Joie de Vivre in the New Year

Joie de vivre is an attitude. It’s a decision you make to live a life of joy. It’s an invitation to this dance called life.” – Jamie Cat Callan

The holiday season has drawn to a close, having gone by far too quickly. And here we are in a new year. I took a look back at 2018, deciding to assess my year with self-compassion. My guiding words for the year were “focus” and “courage.” Writing 50,000 words in November required both focus and courage, as did running a half marathon in April. These were big accomplishments for me, but my running habit dropped off after the half marathon, and I gained weight during the holidays. I’d like to have focus and courage year round and also write and run year round. But noticing this doesn’t feel like self-compassion, so I’ll stop listing what I didn’t do.

What resolutions did I meet in 2018 besides the half-marathon and adding to my novel? My husband and I cleared out a fair amount of clutter from our house. We traveled to Israel, and I was fit enough to walk a lot and enjoy it. I nurtured my creativity with morning pages (journaling) and artist dates. I enhanced my spirituality by taking a class in Benedictine spirituality.

sara paretsky - author and founder of sisters in crime

Sara Paretsky – author and founder of Sisters in Crime, photo from Wikimedia

At the end of the year, I joined Sisters in Crime, an organization that offers advice and support to mystery authors. I also signed up for Murder and Mayhem, a mystery conference in March. These are signs that I’m finally taking my mystery writing seriously.

Looking ahead to 2019, I considered many words to guide the year. Serene. Joyful. Confident. Creative. Proactive. Balanced. Living with gusto. Savoring life. Self-respect. So many great choices. I decided on “joie de vivre,” a French phrase that translates loosely as joy of living. The French meaning is a little stronger, more like exhilaration. I loved visiting France a few years ago, and I want to go back someday, so the French phrase appeals to me. Too often, I feel anxious or fearful. This year, I want to be joyful instead.

I want to be proactive in writing and running, but I don’t want to be stressed while working toward goals. This year, I want to enjoy life, savor life, and be nice to myself. I can be joyful while working to be a mystery author. I can be joyful while working to get back in shape. Focusing on joie de vivre should help.

In the new year, my resolutions are, as usual, much like my past resolutions, including fitness and writing goals. And that’s OK. I’m excited about being in Sisters in Crime and learning more about how to write mysteries. I hope to finish writing my mystery novel in 2019. And I will do it with joie de vivre.

I wish you a Happy New Year with joie de vivre in 2019.

Do you have a guiding word for 2019? What is it? Do you live with joie de vivre?

About Susan Ekins

Freelance writer and blogger at Women Making Strides. Interested in personal leadership and empowerment. Wanting inspiration and to inspire. Leader in church ministries. Blog: Facebook page:
This entry was posted in Goals, Holidays, Inspiration, positive-thinking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Joie de Vivre in the New Year

  1. Ann Wohlberg says:

    Happy New year Sue. I was trying to say that phrase joie de vivie yesterday to my husband (driving home from a funeral). Then I read your post this morning. I had been thinking about you and congratulate you on meeting your Nov writing goal. I am still working and meeting my goals for financial security, making a difference, and mentoring younger people. Like you, my health goals took a bit of a hit this last month, but generally I exercise every day and work on keeping my weight stable. I am going to treat 2019 with as much joie de vivie as I can everyday! Thank you, Ann W

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susan Ekins says:

      Ann, it’s great to hear from you. I meant to get in touch around your birthday. The fact that you heard that phrase so quickly after talking to Mark makes me think it’s confirmation of the point you were making to him. I too heard the phrase shortly after I picked my guiding phrase. (At a Marriage Encounter meeting, our presenters talked about a book written by Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre hotels.) I took that as confirmation that I’d picked the right phrase for me. You are an inspiration with all you do, including being a Grandma!


  2. EstelaHa says:

    Sue, I liked this blog. It made me think of a lot I had accomplished last year. My “Joie de Vivre” is with grandparenting time, family time, RV trips in our new class B van and volunteering at women’s club. Some day I want to add on blogging, but I know when I change around some volunteer commitments, then I will be able to focus. Good luck on Sisters in Crime.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. alhenry says:

    “…deciding to assess my year with self-compassion.” We should all do this, Susan. The world we inhabit browbeats us for not living up to some idealized standard (within the context of a very privileged setting). You know–screw ’em, really. If we extend kindness, if we are listening and learning and growing, then that is a worthy life. All good things to you in 2019.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sherri Russell says:

    On January 1 I started logging each night just a sentence or two on something positive about the day – a quote I read, something someone did, something that I was able to do. It makes me really think about the day and all that happened. And then to focus on what was good versus worrying about what was not. And now I read your blog and a lightbulb goes off: Joyful Living! Thank you Sue!! – I hope every day I can remember to focus on Living Joyfully, appreciating and being grateful for all blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Strengthened by Our Challenges | Women Making Strides

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