A Thrill of Hope

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

3 December 2020

Steve Maraboli, the author of Life, the Truth, and Being Free, said, “Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.”

This year, there’ve been a few major things out of my control. Some of those things include a presidential election, social unrest, a worldwide pandemic, distance learning, a high-conflict divorce, a family court system in dire need of reform, and canceled family holiday traditions. While these major things have a huge impact on my life, I cannot control them. But do you know what I can control? My Christmas Cheer!

December First

I’m not usually one for immediate Christmas decorations and music. Typically, the holiday season tends to wear on me after a couple of weeks. But this year, I took the bull by the horns. My shopping list is 90 percent completed. My house is decorated inside and out. And I may have had several Christmas carol jam sessions already – my loud and fervent singing voice included. You know why? Because I can!

I have control over the level of joy I bring to the table. And this year I didn’t want to wait until the season was halfway over to begin seeping joy and positive energy into my home. We needed the boost early on. And initiating that joy and positivity is firmly in my control.

Now, I’m not sure how Steve Maraboli would define incredible change in his quote above. But I’d like to define it as the existence of peace after a period of pure madness. Our day-to-day activities have changed. The number of face masks face masks I own has changed. Our ability to focus on just one thing at a time has been removed. And my access to the normal familial holiday traditions are out the window.

But do you know what hasn’t change or been removed?

The love I have in my heart. My ability to make my children smile. My loud and fervent singing voice. The calm the cold of winter brings. My ability to breath in fresh air – when I’m six feet apart from other humans. My ability to talk and laugh with my friends and family members (albeit not in person). And my ability to keep choosing peace, joy, and hope.

There is much I have no power over. But my mindset can always be within my control.