Choosing Joy Through the Storm That is 2020

Although we have all faced an enormous amount of hardships this year, I have to say that personally, this year has been the most transformative year I have lived. This year has been absolutely necessary for me and I am thankful that this year happened to me as a mom raising young children. You see, for me, this is the year that I have accepted the loss of control and began putting the control and focus I do have on simply choosing joy.

I often compare 2020 to a raging storm in the middle of the ocean.

Choosing Joy Through the Storm That is 2020This storm is causing gigantic waves that make the people stuck in it lose complete control. Those in the storm have to learn how to swim when the waves are crashing together, and learn how to hold themselves together when the calmness hits, knowing the next wave is coming soon. Unpredictable. Tiring. Heavy losses. Quick learning curves.

After you go through a storm, or any major challenge in life, the common feeling you get when it’s all over is a sense of accomplishment and growth.

We’re still stuck right in the middle of this storm, but it will calm eventually. And when it does, what are we going to feel? Are we going to like who we became? Will we love each other as we did before the storm?

I believe I will and I have a strong hope that everyone else will, too.

This storm and all of the challenges it has given me to fight through has forced me to focus on choosing love, happiness, and joy over anything else. Sometimes it takes a big storm to strip away the unnecessary things and make you realize what’s important.

For me, the most important thing in life is joy.

And simply choosing the more joyous route in my decisions is such a simple concept that is going to change my life forever.

It will change how I raise my kids.

I am going to have a strong focus on teaching kindness, acceptance, authenticity, and generosity because those traits will create joy in themselves and those around them.

It has made me more accepting.

I am more empathetic towards other people which has given me patience. You never know what wave somebody might be fighting against, and grace and acceptance go a long way.

It has allowed me to respect and appreciate differences.

I realize that people choose to fight off the waves in different ways, and that isn’t a bad thing! Different ideas, different mindsets, and different ways of doing things make us all unique. Without uniqueness, this world would be awfully boring and there would be no innovation or growth. Respect is important. Respect brings joy.

It has made me care less about judgment.

I care less about other’s judgment and more about doing what brings me happiness. I no longer waste a second thought on my choices when it comes to wondering what people will think. If it makes me happy, my family happy, and the world better, I’m doing it.

The thing about this storm that is 2020, is that the entire world is stuck in it together.

We all get stuck in different waves and are faced with different challenges, but we are all in the same storm. I believe, that if we all simply choose joy, choose to help each other fight off the waves, encourage, support, smile, thank – we will all get through this a lot easier and a lot happier. For once, the whole world has something in common. One common goal – to get out of this storm safely.

When the storm ends, I hope we all come out stronger and with a strong sense of togetherness and joy.

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Katie is a Cedar Rapids area native who has a strong passion and desire for connection in her community. Mom to Hayden (5) and Hudson (1), wife to Curran, social media marketing business owner (Hello Digital LLC), volunteer, and cycling instructor, Katie is a busy mom who wouldn't have it any other way. Taking on the ownership of Cedar Rapids Moms in 2021 fuels Katie's desire to create a strong community and network between small businesses and local moms. Her mission for Cedar Rapids Moms is to give all mom-focused local businesses a strong voice and connect moms with the local community.