Joy and the Present at the End of the Year

At the end of the year, it’s hard to stay in the present. I am currently thinking a lot about the future: buying insurance, lining up editing jobs, planning a wedding. It’s Christmas Eve, and everything feels so rushed–we want to get it all done before the holiday so we can relax! In the meantime, we can miss all the joy that surrounds us.

It sounds particularly strange that I would suggest that one try to find joy on the new HealthCare.gov, but there are so many reasons to be grateful. First of all, our government is making it (relatively) easier for everyone to get healthcare. Sure, I had to fill out my application twice, and I use the internets all the time. But, it didn’t take me more than a half-hour to fill out the forms and pick my insurance.

The act of picking insurance can be a tar pit of catastrophising. Do I hedge my bets this year and go with the low deductible, high-co-pay, or do I go ahead and assume that I’ll be going to the doctor a lot and just pay high deductible? Considering the amount I visit my therapist to deal with my anxiety, I think we can all guess what I chose.

I’m not the only one who put this off until today, mind you. The President extended the deadline a full day so that procrastinators like me could get on the site and sign up. Wahoo! Putting it off until tomorrow: the American way.

The real joy that I’ve found in all of this is that the health and jewelry insurance I’ve bought in the last two days has made me think–not so much of all of the bad things that could happen in the future (did you know that most jewelry policies do not cover damage caused by vermin?) but of the way my life has changed so much in the last month, and how much it will continue to change as my life intertwines with my fiance’s.

I’m so excited because I have lined up an editing job for the end of this year and into the beginning of next year. It’s nothing big, but it’s big for me. Last year, I had turned in all of my grad school applications, and I was beginning the long wait; a wait that would last six months. Now, a year later, I am building my own business, one client at a time. It’s not easy, and it’s not lucrative, but I’m in love with what I do. I genuinely feel like I am helping people, and every part of my editing business makes me happy.

Of course, we are also planning a wedding. This is where anxiety, fear, and feeling overwhelmed can really outweigh the joy and fun of the whole experience. When we sit down and look at the To Do list, it looks overwhelming. Where does one start?

Everywhere, apparently. You start all over the place. I don’t mean that you start willy-nilly picking out decorations and flowers and all that, but just start doing the stuff that is fun, and forget the rest. Some of the best advice that we’ve received so far is that this is our wedding, so we get to do it our way. It doesn’t matter who else is coming or not coming, they can get over it. It doesn’t matter what anyone else wants or doesn’t want, again, they will get over it.

Don’t worry–all the important people will be there. All the important stuff will be there (did someone say keg?). All the important things will happen (Vows, beer pong–just kidding, maybe not kidding). The important thing is it will be joyous. We’re going to have fun.

I know that the whole Christmas thing is overblown, too much commercialism and all that, but it’s a good reminder: take a moment and count all the things you’re joyous about. Post some in the comments section!

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