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Monday, December 31, 2012

Dear 2012

Dear 2012,

Well it's almost time for you to go.  Your year went by so fast.  Overall the time we spent together was good. Although you've sent a bit of a curve ball in the last few weeks.  I am thankful for all the cool things we were able to share.  2013 has big shoes to fill.  I'm charging 2013 with catching the curve ball that you are leaving us with and tagging negativity OUT.  

2012 you have set the bar high.  Here is just a sampling of all we were able to accomplish:

January - A Joyful Resolution was made.  I vowed to leave my house every day.  This resolution was very good for me. I was able to stick to it about 75%.  Because of this resolution I visited and reconnected with an old friend, found Friday zumba classes  and hung out at the book store a couple times. I will continue it in 2013.

February - I proclaimed that it was indeed better to be single than to date a CAJC.

March - I meet some lovely local Philly Bloggers and Vlogged all about it.  Then I celebrated the blessing of turning 32 years old surrounded by friend.

April - Got the party started with the monthly #ChasingJoy twitter party.  It has been an awesome chat that has let me get to know you Joy Chasers a little better.  Don't miss the next one this coming Sunday January 6th at 4pm.  Our topic will be Fresh Start for the New Year.  Use hashtag #ChasingJoy.

May - This month was all about learning.  I went to Bootcamp,  Bloggy Boot Camp that is, and learned how to make Chasing Joy better.  I also learned how to make sure my inner awesomeness shinned through to the outside at the Curvy Fashionista class.  I won't even tell you how much my foundation garment collection has expanded.  LOL

June - 2012 you kept me busy in June.  I got a little crafty and offered up some free printable Joy Bookmarks.  I attended Blogging While Brown and shared lots of blogging tips.  I also completed the meditation challenge and determined that meditation was not really my thing.

July - I took on a new path toward health and wellness.  I gave hypnosis for weight loss and try.  While I did not lose bunches of weight. I do feel I tapped into a perspective that can help me to be healthier in the future.

August - What an exciting month, as I got my first ever press pass.  Yes! Bloggers are part of the press :-)

September - This month was quite a memorable one.  I experienced the Joy of being a bridesmaid for the first time.

October - I shared lots of knowledge that month.  I attended Blogalicious with two great friends.  I learned how to be better blogger during the day and I partied Vegas style at night with my friends.  A great time was had.  I cannot forget that the first Chasing Joy Event, The Joy of Giving, also took place and over 150 articles of clothing, shoes, and accessories were donated to women transitioning from welfare to work.

November - There were a couple unexpected twist that month.  I told you how to exercise down there.  Later in the month I shared a confession that was a long time coming 

December - Things have been a little rough the last few weeks.  I was not feeling so Joyful as I wrote Blog post from my mom's hospital room.  But the blessing is how many Joy Chasers have prayed for and continue to pray for my mom.  She is home now and it was Not the year of the Bad Christmas.   I know all of these prayers will help us face any obstacles accompanying 2013.

2012 we accomplished so much.  I am thankful for all that I learned all that I shared and all of the connections and friendships I made this year.  2013 better hit the ground running to keep up your momentum.

What are your highlights from 2012? What will you most remember about this year?

Friday, December 28, 2012

#FlashbackFriday: Help!

Wow!  I can't believe we have reached the last #FlashbackFriday of 2012.  This year has gone by really fast. How will you be ringing in 2013?  Will you be heading out with Happy New Year Beads with Horns  for a party, getting together with family, or staying close to home?  I think I may be heading out for a day time party (that's different right) and staying close to home New  Year's Eve night.

But before I do any of that I'll be checking out all of your Flashbacks.  My favorite Flashbacks from last weeks link up are:
Are You Getting Your Perks - Explains what's the deal with Klout Perks.  I'm going to see if I can get a perk or two.
It Started With A Teeny Hole - Reminds us to get our SPF on.  The author shares her diagnosis and management of Skin Cancer.  I had no clue Bob Marley died of skin cancer.
Christmas House - What great holiday decor!!!  I will have to revisit this post again next year as I start to decorate before Christmas.

My Flashback post this week, Help, is about all of the benefits of helping others.  Some benefits are obvious.  Others, I bet, will surprise you.  Check it out then let me know what benefits you have received from helping someone else.

