whom I am grateful, or the many experiences for which I am grateful, always rekindled joy within me. Always.

I am inspired by my family and friends as I observe the ways they solve problems and navigate difficult times. Some of them will read this post and I hope they can now, and will always, feel my love and gratitude.

💕 Wishing YOU ALL a love-filled, joy-filled, gratitude-filled 2024!💕

Photo Credit: © Olga Itina |

7 thoughts on “Gifting Yourself Moments of Joy”

  1. Happy New Year Sharon, thank you for this thoughtful and timely reminder about “gifting ourselves with joy”. The New year started off with a moment of loss and feelings of sadness but I was intentional not to bask in a sense of gloom. I was intentional to reflect on the past joys and successes of the past years and look with hope towards brighter and happier times in the future days to come. With so much loss, grief and sadness bombarding us, we really must be intentional about embracing peace and joy. Finding and embracing joy even in sad moments. I reconnected with old friends and reminisced on happy times. Let’s look to the future with hope and joy 🙏😇💃🥂🎉

  2. Happy New Year, Sharon! I find that spending time in nature is the most rewarding way for me to access joy on a daily basis. It’s something I’ve been turning to ever since my cancer episode 10+ years ago and it always fills my spirit with joy. Just looking up at the sky to see the beauty surrounding me, fills me with optimism and peace. Thank you for your beautiful words which are a reminder of what we have to be grateful for, in the face of so much turmoil in this current state of the world. Love and hugs to you.

  3. Thank you for your reflections as we start this new year, Sharon. I have found that the most effective way for me to find joy especially on a difficult day is to take out my writing journal and make a list of what I’m grateful for using the alphabet as a prompt. For example, A: abundance of food from my CSA; B: belief in the power of love to heal; C: colors of the rainbow, etc. This exercise always brings a smile to my face and pulls me out of the doldrums.

    Wishing you and all your readers a year full of happy surprises and JOY!

  4. TBD. – A favorite double entendre. Both present and future. We live in the present with opportunities to help shape the future, individually and collectively. May your 2024 be full of grace, peace, joy and love. Thanks, Sharon, for sharin’ and for being you,

  5. Dear Sharon, This post could not have come at a better time! A time when we are meant to start fresh new habits and/or look excitedly into a new year of possibility feels challenging. I love the way you write about these moments of joy — not only are they doable, they make a difference — and they can indeed becomes a new habit! I will start my commitment today and I WILL be intentional about gifting myself moments of joy, Thank you always, reading your words was one of those moments. With more love and gratitude than you can imagine xoxo

  6. Thank you for these reflections, Sharon and Happy New Year! I tend to always find moments of joy in my morning walk. Weather it’s the sounds of the ducks in the river, listening to great album or an interesting podcast. Wishing you a joy filled 2024!

  7. mercy chemomenyi

    Greetings and a very happy new year to you Sharon, thanks for sharing this inspiring yet vulnerable piece. Will put to work a number of your suggestions, I look forward to looking to the stars, moon and clouds today.

    Love from Kenya.

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