Something cool happened to me today. I woke up this morning and decided to go for a walk. I set out, and then on impulse decided to go to Church. My immediate family is not super religious, but my mom grew up in a fairly religious household and her grandfather was the moderator of the United Church of Canada for a period of time. He was based at the Metropolitan United Church in downtown Toronto, so our family has always had an affiliation there. My parents were married at the Met (as were my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, and most of my cousins); my brother and I were baptized there; and it has been a gathering place for our family over the years.
I like the Met. It is a large church and has a sense of grandness to it — and yet it is also familiar to me, so I feel comfortable there. The Minister’s name is Dr. Malcolm Sinclair and he is an excellent speaker. His sermons are always informal yet eloquent, full of humour and humility, and I enjoy hearing what he has to say. So I decided at the last minute to head over and catch the 11am service.
Just as I was about to walk through the doors, I got a text from my mom saying that she was going to the Met, and was en route via streetcar if I wanted to join her. I had to laugh — we had obviously both had the same impulse. This seemed like a neat coincidence. I wrote back to tell her that I was in fact already there, and would save a seat for her.
The topic of Dr. Sinclair’s Christmas day sermon was ‘Gifts for a House Divided’ and he spoke extensively on the topic of Joy. When I first started this blog at the beginning of 2012, I had in mind the idea of celebrating one thing each day that makes me feel joyful. Throughout the year, I have tried to find joy where I can, even if it’s just in a song or an image — something that makes me smile, or feel inspired to keep working, and trying, and feeling happy. And when I do feel happy, being able to recognize that for the gift that it is. Life can be harsh, but if you can find joy in small things, they do add up over time to create a wellspring of resources you can reach for and connect to in times of difficulty. I like to think of each of the things I have written about this year as a building block, or a brick, that when stacked up next to one another form the foundation of who I am and what I believe in. As I look back on my sources of inspiration over this past year, some of them have been predictable (goths, teen dance movies, and YA lit were obviously going to make the list), some have been revelations (2012 will be remembered in part as the year I discovered that cardinals are great!), but the common denominator is that they all make me happy.
I hope that you, too, are able to connect with the things that make you happy and bring joy into your life. This is my greatest wish for all of you, and for everyone.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!