If you are new this is how #FlashbackFriday works.  First, if you haven't already, check my favorites from last week's Flashback. Second, Check out my Flashback post for this week. Third, pick out your link and add it below.  Link to any post you like of any theme you want.  Then, if you want post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page so more Joy Chasers can read it.  Use the hashtag #FlashbackFriday or #FBF on twitter to promote your Flashback posts.  Lastly,  check out AT LEAST TWO other flashback posts.  I suggest the two links before your post to make it easy.  If you link up early be sure to come back and checkout those who join the linky after you.   Please leave a comment below saying why you selected your Flashback post and what you thought about the other Flashback posts.

Give an old post new life through the power of the linky!!! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Joy of Gift Giving

Our very own Santa.  All tuckered out from delivering all those presents. 
Well Christmas has come and gone. Like I said, after all that prep it goes so fast.  Which is why it is so important to cherish the day and take everything in.  This year was NOT the year of the Bad Christmas!!!  What's the  year of the Bad Christmas?  The year of the Bad Christmas is the Christmas that my dad always eluded too, where there was no money for gift giving and Santa was too busy to visit our home.  I'm happy that the year of the Bad Christmas has never come.

This Christmas was pretty simple for me.  On Christmas Eve I  attended Service and had family over for dinner.  On Christmas Day I never changed out of my pajamas and relaxed at home with my mom after exchanging gifts.

Now I know Christmas is not about presents and Santa Clause.  Christmas is about the Birth of Jesus our Savior.  I get that.  I have enjoyed attending church on Christmas eve the last two years specifically for that reason to focus on the spiritual meaning for the holiday.  I liked this years message of how God is always with us and makes his presence known right on time.  The spiritual aspect is definitely important and acknowledged.   However, I love the gift giving part of Christmas.  I love getting gifts, but I love giving them even more.  I know some people who don't exchange gifts with there family and it just seems so sad to me.

Gift giving is what made Christmas exciting for me growing up, especially once I was to old to make Santa's list.  Gift giving involved getting into cahoots with my dad to plan my moms gift.  Finding out what really awesome thing he had for her and then planning the prank he'd play on her before giving the gift.  Gift giving meant going out with my mom to pick out things for my dad who never shopped for himself.  It meant wrapping things really pretty and putting them under the tree and knowing the gift recipient had no clue what was inside but know they would love it when they find out.  Gift giving meant being thoughtful and finding special things that would make my loved ones smile.  I feel so lucky that I grew up in a  house where there was thought behind gifts and there was no such thing as a bad gift when the thought behind it was evident.

Opening the presents!!!
All of those feelings have remained with me and gift giving is an important part of the day for me.  This year one of my highlights was being able to see my nieces and nephews open their gifts from me.   I've always given them gifts but I've usually had to mail them or give them early before Christmas, so I never got to see their reactions when opening them.  This year I was able to share in their excitement as they opened their gift bags.  Another highlight is giving my mom her gifts.  I got her her usual favorite gift, perfume.  But I also continued my dad's tradition of playing  a little prank. My mom asked me to get her a new mattress for Christmas.  So I searched for a miniature mattress to wrap and give her for Christmas representing the mattress I'll be buying in the next couple weeks.  I used an angled baby mattress, the kind the use for colicky babies.  She had no clue what was in the gift bag and laughed when she figured it out.

The prank/trick gifts! 
My mom gets in on the trickery too.  Her not being well meant I was with her in the store when she picked out items for me for Christmas.  So I kind of knew what I was getting.  But she packaged things cleverly and had me guessing as I opened my presents.  She placed my scarf in a cylindrical perfume container.  I had no clue what I was opening.  But she really had me guessing when I opened this really big box.  I had no clue what was in it because, like I said, I was with her when she was shopping.  In the big box was a crock-pot.  But not just any crock-pot.  It was the crock-post she got on Black Friday and told me was for herself.  It has been in her apartments for weeks now and I had no clue it was for me.  I even asked to use it once and she told me no.  LOL  now I know why.  She really got me.
Even the Cat's got a gift!  They seemed to like it :-)

I do feel sorry for people who don't enjoy gift giving as much as I do.  It's not even about the actual gifts.  No gifts exchanged in my house were particularly expensive.  There were no iPads , Kindles , or Wii U  gifts under the tree.  Everything was within budgets but everything was thoughtful and appreciated and given with the intent of making the other person smile and creating joyful memories.  What's not to love about that?

What were the highlights of your Christmas?  Do you enjoy gift giving?  If not, I'd love to hear your perspective as well.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Bonus Post: Glue for Christmas

Christmas is here.  In a few hours Santa will have arrived.  :-)  My family just left my house after Christmas Eve Dinner.  It's amazing how we spend so much time preparing for the holiday and then suddenly it is here and gone so fast.  After days of cleaning and hours of cooking my little party has come and gone.  Tomorrow will be the same way.  After weeks if not months preparing for Christmas the day will go by so fast.

