I heard that on the radio this morning coming into the office.  I had to look at the calendar to confirm that it was true.  Is it just me or was it just Christmas?  I believe we still have some Christmas decorations up at the house!  I guess the old idiom "Time flies when you're having fun," has some truth to it.

I guess the key words in that idiom are "...when you're having fun."  It is one of the core principles of my life...Life should be fun.  If I had a list of rules to live by, this would be the number 1 rule.  However, it is not always easy to accomplish.  Everyone has sad days.  Everyone deals with depression now and again.  There are days when it is just difficult to see the fun.  Someone says, "Tomorrow will be a better day" and sometimes we wait weeks for that better day.  Life is too short for us not to enjoy every day.  Here are some things I find helpful.

1.  Doing something that is not planned and in your regular routine each day.  I have found that sometimes the simple little things each day, that I did not plan, turn out to be the most rewarding part of the day.  Have a conversation with a total stranger, go home a different way, shop at a different grocery store than usual.  Joy, for me, is usually found in the unusual and not the routine.

2.  People, People, People.  Most of us spend most of our day with people and find great joy in just being alone for a while.  While this is true, it is important that we not ignore the greatest gift of others.  Of course, I am talking about real human beings in the flesh, not those we chat with on social media!  Social media cannot take away the blessing of touch, immediate interaction, or the real emotions we feel while interacting with another human being. Genuine love, happiness, and joy cannot be generated on a computer screen.

3.  Love Yourself.  Jesus taught us to "... love others as ourselves."  It is difficult to love others until we have come to some understanding of loving ourselves.  I am not talking about self-centeredness, selfishness, or better than thou.  I have noticed that when depression attacks me it is usually disguised as my inadequacies, lack of confidence, and low self-esteem.  I guess that is why I find the lyrics of Lauren Daigle's most recent song so meaningful...

You say I am loved when I can't feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don't belong, oh You say I am yours.

These are wonderful words of self-assurance and hope.  They have a tendency to make me feel better about myself when I am questioning my worth.  But the next words in the chorus are equally important...

And I believe
Oh I believe
What you say of me
I believe

It really comes down to what we believe.  I choose to believe that life is a gift from God to be enjoyed every day.  I believe I can love myself as a person of worth....and thus, love others the same.  I believe, Oh I believe......

This is my story...