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January 26, 2016

MY WORD OF THE YEAR IS... JOY

joy word of the year 2016 jennifer lawrence movie oscars

Happy 2016!  As it may seem I'm a bit late in celebrating the new year, I'm really just getting started. Have you ever experienced one of those pivotal moments in life when you almost wanted to smack yourself upside the head, because the answer you've been looking for was right in front of you?

Flashback 3 weeks ago to new year's eve. I headed out early to catch dinner and a movie before the infamous champagne toast, and saw the movie Joy with Jennifer Lawrence.  As the credits rolled, my entire mindset changed.

From this day forward, I would do everything in my power to center my life around joy.

I don't want to tell you anything about the movie, if you haven't already seen it, except to go see it this very minute.  But I will tell you that I almost felt like this story was some secret mission for only me to see. Joy is the name of the character, but to me, it was a symbol of  everything I needed in my life.

joy
noun: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

Joy isn't something that I've had very much of lately. When I say lately, I mean I can't even remember the last time I was truly happy and carefree. This feeling of great pleasure that most people experience everyday was something I lost sight of and never even knew it.  As I write these words, it's shameful to admit, that somehow along the way I lost the feeling of happiness. 
I've worked for myself for 20 years. I've done things that most people dream about.  I've had experiences that you only see in the movies.  I've led a very exciting life and have absolutely no regrets, until now.  Even though my life on paper might be one that many would be envious of, the stress and hard work it took to get there isn't something anyone should wish for.  When you own your own business you work 10 times harder than you would of you were only punching a clock.  This means you can never really stop. You don't take the weekends off, you don't walk away from your desk at 5pm and you certainly can't jet off to an exotic vacation without a care in the world.  
I love what I do.  I've worked on hundreds of film and stage productions and over the last nine years running this blog, I've managed to partner with some of the best fashion and beauty brands in the biz. But over the past month, I was ready to throw it all away.  
I'd become a hardcore workaholic. The kind of workaholic that is so burnt out, she couldn't remember the last time she laughed. That kind of euphoric happiness you feel, when there is nothing to worry about and everything you had to do that day was done. Now that is funny, because my to-do list only gets longer every week.  The first step to finding a solution to a problem is admitting there is a problem in the first place. 

"Hello, my name is Bree and I'm a workaholic." 

So over the past 6 weeks or so, I've cleared away all the bullshit and realized that the problem was right in front of me.  The problem was me.  Yes, there is a long list of side effects from the problem like my anxiety, stress and my health quickly deteriorating, but the person staring back at me in the mirror was the only one in control of it all, but also the one that could also fix it all too.  I can't give up on something I've spent almost more than half my life creating. I just have to find the balance to make it all work.
Joy is my word of the year. Every email I write, every project I work on and every marketing campaign I plan will have one goal in mind, joy.  It's not about the money or adding one more project to my portfolio, but it will be about how I want to feel while I'm creating it or after I've finished it.  I will take one day at a time and center it around being happy.  Screw those new year's resolutions, this is my life. Sure, this just so happened to hit me like a ton of bricks on NYE, but it's about my entire future and not just a this year.  I can still have amazing experiences, I can still create my own hours, but I don't have to have the pressure.  The only person putting pressure on me, was me.  The only asshole of a boss, was me.  My "boss" was making me work 70-80 hour weeks, with no real vacation in over 10 years. What a jerk.  
This year I'm doing this a bit different and I hope you will join me on my journey to finding joy. Perhaps I can inspire you to find it in your life too.  Expect to see some changes here on the blog and bear with me, as I dive back into the workload one step at a time. I might be a bit slow at first, as I try to pace myself.  My health is my first priority, Mind + Body + Soul.  I have big plans for this year and my goal is to accomplish more in less time. Time management will become my best friend and my focus will be on branching out my brand, while stopping to have just a bit more fun.
Time flies. Life is precious. We create how we want to feel, and I want to feel joy. 

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of you Bree! JOY is a choice not just a feeling.

Heather! said...

Congratulations! As you said, the first step is admitting it's a problem. Some people don't figure out that they're missing out on *joy* until it's too late to make some. It's wonderful you're there now. I hope the only real pressure you will feel this year is the pressure to remember to find your JOY!!

(And thank you for the reminder. Who couldn't use more happiness in her life?!)

BREE COOLEY said...

Thank you for the support! xoxo

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