Happy July.

Happy July Friends.

For the last 8 years, July 4th is the one day a year, my hubs and I are guaranteed all four of our kids are together. It takes trains, planes, and automobiles, but it has always happened.

What makes July 4th my favorite day? My family. Laughing, ohhhhh the laughing. Plus, a lake day, the kiddie parade, bomb pops, naps, a military band playing covers, and then front row for fireworks in our hometown. The cherry on top is our porch party as the cars disperse – the fun continues with pizza, sparklers, and cocktails. The day is better than my birthday and Mother’s Day combined.

This year, so much is missing. Our first 4th without my dad, no fireworks, no 5k run, no kids parade for my grandsons, and neither of our out-of-town boys because of COVID. Mix that with the world today: civil unrest/injustices, joblessness, and COVID cases rising and it can leave you feeling really mad.

I thought about how I could fix my current state. I needed to accept this year’s situation and focus on what I actively could control and/or change.

So I did these four things:

  • Paused: I stopped (and I rarely stop). I literally sat down and gave myself a little time and space to think about what I was feeling and why.
  • Acknowledged: I wrote it all down– and dug a bit because some of the sadness was not about what it originally appeared to be. I reminded myself that these feelings are ok and totally natural. I reminded myself that I do have a choice in how I react, that is the ONLY thing I can control.
  • Practiced Gratitude: As I reviewed the list of feelings. I then added to the page everything that I was grateful for regarding each item on the list – for instance.
    • Boys are not home turned into gratitude the boys are healthy.
    • Sad my dad won’t be here became gratitude that we had 52 years together. The gratitude was easiest on the family stuff.
    • The state of the world, that felt a little harder to tackle with some words on the paper but I did my best. It turned into gratitude that I am learning more personally, grateful I have been able to volunteer to help rebuild our city, grateful that I could donate to help create the change, and that the fire is lit and voices are being heard and my desire is to keep the change happening.
  • Acted: This right here folks is what we all need to do. ACT if you can, don’t stay stuck. Ask for help if you need it, that can be your first act. USE YOUR VOICE. Act on the things that you can change, the things that fill you up vs empty your heart, the things that make the world more just.

Then a fuse lit…

The crazy (by crazy I mean when the universe acts on your behalf in the direction of your dreams) thing is, as soon as I acted: I created the list of what I needed to celebrate this year, then made a donation thru a daughter of an old friend raising money for George Floyd’s family and BOOM good things started to happen.

My mom and I went to the first store to carry our book, and they had sold ½ of the inventory that we had delivered them last week. Then when I came home, a woman ordered 12 books to give as gifts and for a summer school program that she is conducting.

I’m not talking New York Times Best Seller (yet) but I am saying Baby I’m a Firework (just like Katy Perry would say).

These are different days friends. Act, be the change and take time to light up the sky – reach for the stars that light your path. This is the first July of it’s kind. Make the most of it for what it is. Be the spark to light someone else’s fuse too. Together we got this friend.

Different and new can be beautiful too. Have a great month. Shine baby, shine. And I am still here with the match if you need a light.

Be Your Own JoyMaster. Xoxox Lisa

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