I'm not complaining about it though.  It is just the way it is.  That's why it is important to really enjoy all of the things that lead up to the main event.  One reason I've really enjoyed being part of Kevin Hart and Verizon's #ihartholidays campaign is that it allowed me to reflect on the holidays each week and to see the humor and silliness that goes with it all.  Each of these #ihartholidays posts is like taking a little pause to just be in the moment.

This weeks #ihartholidays bonus post is no different.  Tomorrow is Christmas  and many of us will be exchanging gifts.  Kevin's kids ordered their own presents.  Do you know what is waiting for you under the Christmas Tree?  I've heard of wives buying their own gifts and informing their husbands by saying  " You got me X, Y, and Z for Christmas.  

Checkout Kevin's post and appreciate the fact that you most likely don't have fly paper or glue in a box just for you.  Merry Christmas!!!

New Christmas Eve Tradition

Happy Christmas Eve!!!

It's Christmas Eve and I'm excited.  Today I will be hopefully staring a new tradition of having people over for Christmas Eve.  If you've been reading here a while then you'll remember that entertaining is something that I basically never do. I'm not having a lot of people over just my mom, my brother's family, a cousin, and maybe a friend or two.  It should be a good time.  My place is cleaner than it has been in months thanks to Pine-Sol Lysol,  and Bleach.  Tomorrow I will prepare the feast!!!  OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration   Tomorrow I will cook the food..

One of the things I really enjoyed as a kid was seeing all of my extended family on Christmas day.  That does not happen any more as the older generation has gotten... older.  And the younger generation is spread out.  So this is the right time for me to start this new tradition.  The holidays are not easy but they can be easier when we focus on what we can do to make it more Joyful.  Sharing a meal and my home fore a few hours will make the holiday more Joyful for me.

How are you celebrating Christmas?  Are you doing anything different this year to make it more Joyful?

Friday, December 21, 2012

#FlashbackFriday: Fresh Canvas For Joy

Happy Friday Joy Chasers,

It has been quite a week.  It started out rough but ended pretty good.  Thank you all for your support, prayers, emails, tweets, and FB posts this week.  They truly kept me going.  

Now it's time to talk Flashbacks.  My Flashback post this week, Fresh Canvas for Joy,  is about pulling out a blank canvas, and start again after accepting that your life is not turning out as picture perfect as you planned.

Here are my favorite posts from last weeks link up.  Are your Blogging Friends Leaving Social Media is about the trend of bloggers abandoning certain social media hang out in favor of focusing only on their blogs. Fav Quote Friday, Lifestyle: Thoughts on Giving had a quote that I really loved, “As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.~Mary Anne Radmacher 

After you check out the best of the best from last weeks link up add your own below.  Here is how it works.  Flashback Friday is where we Flashback to our older blog posts and give them new life through the power of the linky!!!  Pick out your link and add it below.  Link to any post you like of any theme you want.  Feel free to post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page so more Joy Chasers can read it.  Use the hashtag #FlashbackFriday or #FBF on twitter to promote your Flashback post.  Add your link below and be sure to check out AT LEAST TWO other Flashback posts.  I suggest the two links before your post to make it easy.  Leave a comment saying why you selected your Flashback post and what you thought of the other Flashback Posts.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wordful / Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Table Centerpiece

Last week I attended my job's holiday party.  It was a good party, better than past years.  A good time was had by all.  A lot of the decor was over the top banquet hall Christmas.  You know evergreen garland and poinsettia plants every where you look. The one exception was the table centerpiece.  It was elegant and simple.  I said Christmas but was also very classy.  The best part was that it was very easy to replicate.  Even I can do this.  A few glass Christmas ornaments in a large glass container.  I Love it and thought it'd be perfect for a Christmas wordful/wordless Wednesday post.

What do you think?  Would this look perfect on your Christmas dinner table?  If you have a favorite holiday center piece tell me about it in the comments and post a link to a picture if you have one.

PS.  Joy Chasers please continue to pray for my mom as she has been ill.  Thank you! I appreciate every comment, FB message, email, and tweet from you all saying you are praying for her.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bonus Post: Skip Christmas???

