PHS Founder and Managing Editor Trish Wylie, talks about the magic of the holidays and how the work we put in throughout the year can bring joy and light the way forwards.
I love this time of year!
I know a lot of people say that, but trust me, I mean it. Even amidst all the madness, increased traffic and crowds, the additional expense and the pressure to fit in a hundred family commitments before the big day, there's a buzz in the air that just can't be denied. And magic. So much magic. It's everywhere. In the wonder on kids faces as they see the lights switched on or go to visit Santa in his grotto. In the laughter which accompanies the annual debate about the best Christmas movie (Sorry, Die Hard does NOT count). In finding the perfect gift for someone without spending a fortune. In all the hugs you share with people you haven't seen in a while. Seriously, there's magic everywhere!
The optimism of the season is something I wholly embrace. All those twinkling Christmas lights help make the dark days of winter a little brighter. And light in the darkness is something we all need from time-to-time. It's the same theory as my smile a day ethos and provides dozens of opportunities to find joy in the little things. A kid's smile. A silly jumper someone wears to work. The shared enthusiasm for time off. All of that makes for more smiles. Bigger smiles! Which in turn lifts your spirits.
Last year, I had a horrible Christmas. I was so sick I almost skipped the holiday altogether. At the time it made me feel very sorry for myself. But it also made me determined not to let it happen again. This year, the big day isn't even here yet, but its already shaping up to be one of the best Christmas's I've ever had. Part of the reason is that I'm hale and hearty enough to get out there and see friends and family. But the reason for that is because I started swimming twice a week a little over two months ago and it's really paying off in terms of energy and boosting my immune system. One little change that had a knock-on effect. Just like all the other little changes I've been making in the last couple of years.
Cumulatively, they can literally change your life.
Positive change doesn't happen overnight. But it doesn't have to be one huge, dramatic gesture. One small move after another can have just as big an effect. Change one thing and the next thing will be easier. Smiling more helped me. These days I smile even when no-one is looking. I've also made a concerted effort to lift my chin and look where I'm going, taking it all in and breathing deep along the way. I have simplified my life, too. Down-scaled. De-cluttered (well, almost). Re-organized. Conducted mini time-in-motion studies and prioritized what matters most to me.
Okay, so that last part involved a few tough decisions. Ones I may have got a smidge stressed about before I made up my mind. But when I came to a decision, it felt right. I felt calmer as a result. More confident. I knew what I wanted and how to get it. I could see the path ahead lit up in a way it hasn't been in a very long time. Then, a couple of weeks ago, while I was driving somewhere, something amazing happened.
I realized I'm happy.
When it hit me, I experienced a moment of confusion. When did that happen? How did that happen? Then came a moment of fear. What if I can't hang on to this feeling? What if it's only fleeting? It took another moment for me to realize it wasn't all that sudden. It had been creeping up on me for a while. And it was a result of all the work I'be put in. Those small moves, one after the other, removing the negativity from my life while at the same time making a concerted effort to be more positive. There was only one more thing I had to do to complete the circle. It was time. I could feel it. I was ready. What's more, I was itching to get started!
2019 is gonna be the year I write.
It's not that I haven't been writing. I have. I just haven't been doing it enough. I get frustrated when things interrupt my writing time now. I get an actual physical ache to write. Stories are coming at me thick and fast and having been to that dark, awful place where putting so much as one word on the page felt like pulling a tooth, I know I can't ignore this golden opportunity. Everything I've been doing has led me to this point. The next step. The one I've been working towards all along. And though it may seem like I've left it til last, there's a saying about that, isn't there?
So, here we are, at the end of another year. Everyone will be thinking about their resolutions soon. But not me. Cos I don't do resolutions any more. I make changes. Habit forming changes that could literally change my life for the better. The only thing is, I knew I needed more time for this next step. And that's where the tough decisions came in...
The Pink Heart Society, and everything it stands for, has been my baby for a long, long time. I love it, I believe in it, I am passionate about it. But I also have to accept it can't be my main focus anymore. Truthfully, it doesn't have to be. Not when there is such an amazing team of disgustingly talented people on board to do all the heavy lifting. To be honest, I'm kinda excited to see what they'll do without me for a while. And thanks to them, I can confidently take a step back and redirect my creative energy into my writing, because I know the PHS is in safe hands. They want me to succeed as much as I do. How could I not love them for that?
So, this my friends, is my last monthly editorial with the PHS. It's been an amazing journey to this point and I'm so grateful to everyone who has joined me here each month for the ride. If anything I said helped in even the tiniest of ways, then yay! But if you're still struggling, don't lose hope. I was in the deepest, darkest hole a few years ago. And look at me now! Happy. Excited about what comes next. Ready to be challenged.
And if I can do it...
To keep up with Trish as she embarks on the next stage of her journey, you can visit her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter. And watch out for her occasional appearances right here, as she brings us updates in 2019!
Do you love the holiday season? Can you find magic moments in it? What do you think of the idea of small moves leading to big changes in your life? Tell us in the comments or join the discussion on our Social Media using the hashtag #MagicMoments