I have read dozens of articles on how to get fit, organized and financially savvy in the new year. While I have resolutions involving all of those things they aren't the main focus of my plans. I want 2012 to be my year of happy, and I'm taking all of you with me.
This is not another story of "count your blessings, you're so much better off than all the other poor saps". While there is a good chance that's probably true, I would be judging things at face value. We can't know what hidden demons anyone is facing. I recently read a blog entry, of a normally wildy funny and caustic writer, where she described the deep depression and self-hurting or "cutting" she had been experiencing. This blogger was ashamed and terrified to reveal this side of herself to her huge loyal following. Her posting was answered by thousands of supportive comments and tweets, by her shocked and relieved friends and fans. I say shocked because so many of them were in disbelief that such darkness was hiding behind a lively mask. The relief came from the many that suffered their own depressions and felt completely alone until they heard her voice.
January and February are the grey months. The joy and excitement of the holidays are over with nothing to look forward to until spring. Even the sunniest among us can fade this time of year. So take care of yourself. Do something everyday to make yourself smile. Take a deep breath. Do it again. Listen to your favorite song. Turn it up and sing along. At the top of your lungs. If you're not in your car, dance too. Get enough sunshine. Listen to kids books on CD while you drive. Even if you don't have kids. Drink orange juice, it's sunshine in a glass. If you're not eating enough veggies, take a vitamin. Never mind, take a vitamin anyway.
Once you've boosted you're happy rating a little bit, I'm begging you to spread it around. We have no idea how many of our friends, neighbors and even the complete strangers we run into everyday are suffering. They may have the two car garage and the shiny family photo on the wall, but we can't see the pain that lies within. So everyday in 2012 pass on a little happiness. Smile extra brightly at the grumpy cashier. Text a friend or send them a message on Facebook wishing them a good day. No I don't mean a blanket message out to all your 'peeps'. I'm talking about something special to let that person know they are not alone. A few simple goofy words.
You never know what a little sunshine could do for a person. Maybe you'll change their day, or maybe you'll change their whole year.