This evening on my way home from seeing my nephew for his birthday I was listening to some talk radio. The call in topic was would you skip Christmas if you had a choice. I only heard a few callers but it definitely seemed like people were in favor of skipping.  Now I have to admit that this Christmas has come super fast this year and I'm not really as festive as I'd like to be.  The holidays can often trigger melancholy then throw in my mom not being well and this is definitely not the most wonderful time of the year.  The radio show reminded me that I am not alone.  Between the devastating school shooting this past week, many families being far from recovered from Hurricane Sandy, and not to mention all of the unique struggles we are all facing; many of us are not really in the holiday spirit. 

This is why I am so happy to be part of  Kevin Hart and Verizon's #ihartholidays campaign.  These Bonus posts that I've been able to bring you each week this month have consistently put a smile on my face.  Laughter and humor are God's gifts to help us through rough times.  You ever notice how you want to laugh during inappropriate times.  That is God giving us some stress relief.  

This week Kevin is calling us out on our own drama.  We are making the holidays more stressful by not taking advantage of all the ways technology can make things simpler.  Now check out Kevin's video and have a stress relieving laugh while I order me some Knee-Highs :-)

*I was compensated to participate in the Verizon’s #ihartholidays campaign. All of the opinions and content above are my own.

Joyful I Didn't Miss Everything

Modeling the Scarf during our photography lesson.
I really want to thank all of  you for praying for my mom.  Prayer does work.  I ask that you all please continue.  She is home now but we are still awaiting test results and instructions.

Because of everything that's been happening in my personal life I did not make it out to the Walk The Talk Fashion Event this past Saturday :-(  I hope some of you made it.  If so please leave comments below telling me what I missed.

Luckily I did not miss everything that I'd planned to do over the couple of weekends.  I did make it to the Business for Bloggers and Creatives workshop put on by Jamila Payne.  This was a great workshop.  I came home with some great tips for making the Chasing Joy Brand that much more awesome.

There was a interesting mix of people at the workshop.  Lot's of business people who are trying to branch out into social media.  This was the opposite of the typical blogging events that I've attended where most of the people are bloggers who are trying to learn to treat their blog as a business. 

Me and Jessica from
Highlights of the event for me were doing a page business plan, learning about press releases and getting to hear from bloggers that I have been following online for a while.

The business plan was great because it was a short term one.  You answer all of the questions related to the next year or two and then you actually use it and work from it.  This is different from a traditional business plan that may cover 10 years or more and can be kind of vague and hard to work from on a daily bases. Important things covered in the plan include setting goals, What steps you'll need to accomplish the goals, and what road blocks may be in the way of those goals.  Another great thing about the business plan was that it got to the nitty gritty with financial goals (desired salary + expenses related to business goals = necessary revenue)

The conversation about press releases was great for me because I had no clue what to write in one.  I also did not know you can do a press release after an event.  I really missed a great opportunity to get out a press release either before or after the Joy of Giving Chasing Joy Charity Event.  But you live and learn.  Now I know that press releases are used to announce up-coming events, successful events, new hires, new campaigns and any new ventures that may be news worthy.  Post event press releases need to happen within a day or two of the event or it is old news.

One of the other cool things we did at the Business for Bloggers and Creatives was to take a field trip to Kembrel where we learned how to be models.  Well I learned how to be a model.  We received a lesson on how to best take photographs so that our blog posts can look more polished.  We did a role play where some of the group were models, stylists, photographers, and photo shoot directors.  Tips I learned were to use a white background and stand close to the wall or back drop to minimize shadows.  If you have to crop a photo of a person to crop above the knee so they don't look amputated.  Lighting is everything!!!

Have you been to any unique or informative events lately???

Friday, December 14, 2012

#FlashbackFriday : Dear 2011

Hey Joy Chasers!

Today should be a fantastic Flashback Friday for me as my mom is scheduled to come home from the hospital.  Whoot!!!  Thanks to everyone who has been praying for her.  Please continue.  :-)

Now it's time to talk Flashbacks. Here were my favorite linkys from last weeks flashback.  What You Can Do With Slide Share taught me about a way to share presentations online and increase SEO. The Gift of Love helps us to focus in on what is really important at the holidays, and it's not St. Nicholas Square 7-Ft. Pre-Lit Christmas Trees.    Last but certainly not least is Why Do We Suffer gets down to the bottom of whats standing in the way of our happiness.

After you check out the best of the best from last weeks link up add your own below.  Here is how it works.  Flashback Friday is where we Flashback to our older blog posts and give them new life through the power of the linky!!!  Pick out your link and add it below.  Link to any post you like of any theme you want.  Feel free to post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page so more Joy Chasers can read it.  Use the hashtag #FlashbackFriday or #FBF on twitter to promote your Flashback post.  Add your link below and be sure to check out AT LEAST TWO other Flashback posts.  I suggest the two links before your post to make it easy.  Leave a comment saying why you selected your Flashback post and what you thought of the other Flashback Posts.

My Flashback post, Dear 2011, is a letter I wrote to the upcoming year.  It revealed my high hopes for the year and some goals.  All of which I worked on but did not quite accomplish.  What would you write in a letter to 2013?

*Don't forget to grab the I am Chasing Joy and Flashback Friday buttons!

**Also invite some of you blogger buddies to join in and link up too!

***Don't forget to come out to the Walk The Talk Fashion Event tomorrow!!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Repining Hope

I am writing another post while visiting my mom in the hospital :-(  I really appreciate all of you who have been praying for her. Please keep it up.  In the mean time I am trying to focus on the positive and remain faithful as I do believe that God is hearing our prayers.  So I decided to spend a little time on Pinterest and repin some inspirations on Hope.  I've linked a few of them here.





What are some of your favorite inspirational Pins?  Post links to them in the comments.  You can also click here to follow me on Pinterest.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bonus Post!! Gift Giving Time!

Bonus Post!!!

Well considering my not being in a joyful state at the moment this I could use a laugh.  I love these bonus posts from Kevin Hart and Verizon's #ihartholidays campaign. They give me a smile.

I'm sure we have all had the experience of getting a gift that is not exactly what we wanted.  Now this has not happened to often for me because I love getting gifts.  I am not picky. I get so hype that someone took the time to pick something out just for me.  For that reason, I am not a re-gifter.  It just does not feel right.  So what I usually do is say thank you.  Let the person know that I appreciate them thinking of me.  It is the thought that counts after all.  Then I'll usually put use the gift or I'll put it aside.  If I have not figured out a way to use it after a while then I'll just donate it.

So how do you react to gifts that are not to your taste or liking? Do you re-gift?  Check out the video to see Kevin's reaction to his gift from Aunt Betty.

Not so Joyful :-(

Happy Monday Joy Chasers!

I"m not feeling very Joyful today.  Why? Because my mom is sick. She is in the hospital right now.  There is no joy in seeing someone you love in pain and or with illness.  I ask that you all please remember my mom in your prayers.  I do appreciate any good thoughts as well but I am asking for actual prayers.  Please talk to God on behalf of my mom right now....

Thank you!  Now, be sure to set some goals for a joyful week for #MakeitHaappenMonday.

My only goal this week is to remain faithful that God will lay his hands on my mom and heal her.

What are your #MakeitHappenMonday goals?  Remember to share them on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page and use hashtag #MakeitHappenMonday to share your goals on twitter.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

Flashback Friday: Walk The Talk

Happy Friday!

I hope you had a good week. Mine was good but my weekend should be even better.  Tomorrow I will be heading to a Business for Bloggers Creatives, a blog conference happening here in Philly.  I just cant get enough of these blog conferences.  Every time I go to one I meet new like minded people.  I learn how to make my blog even better for you. And, I get to feed my passion.  Fun, Fun, Fun!!!!  Will any of you be there???

I know I should not rush through the week, living for the weekends is no joy. But next weekend should be really good too.  Next Saturday,  December 15th I will be at the Walk the Talk Fashion Event hosted by one of the most impressive young women I know Tweety Elitou.  I attended the Spring Walk The Talk Fashion Event earlier this year and came home with new friends and lots of new jewelry.  The event brings out Philly's most creative people.  So if you are free next Saturday between 2 and 5 pm, put it on you calendar now and meet me there at Showroom 77, 1520 Kater st, in Philly 19146.

Here are a couple pictures from the spring Walk The Talk Event.
I won these shoes but traded them for a set of Jewelry.

Goodies for sale and for the giveaways.

Our Hostess Tweet, of Young Hip Chic
You can also check out this video from the spring event.  I'm in a couple of shots.

If you are still not sure if you want to come out to the Walk the Talk event check out my #FlashbackFriday post, Blogging, The Key To A Better More Joyful Social-life   It was written before I attended the spring event.  It's about how seemingly geeky or nerdy activities like blogging or book clubs can actually help you be more social.   Have you had this experience???

Then check out my favorite posts from last weeks #FlashbackFriday link up.  Have You Checked Your Google Pagerank Lately? which tells us what pagerank is and how to find out ours.  FYI mine is 2. Also,  I'm Not Being Dramatic, I'm Sick Part 1, which manages to bring out humor even in a health emergency and leaves you on edge wondering about the rest of the story.

If this is your first Flashback this is the deal.  Flashback Friday is where we Flashback to our older blog posts and give them new life through the power of the linky!!!  Pick out your link and add it below.  Link to any post you like of any theme you want.  Feel free to post a link to your Flashback post on the Chasing Joy Facebook Page so more Joy Chasers can read it.  Use the hashtag #FlashbackFriday or #FBF on twitter to promote your Flashback post.  Add your link below and be sure to check out AT LEAST TWO other Flashback posts.  I suggest the two links before your post to make it easy.  Leave a comment saying why you selected your Flashback post and what you thought of the other Flashback Posts.

*Don't forget to grab the I am Chasing Joy and Flashback Friday buttons!

**Also invite some of you blogger buddies to join in and link up too!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

#ChasingJoy December Twitter Chat Recap

Did you miss the #ChasingJoy twitter chat this past Sunday???  If so your in luck.  I've used Storify to bring you the highlights of the chat.  Enjoy the recap and feel free to keep the conversation going by answering the chat questions in the comments below.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bonus Post: Kevin Hart, Real or Fake Tree???

Enough with all the talk of tears. Yes crying may be good for you but let’s not dwell on it too much. So here is a bonus post. That’s right two posts in one day!! This one will surely put a smile on your face too. Actually even better than a smile it’ll give you a laugh.

For the month of December I’m teaming up with Verizon’s #ihartholidays campaign to bring you Kevin Hart’s musings on the holidays. Every Monday in December I’ll be bringing you a new video to enjoy and ease us into the Holiday Season. You can find it in my side bar throughout the week too. So whenever you need to shed some stress relieving tears of Joy and laughter just come back and watch it again.

This week see if Kevin prefers a real or artificial tree. If you know me you know my tree is the artificial pre-lit varity. Find out if me and Kevin have that in common!


*I was compensated to participate in the Verizon’s #ihartholidays campaign. All of the opinions and content above are my own.

Crying for Joy

An interesting and kind of annoying thing has happened to me over the last few years.  I have become sappy.   I find myself fighting back tears all the time.  OK maybe not all the time but way more than I used to.  I don't remember crying a lot as a kid.  I remember crying a few times as a teen. At high school graduation, when my dad suggested I'd not be able to buy a lottery ticket on my 18th birthday because I did not have ID (talk about overreacting) when my aunt passed a way and over a few boys not being interested in me.

In my early twenties not too many tears were shed.  But enter late twenties early thirties and I'm just a weeping wuss.  I've always been the type to cry if others were crying but now it seems like I cry at books, TV shows, commercials, good stories  sad stories, memories, accomplishments and everything else. I've cried work, at home, at church and in the car.  It's ridiculous!!! 

I'm really good at hiding it though.  I don't think most people have realized how often I cry.  If you have just pretend you haven't  there's no need to talk about. That would likely lead only to more annoying tears.  My best stop tears now technique is the quick gulp of water, soda or whatever other beverage is handy. Works like a charm in most cases.

But don't feel bad, like I said the tears are not always sad even if they are annoying.  A happy thought is just as likely to bring on the water works.

Recently I read something that has made me feel much better about my sniffling.  For the past few months I have been reading Joyce Meyer's book Living Beyond Your Feelings that was given to me by a friend on my last birthday.  In the section Handling Loss Joyce talks about crying.  She talks about how the tears released in response to an emotional trigger contain different hormones then say the tears released when you get something in your eye, peel an onion, or have an allergy attack.  The hormones in the crying tears are related to the release of stress.  The stress hormones that build up in the body can be released when you cry.  So now I don't feel so bad about the tears.  With each drop I am releasing a little stress.

So that makes me wonder is my life more stressed than I was when I was younger???  Maybe a little.  But I also think it has more to do with I just don't have the energy to try and hide my emotions any more.  It is just too hard and not worth the trouble.  That energy is better spent building honest relationships and Chasing Joy.

Now with that being said I still stand by my no crying at work rule.  But, I know that's not always possible so go for the gulping water technique first then head for the bathroom stall.  Shed a few to release the stress then put your game face back on and head out.

So, next time you are trying to fight back tears maybe you should let them flow.  We all know stress kept in can be harmful.  Maybe the stress released in your tears can be good for your health.  Maybe a few tears shed now means grasping Joy sooner than later.

Do you remember the last time you cried?  Did you feel better or calmer after?
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